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  1. #1
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    461

    My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    I don't have a car, so I make infrequent pilgrimages to Binny's in Skokie (the closest location to my house) now and then when I can hitch a ride with a family member. Friday was just such a trip.

    What spurred this voyage? A particularly tasty bourbon I had last weekend struck my fancy, and I intended to go get some. On the way I wanted to augment my meager Scotch collection, plus put in for a bottle of Irish and of Rye, since I was out of both of those.

    My rye of choice, about which I make no secret, is Ritt BIB. To my astonishment, Binny's was completely out of this nectar. So I scanned the shelves for a replacement...and my eyes fell upon the 19th-century-packaged Sazerac Rye - 90 proof, presumably the 6-7YO expression. Grabbed it, took it home, sampled it.

    I've not had Overholt, only Ritt, JB Rye, and WT Rye, so I was expecting something weighty, oily, muscular, and (as is the case with Ritt and WT) mildly honeyed. What I got instead is a rye that is eerily reminiscent of Irish pot-still whiskey: light, floral, somewhat cool and brittle, with a bit of a mint finish and a surprisingly heady note of cinnamon that also makes it into the aroma. It also has some woody and fruity notes.

    It's not at all the same as Ritt, but I'm quite taken with it nonetheless. I'd love to be able to taste some vintage genuine Pennsylvania Monongehela to see if that style was similar to this, since this seems to reflect the flavor that people describe with Old Overholt.

    (I have never tried OO; part of me is scared to because I have a feeling that the JB version doesn't capture the way OO tasted when it was distilled at Broad Ford. Then again, I remind myself that even that version would not be recognizable to Abe Overholt, who likely as not in those days of unaged spirits was selling something more closely resembling vodka...)

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    461

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    BTW, I discovered through experimenation that Sazerac Rye in a small snifter is outstanding. The aromas really concentrate well, and it takes on a lush patina.

  3. #3
    Irreverent One
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Heart of the Beaver State
    Posts
    2,395

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    Despite drinking rye since 1979 (mostly WT) I've yet to sample the baby Saz (the 18yo is my favorite rye), but you've convinced me that it's time.

    I was planning a trip to the liquor store this week to replenish my stock of BT (on sale this month) so I think I'll grab a bottle of the baby Saz.

    Of course, it just occured to me that the OLCC will be releasing its June price list tomorrow, so I'll check that first to see if the Saz will be on sale next month.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,169

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    The recent Sazerac rye is excellent. I found the first bottling a little green and untogether. The most recent bottlings are much better knitted with a good depth of sweetness and an herbal-like quality.

    I have had some samples of Overholt and other ryes distilled in Pennsylvania, in some cases going back to the 1930's.

    These did not remind me at all of Sazerac rye or the 18 year old version. The old Pennsylvania ryes seemed generally to be either smooth with a cigar box-like overlay, or very forward in taste, almost varsol-like with again that cigar box.

    The difficulty with sampling old bottles is to know if time in the bottle has affected them.

    None of this takes away from the excellence of Sazerac rye, of course.

    Gary

  5. #5

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    Hello all.

    I purchased SAZERAC RYE Straight Rye Whiskey from Binny's. With a sticker stating "The contents of this bottle are from a single barrel hand-selected by Binny's Beverage Depot".

    Regardless, I like it a lot. Having a second pour as I type. I am new to whiskey and and trying to note all the tastes and smells everyone writes about in these forums.

    I enjoy this very much. I've had:

    Old Grand Dad - (tasted great at the time but now at bottom of list)
    Dewars 12 Year Old Blended Scotch (I like)
    Buffalo Trace (which helped me realize that its WAY much better than Old Grand Dad - with a nice spice.
    George Dickel No 12 - great indeed. I can't hardly tell the difference between BT and GD. Other than BT maybe bit more spicier.

    And a few others

  6. #6
    Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lawrence KS
    Posts
    82

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    I need to try some Regular and Baby SAz, but sadly I havent seen any show up on shelves in my local stores yet. Someday I hope or maybe I will get one shipped to me.

  7. #7
    Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwest of Peoria
    Posts
    4,437

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    I love Sazerac Rye. I'm glad to here of new admirers of this fine whiskey. I wish stores in my immediate area carried it. It's an hour and ten or so minutes down to Peoria where I can buy this stuff. I believe it makes the best Old Fashions of any ryes (or bourbons, for that matter) that I have tried in that role.

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,227

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by ILLfarmboy View Post
    I love Sazerac Rye. I'm glad to here of new admirers of this fine whiskey. I wish stores in my immediate area carried it. It's an hour and ten or so minutes down to Peoria where I can buy this stuff. I believe it makes the best Old Fashions of any ryes (or bourbons, for that matter) that I have tried in that role.
    I've never had a rye, and the selection here is quite limited. In NH we've got Old Overholt and Sazerac 6YO. The Saz is probably an hour's drive from here.
    Is the young Saz worth the trip?

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Harrison Township, MI
    Posts
    1,385

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna56 View Post
    I've never had a rye, and the selection here is quite limited. In NH we've got Old Overholt and Sazerac 6YO. The Saz is probably an hour's drive from here.
    Is the young Saz worth the trip?

    Cheers!
    I would say yes it's worth the trip, but give it a week or 2 so you can see if you like Rye! The Michigan project will be ready to go out tomorrow and we can talk more about it then! You know if you need anything you can PM me brother!!

    Cheers!
    Tony
    "So long as the presence of death lurks with anyone who goes through the simple act of swallowing, I will make mine whiskey"

  10. #10
    Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwest of Peoria
    Posts
    4,437

    Re: My Encounter with Sazerac Rye

    Yes, see if you like rye before making the trip.

    With the price of gas being what it is I usualy try to combine trips. I may take the wife out to supper down in peoria, but plan it so I can stop at the liquor store.

 

 

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