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squire

Sazerac Rye

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squire

This is the standard NAS expression that I have been working through while making partial tasting notes. What I'm finding are greater layers of flavor and complexity that I hadn't really noticed before.

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dbk

You know, I'm glad to hear that, squire. I see "Baby" Saz as getting dismissed quite a lot—"uncomplex" is a common criticism—but I think it's the bee's knees. I've reviewed it elsewhere (not that anybody should care) and have successfully introduced many folks to good American whiskey with it.

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MarkEdwards
This is the standard NAS expression that I have been working through while making partial tasting notes. What I'm finding are greater layers of flavor and complexity that I hadn't really noticed before.

I'm another fan of Baby Saz. It's one of my "keep on hand" ryes.

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cigarnv

Julio's current baby Saz offering is IMO opinion a step above "most" of the shelf versions.... and probably the last of the private single barrels for some time..

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Brisko

I think "layered" is a good description. I don't find it uncomplicated--rather, to me, it offers a procession of flavors. It does strike me as somewhat light in character, and the flavors aren't totally integrated, yet.

I think it would be perfect at about 10 y/o and maybe 100 proof or a little higher.

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angler82

I enjoy baby Saz but prefer Rittenhouse 100 BIB for $25 and under ryes.

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SMOWK
I enjoy baby Saz but prefer Rittenhouse 100 BIB for $25 and under ryes.

I find that both of these are so different that I like them just the same. When comparing two whiskies with the same profile, I can pick one over the other. But when they are both so different, it's worth having both on hand.

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unclebunk
I find that both of these are so different that I like them just the same. When comparing two whiskies with the same profile, I can pick one over the other. But when they are both so different, it's worth having both on hand.

I'm in agreement, though my tastes run towards the Rittenhouse which I tend to buy much more often. Having said that, a bunch of friends joined me to watch college hoops over the weekend and the Baby Saz was mighty fine.

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White Dog
I think "layered" is a good description. I don't find it uncomplicated--rather, to me, it offers a procession of flavors. It does strike me as somewhat light in character, and the flavors aren't totally integrated, yet.

I think it would be perfect at about 10 y/o and maybe 100 proof or a little higher.

Amen on the age and proof.

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White Dog

After reading through this Baby-Saz love-fest, I went back to my open bottle.

It's not a simple Rye, I'll grant you that, but the finish always delivers a medicinal, chemically aftertaste that sends me running for Turkey Rye, or Ritt, or LDI...

I do prefer Baby Saz over Beam Rye and Overholt, but that's about it.

Sorry to rain on the parade. All palates are equal, and varied, in my opinion.

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squire

Well Mama always taught us if you can't say something nice . . .

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Brisko
After reading through this Baby-Saz love-fest, I went back to my open bottle.

It's not a simple Rye, I'll grant you that, but the finish always delivers a medicinal, chemically aftertaste that sends me running for Turkey Rye, or Ritt, or LDI...

I do prefer Baby Saz over Beam Rye and Overholt, but that's about it.

Sorry to rain on the parade. All palates are equal, and varied, in my opinion.

I never got that, but the whole thing felt kind of contrived, to me. Don't ask me to elaborate, I can't explain it any better than that... sorry.

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White Dog
I never got that, but the whole thing felt kind of contrived, to me. Don't ask me to elaborate, I can't explain it any better than that... sorry.

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Brisko
You felt my statement was contrived?

I've made the same declaration on Baby Saz in other threads in the Rye forum, so maybe it sounded scripted. I do drink lots of BT stuff, I just really dislike this one. No biggie.

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread. You may now return to your regular programming.

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White Dog
Negative, there, White Dog.

Baby Saz feels contrived to me.

(in other words I'm agreeing with you :cool:)

Well, in that case, I completely agree with you!:lol: :cool: :lol:

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HRay

You know the "baby-Saz" has never done it for me. Interesting since the Sazerac 18 Rye is my favorite all time whiskey. For an inexpensive Rye I will always go for the WT 101 Rye. At $20 it is very hard to beat. Even the Jim Beam Rye (at $14!!) is a clean credible whiskey. Now with the delicious Bulleit Rye available here in Atlanta, I haven't a reason to buy the baby-Saz.

Is the TW Handy Rye a cask strength version of the baby-Saz? I didn't get a bottle of this year's highly rated edition of the TW Handy Rye but I have some of the other years and they have never really impressed me either. I wonder what BT is going to do when they run out of the Sazerac 18??

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White Dog
You know the "baby-Saz" has never done it for me. Interesting since the Sazerac 18 Rye is my favorite all time whiskey. For an inexpensive Rye I will always go for the WT 101 Rye. At $20 it is very hard to beat. Even the Jim Beam Rye (at $14!!) is a clean credible whiskey. Now with the delicious Bulleit Rye available here in Atlanta, I haven't a reason to buy the baby-Saz.

Is the TW Handy Rye a cask strength version of the baby-Saz? I didn't get a bottle of this year's highly rated edition of the TW Handy Rye but I have some of the other years and they have never really impressed me either. I wonder what BT is going to do when they run out of the Sazerac 18??

