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  1. #11
    Connoisseur
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    Mar 2005
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    857
    Quote Originally Posted by scratchline
    That actually sounds likely, Doug. I'm going to try out another bottle and get to the bottom of it, so to speak.

    BTW, how does the Handy compare to your older barrel proof rye?

    -Mike
    Mike,

    That is a tough question...I'll say this...

    These whiskies are only similar because they are Rye's...they are from different times and makers...no problem tasting the difference...but one is not "better" than the other...whiskies at this level of quality are only "different"...I'm sure there will be times where I will prefer one over the other... (Mood, food, etc)...in the same way you wouldn't drink the same wine with every meal...Variety, man, variety...

    The word "Compare" is so subjective...question is, at what level?

    Price...Handy wins!...hell, everyone else wins...Is there a more expensive rye out there today?

    Taste...well, that gets very subjective...but I'll say this...when you get ready to sample the Willet, do it barefoot...it'll knock your socks off...even after you water it to a more palatable proof, the flavors go on forever...

    Availability...even with a full barrels'werth, not too much to go around....

    Bang-for-the-buck...depends on how many bucks you got...everyone's price point is different, I read about folks driving across town to save two bucks on the next purchase of whatever...doubt they'd be interested in a 165 dollar bottle of anything. For me it boils down to "affordable luxury"...even if I was paying full retail, I'd still bunker up on this one.

    FYI...This is not the last one of these to get in on...LeNell is bottling a 23yo that should be a stunner (BTW LeNell, congratulations on your label approval!) I haven't sampled hers' yet, but it's from the same provenance as the Willet Estate 22yo, just a year older.

    We could compare anything else...the list is endless...what's on your mind?

    John's tasting notes in Malt Advocate are pretty reliable and would be useful for general comparison, leaving the finer points for us or anyone to arm-wrestle over. But, it's like anything else, you put two people in the same room, with the same whisky, a piece of paper and pen...the notes will always be different...the bigger influences generally agreed upon, the finer points based on the perception or influences of the moment.

    dp

  2. #12
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    NYC
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    580
    Great post, Doug. Thanks.

    And answers my question thoroughly. I was mainly curious whether the added time in the barrel had smoothed all the rye edges outta the whiskey. Clearly the answer is a big NO!.

    -Mike
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

  3. #13
    Taster
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bourbon, Co. (Paris) KY
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    77
    i have a bottle of Saz Jr. with about an inch left in the bottom. I mixed part of that with the same amount Bernheim wheat. It was very flowery. The taste was smooth. The finish was empty.. void of much taste at all. I had to go pour some Handy straight up to make things all better. I will probably finish off that Saz Jr. tomorrow night and I'll let you know how it tastes by itself. Then it will be time to pop a fresh bottle. By the way, most of the stores in Lexington got a fresh supply of the Saz Jr. in with the BTAC. I picked up one bottle last week. I wanted to get more but the BTAC drained my pockets. I may go back later this week and try to pick up a couple more Saz Jrs.
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." -Mark Twain

  4. #14
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2005
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    Chicago SW 'burbs
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    1,178
    I had some of my Saz Jr. earlier tonight. After tonight's pour, there are two, maybe three pours left before it joins the Empty Bottle Club. Tonight's pour was nothing short of superb.
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

  5. #15
    Novice
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    15

    Re: When Good Saz Goes Bad?

    BT is using the best cork supplier in the world (IMHO). That said, cork does go bad - just ask wine makers, who would dearly love to rid themselves of corks and the lost product associated with those that become tainted. Smell the cork; the odor should be stronger there if it is cork taint.

    I hate corks. Yes, they are cool, trendy, and upscale (perception), but they are not really good for products. They are pre-twentieth century technology, but that is what the customer expects....

    I am sure BT would want to know about this. They are very concerned about customer satisfaction. Just call them; there should be a number on the back label.

    Catahoula

  6. #16
    Connoisseur
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    Dec 2005
    Location
    NYC
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    580

    Re: When Good Saz Goes Bad?

    After breaking into the Handy and comparing tasting notes on that and the baby Saz with others, I have concluded that what I tasted wasn't a bad cork or bottle, but simply a flavor note that becomes more pronounced as air works on the whiskey. It's a flavor that some people love and that really doesn't appeal to me. That said, I never detected it in the 18 yr old, and I'm looking forward to opening a bottle of that and seeing if it's the whiskey or my taster that is different since I last tried it.

    Thankfully, there's no shortage of outstanding BT offerings that I can reach for next time I need to slake my thirst. The phrase "embarrassment of riches" could have been coined especially for BT, as far as I'm concerned.

    -Mike
    "This is the real article. It is double-rectified busthead from Madison County, aged in the keg. A little spoonful would do you a power of good."

    -True Grit by Charles Portis

  7. #17
    Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    S.F. Bay Area
    Posts
    89

    Re: When Good Saz Goes Bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdog View Post
    Mike,

    I think ONE of the key tasting features of the Saz Jr is the deep earthy notes. I wonder if the bottle got a little breath of air between tastings and this note was more discernable to you after the whiskey opened up.

    I Just got back from KY, while there, I purchased a bottle of the Thomas Handy and sampled it...YUM!, this is another one of BT's great whiskies. It too has the earth notes that the JR has but to a lesser extent. This time, the earthy note is more understated,refined and elegant, but still there. I like that particular note in the JR, it is what sets it apart from the pack, and although most rye features this to a certain extent, the JR is in a class of it's own here.

    Good Job BT...

    Keep mixin' Mike...(or give the bottle to Gillman, he'll figure out something to do with it!) LOL!

    dp
    What Doug said. My first bottle of JR. was rather earthy, it also possessed a dankish bite. I found it to be sort of minerally, for a lack of better terms. Initially, my immediate thoughts were: much of the above is going to be a big put-off for many enthusiasts, but to my surprise, the praises kept rolling in.

    Then I tasted someone else's bottle (bought after the first allocation round hit CA), and much of the rougher qualities were not nearly as pronounced as my original bottle (which I still have the better portion of). These days I wonder who got what, and from sampling my friend's bottle, maybe that explains why I didn't hear the complaints I had anticipated.

    Sounds like your current bottle is more along the lines of my original. Maybe air as Doug suggests, or perhaps you just picked it up in your cocktail this particular pour. Are you usually doing cocktails or have you also sipped the JR neat? The contrast I experienced was from two different clean pours, and I'm guessing the said contrast was more extreme than would be detected in mixed cocktails.

  8. #18
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2005
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    Chicago SW 'burbs
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    Re: When Good Saz Goes Bad?

    My first Saz Jr. ('05) seemed a bit harsh at first pour, but then mellowed out quickly after I left it on the shelf for a week or two. I'd still buy that version in a heartbeat, though.

    My current bottle (a single-barrel Binny's version that has a serious evaporation problem ) has been stellar from the first pour. It has a lovely brown sugar/cinnamon/fruit note to it... just perfect. Sadly, this bottle is about to join the Empty Bottle Support Group...
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

 

 

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