bibamus, moriendum est
In fact, from my experience the major producers rarely lie, though at times they do mislead and they certainly obfuscate.
As for Handy, BT makes a lot of the fact that it has, in its various domains, many different aging environments, which produce different whiskeys. Handy may be the same recipe as Baby Saz and even similarly aged, but barrels are selected according to a particular profile that may and probably does differ from Baby Saz. Handy, just based on my experience, probably comes from the hotter and higher parts of the warehouses, which produce more intense flavors.
Last edited by cowdery; 01-18-2012 at 15:31.
Col. Charles K. "Crotchety" Cowdery
"Whiskey Don't Keep."
I never recall seeing it labeled on the official releases, but for a number of years there were specialty bottlings that did have exact ages on them - usually between 7-8 years for these single barrel offerings.
According to folks at TPS & Binny's, Sazerac no longer offers an SB program for Baby Saz because of its scarcity. But I had an ~8 year from TPS that was stunning. Wish I'd bought more!
With Handy, we always know the exact age, because of the nice detailed fact sheets with the cases, and I do recall them clearly SAYING that Baby Saz was ~6 when I visited the distillery a few years back, and I vaguely remember seeing that age on their website, too, a while back, but never recall seeing it on the label of the bottle.
I'm 100% sure that Handy & Baby Saz are identical mashbills, but as Chuck notes, the aging, barrel location, etc. clearly play as big a part in that relationship as it does between Weller & Old Rip/Pappy selections.
It seems like early Handys came from middle and upper floors, but in the last couple of years have been coming from lower floors. They all seem to fit the standard angles share evaporation profile too which suggests lower floors as well.
In either case, I still like it!
"Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry. If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die" - Tex Ritter