Handy is more than simply a cask version of Baby Saz, IMHO. First off, Handy is about 6.5 years old, and while people still call Baby Saz a 6yr old, I'm not sure I buy that. It was at one point, but as it's become allocated...:skep: :skep:

Also, Handy is a "honey-barrel" selection, so better barrels are being used. Having cut Handy down while drinking Baby Saz side-by-side, I would say that these are very different Ryes. While I do not care for Baby Saz, I do love me some Handy, especially 2008!:bowdown: :bowdown:

But hey, this is just one man's opinion.

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dbk
It's not a simple Rye, I'll grant you that, but the finish always delivers a medicinal, chemically aftertaste that sends me running for Turkey Rye, or Ritt, or LDI...

It's funny you mention a "medicinal" note on the finish, White Dog. I don't get this at all on the Baby Saz, but it does feature quite prominently to me on the Rittenhouse BIB. I still like it, but not nearly as much as Sazerac.

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DeanSheen

I love Baby Saz. I really like Rittenhouse but not quite as much.

I agree about the complexity. But maybe it's just the notes that it hits that I respond to.

Baby Saz really reminds me of 4Rsmb which I prefer to 4RSB for many of the same reasons I prefer Baby Saz to Ritt.

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HRay

While I like the "Baby Saz", I don't really care for the Handy rye. Since the Sazerac 18 rye will eventually run out (do we know when?), I suppose the Handy rye will be the replacement from Buffalo Trace. Since the Rittenhouse rye is Brown-Forman distilled (for now), the Handy is the obvious replacement for the Sazerac 18 rye which is why I have been buying all the Sazerac 18 I can find until it runs out. I hope BT can find a worthy replacement for the Sazerac 18 rye but unless the Handy ages really well, I am not too hopeful. I suppose we will get an indication of the future of BT rye when they transition the Rittenhouse BIB rye to BT distillate.

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dbk

Hey HRay,

In response to this:

I hope BT can find a worthy replacement for the Sazerac 18 rye but unless the Handy ages really well, I am not too hopeful.

All three Sazerac ryes ("Baby," Handy, and 18) are based on the exact same recipe. The only differences among them are the barrel selections, ages, and strengths. I'd be genuinely surprised if, when watered to your tastes, you didn't find yourself liking the Handy as much or more than Baby Saz.

Obviously, both are much younger than the 18, so the comparison is more difficult there, but there is no reason to think the Handy won't age just as well as the 18 has, given that the Handy is simply a younger, barrel-strength version of the 18.

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White Dog
While I like the "Baby Saz", I don't really care for the Handy rye. Since the Sazerac 18 rye will eventually run out (do we know when?), I suppose the Handy rye will be the replacement from Buffalo Trace. Since the Rittenhouse rye is Brown-Forman distilled (for now), the Handy is the obvious replacement for the Sazerac 18 rye which is why I have been buying all the Sazerac 18 I can find until it runs out. I hope BT can find a worthy replacement for the Sazerac 18 rye but unless the Handy ages really well, I am not too hopeful. I suppose we will get an indication of the future of BT rye when they transition the Rittenhouse BIB rye to BT distillate.

Rittenhouse is a Heaven Hill label, so although it is currently distilled at B-F, it will soon be switching over to Bernheim, not BT.

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Brisko
Hey HRay,

In response to this:

All three Sazerac ryes ("Baby," Handy, and 18) are based on the exact same recipe. The only differences among them are the barrel selections, ages, and strengths. I'd be genuinely surprised if, when watered to your tastes, you didn't find yourself liking the Handy as much or more than Baby Saz.

Obviously, both are much younger than the 18, so the comparison is more difficult there, but there is no reason to think the Handy won't age just as well as the 18 has, given that the Handy is simply a younger, barrel-strength version of the 18.

2 things:

1. How much do we really know about Saz 18? I wouldn't assume that it is the same as what they're making now.

2. Not all Handy's are created equal. 2010 for instance is great at barrel proof but falls flat if you knock it down to 90 proof.

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dbk

1. How much do we really know about Saz 18? I wouldn't assume that it is the same as what they're making now.

You raise a good point. I can't seem to find information about whether the 18 is indeed the same distillate as the Handy and Baby Saz. That said, it sure as hell smells and tastes like a very "mature" Handy or Baby Saz.

2. Not all Handy's are created equal. 2010 for instance is great at barrel proof but falls flat if you knock it down to 90 proof.

Fair enough, but I have yet to come across someone who finds a diluted Handy—including the 2010 release—worse than Baby Saz, and some like it better. I'm not saying it's not legit to prefer the Baby over the Handy (as HRay does), but that HRay's concerns about the Handy distillate not being good enough to be used to make Saz 18 are probably unwarranted, given that he likes Baby Saz too.

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cowdery

Rittenhouse production moved back to Heaven Hill a couple of years ago, after the expansion at Bernheim was completed, but the product in stores is still all BF.

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