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  1. #1
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    Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    Does anyone know at exactly what age Buffalo Trace tanked the Sazerac 18? Was it at 18 years old, or 19?

    I'm curious because we know that BT is holding the rye whiskey for both the Saz 18 and VW Rye. According to the Van Winkles, the VW is 19. Also according to the Van Winkles, it's now a combination of Ryes that were produced by Bernheim and Medley. We also know that Buffalo Trace didn't have any of its OWN rye that old and that it came from another source (and I've been informed it wasn't part of the CoK rye stash....), most likely Medley (and possibly Bernheim????).

    The Van Winkles have maintained that (as of 2005) the Rye is a 19 year old that has been tanked.

    Finally, Buffalo Trace maintained in the recent past that they only had one rye tanked, the Saz 18.

    So is it possible they are the "same" whiskey? I understand that they don't taste the same... and I'm not sure 5 proof points is enough to make up that difference. Perhaps BT let some of the barrels age to 19 years of age, and then didn't like the result so sold them???
    Last edited by ErichPryde; 12-22-2011 at 18:31.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    Whatever the age or provenance, Saz 18 has all but vanished in west TN joining VWFRR as non-existent on the retail level. Not 6-8 weeks ago, there was a pretty good scattering of it over my area of wandering. I mean, you did not see it in every store, but, it could be found without going too much out of one's way. I had seen bottles dated anywhere from the 2007 to the current edition. Now, none anywhere. I have not bought one in a while since I had a couple VWFRRs in the bunker and generally $20-25 less than Saz 18 when found.

    I don't know if the NY Times article had anything to do with it, the Christmas season, or this forum. IMHO, this forum is much more a driving force than the NY Times. Of course, I don't hold a high opinion of what is termed "the mainstream media"....so, maybe the Old York Times is still somewhat viable.

  3. #3
    No expert at all but these two ryes taste very different. Can't imagine they're the same

  4. #4
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    Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by Hershmeister View Post
    No expert at all but these two ryes taste very different. Can't imagine they're the same
    I 100% agree with this statement. Both phenomenal whiskeys.
    Last edited by LostBottle; 01-11-2012 at 13:41.

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    I wouldn't discount the NYT article, that journal does wield a lot of influence and the article did note the paucity of well-age rye.

    As of a few weeks ago, Michter's 10 years old straight rye, which I think everyone accepts is at least 18 years old, was available at Park Avenue Liquors in New York City for $70.00 - a bargain.

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    All this makes me want to go out and get the Ritt 21-23-25 that is out there near me as well as the BMH 18 I passed up yesterday...got to pay mortgage though. Next payday, I may start hoarding all the older aged stuff I can find - including a few more bourbons.

    On second thought, maybe no home and a lot of old rye would be a trade-off worth considering. At least, I would make a lot of new friends out there in the street and we could stay warm a while.

  7. #7
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    Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    I kvetch/bitch about this on another thread about ryes that lie about their age, but I think it important to note an important caveat to the esteemed Mr. Gillman's statement about Michter's 10 year rye: the older bottlings are certainly 18+/yo rye. But the new stuff is not much than a day older than 10 years. The former deserves its place alongside its hallowed brethren VWFRR and Saz 18 (I'd rank it under VWFRR and over Saz 18, personally), the later is a total rip-off.

    So the game is finding out whether it's the old stuff or the new stuff.

    As to the OP's original query: they don't taste like the same source to me.

    To me, the real question is: does VWFRR disprove the "whiskey can't last in stainless" idea? My new bottles are as good, if not better than 08-09 bottles.

  8. #8
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    Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    The bottle I was referring to was the tear-dropped shaped one with a heavy base issued some years ago for both the 10 year rye and the bourbon. The one I got some weeks ago in NYC (rye) did seem bottled some years ago, the whiskey is heavy-bodied and quite dark with that caraway-dark butterscotch taste which many here will recall the whiskey had. Age under the regs can be understated but not overstated, and getting something apparently older than the stated age is almost always a good deal, especially with rye which to my mind can almost never be too old.

    It sounds like a recent bottling is on the market with whiskey closer to the 10 year mark, I haven't tried that one yet.

    All bottlings of any whiskey IMO, more so from NDPs but sometimes from distilleries themselves, change over time. Sometimes a whiskey is a better buy than at other times, even over a short period you can get a superlative bottle then an average one, etc...

    I agree about current VWFRR, the bottles are superb, some of the best ever.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 01-12-2012 at 08:10.

  9. #9
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    Angry Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Lamplighter View Post
    All this makes me want to go out and get the Ritt 21-23-25 that is out there near me as well as the BMH 18 I passed up yesterday...got to pay mortgage though. Next payday, I may start hoarding all the older aged stuff I can find - including a few more bourbons.

    On second thought, maybe no home and a lot of old rye would be a trade-off worth considering. At least, I would make a lot of new friends out there in the street and we could stay warm a while.
    I would love to bunker some old ryes too. In the last week I've seen Ritt 25 and Rocky Mountain 21, but the high prices require a high level of certainty on my part that they're worth it to me.

  10. #10
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    Re: Sazerac 18/Van Winkle Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by dohidied View Post
    I would love to bunker some old ryes too. In the last week I've seen Ritt 25 and Rocky Mountain 21, but the high prices require a high level of certainty on my part that they're worth it to me.
    Amen...I totally agree. I may have to work some OT to do it but I am determined at some point in time to start picking these up as regular as possible. I just hope I don't have to wait too long.

 

 

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