Name: Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey
Cost: $27.52 after sales tax in Middle Tennessee
Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY
Bottle: 1890's-style 10-sided barrel with long, narrow neck and wooden-topped cork stopper. The white-lettered front label is stencil-screened onto the glass; the back label is clear stick-on. See picture below.
Appearance: Orange-amber hue, with uniform 'legs'.
Nose: Unique combination of cinnamon tinged with orange-y citrus. Some vanilla slides in, but the chief sensations alternate between the Red Hots and citrus. Hints of a summer garden, but herbs, not flowers.
Taste: Orange marmalade caramels. Light, but pleasant, heat, cinnamony-fresh. Young leather at the end. In that order, from front to back. To mix the flavors, just roll it around in your mouth. Mouthwash-fresh.
Finish: A definite presence, but with medium heat and length. Very clean and freshening.
Conclusions: Wow! I like this better than I realized the first couple of times I poured it. Both the aromas and flavors are very well-balanced and, while not muscular and forward, are nonetheless pleasing and integrated. This is a whiskey with 'flow', a sense of progression like a passenger train -- you are going to get to your destination from the time you board, but the scenery enjoyably changes en route.
I dropped a Maraschino cherry and its pre-mixed quasi-Manhattan juice in the last ounce or so, and it makes a noticably spicy cocktail. It holds up to the added sweetness quite well, providing a pleasing contrast. I suspect the label's claim that "This rye whiskey is the perfect choice to make the Sazerac Cocktail, America's First Cocktail" is something more than mere marketing.
Well done again, Buffalo Trace!