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Yet another opinion needed.....


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Aw c'mon Dude, we are bourbon geeks, it's what we do.:cool:

I am sufficiently chided :-)

Don't mean to step on anybody's toes... Apologies to Josh, ErichPryde, & anybody else if I did so.

Edited by ChainWhip
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I agree that you can't get saz to the same proof level, but the argument isn't bunk. Josh's point is that if it tastes the same at 90 proof, there's nothing more special about THH than the proof and therefore it doesn't warrant the high price tag.

Agree that if when diluted to the same proof they are quite similar, it shows their comparable make-up. But also agree that this isn't a factor in evaluating the price - unless you were looking to make Baby Saz from THH and trying to figure out if that would be cheaper. I would absolutely not try Baby Saz in order to determine if I might like THH, as they two may have the same juice from the start, but a very different flavor profile out of the bottle. Unless you intend to dilute it to 90 proof . . . then compare away!

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Glad to get a discussion going on the topic!

My bottle was a 2010 too, I believe.

For me, it is a factor. I don't usually drink barrel proof whiskeys at barrel proof. I add water to them, almost always. At the high proofs the BTAC barrel proofers, I can't taste anything but alcohol. Cut down to the 90s or 100s, I can taste a lot more. Plus the massive, painful heartburn that follows makes me miserable for hours. So maybe this discussion says as much about how people drink their whiskey as it does about Saz Jr & Handy.

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As far as cutting the proof down in whiskies sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

Some whiskies just don't take the water well.

I don't mean a particular brand but individual barrels.

Stagg for example, some years it waters down good and "opens" it up but the 2012 didn't seem to bloom with water.

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I think the proof and concentration is a major part of what makes THH what it is. I don't know of anybody who brings THH down to babySaz proof except to experiment and declare that it is the same and therefore no better. If we want THH at babySaz proof then we should just buy the Sazerac rye. Yes, it's the same mashbill/juice but to me, it's just not the same whiskey flavor profile out of the bottle.

Meanwhile, we should accept THH for what it is and if it doesn't taste good enough for us at that price point, then no big deal :-)

I certainly don't bring Handy down to 90 proof regularly. I actually prefer it with one or two ice cubes. But that's not my point.

If THH is nothing more than Baby Saz at barrel proof, it ought to run about $50 or so, based on the way Baby Saz is priced. By pricing it where it is the unspoken implication is that it's not just uncut Baby Saz, that they're being more discriminating with barrel selection and so on. To my taste, that's not really the case.

The irony is that up until about a year ago, I could get THH more reliably than Baby Saz....

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Glad to get a discussion going on the topic!

My bottle was a 2010 too, I believe.

For me, it is a factor. I don't usually drink barrel proof whiskeys at barrel proof. I add water to them, almost always. At the high proofs the BTAC barrel proofers, I can't taste anything but alcohol. Cut down to the 90s or 100s, I can taste a lot more. Plus the massive, painful heartburn that follows makes me miserable for hours. So maybe this discussion says as much about how people drink their whiskey as it does about Saz Jr & Handy.

I'm with you on always cutting high proofs. Not as low as 90 but 100 to 107 proof. Also not the biggest health nut (or would I be here) but I do wonder if down the line there may be some damage if one is regularly drinking high proof, even in moderate amounts. I know above 107 proof, my tongue and back of throat are feeling things that don't happen below that. As to heartburn...that's why God invented man who could then invent Omeprazole :grin:.

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I'm with you on always cutting high proofs. Not as low as 90 but 100 to 107 proof. Also not the biggest health nut (or would I be here) but I do wonder if down the line there may be some damage if one is regularly drinking high proof, even in moderate amounts. I know above 107 proof, my tongue and back of throat are feeling things that don't happen below that. As to heartburn...that's why God invented man who could then invent Omeprazole :grin:.

I'll talk to the doc about that one! I do take OTC reflux remedies. The heartburn is aggravated by the meds I take for my auto-immune issues, and I'm trying to avoid the never-ending rabbit hole of taking meds to deal with the symtoms of other meds.

I have read (although I can't recall where) that drinking high proof spirits can damage the lining of the esophagus.

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Not to throw my own topic "off-topic" , but I do find myself really enjoying the higher proofs. OWA is a phenomenal, sweet bourbon. I just recently purchased Noah's Mill @114 proof. A fine sipping whisky,indeed. I try not to dilute w water. Drink it the way it's meant to be. I say "it's the thrill of the burn". Admittedly, that's what piqued my interest in the TH Rye. I figured kill 2 birds with 1 stone. A rye and a highproof. But I get where you guys are coming from. Btw, if you dilute Booker's with enough water, would you end up w Jim Beam?? :slappin:Just kidding( I think ).

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I am sufficiently chided :-)

Don't mean to step on anybody's toes... Apologies to Josh, ErichPryde, & anybody else if I did so.

No toe stepping done here... Josh and I have crossed keyboards and sent letters flying over this exact subject before. I think Handy is great, awesome stuff and justifies a higher price point. :)

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BT can say what they want to, but I think they have 2 rye mashbills. One is the mashbill they bottled up as EH Taylor rye. The other is a lighter bodied whiskey. The rye white dog they bottled is way to light to turn into anything in the barrel. I think they blend the 2 white dogs together and barrel them. The EH Taylor is what they would call a flavoring rye in Canada.

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Handy is a great bottle, and when it's under $70 it's a no brainer. I also really like Baby Saz.

I find it hard to believe that any regular on this forum would dislike anything labeled bourbon or rye on any shelf. They're all good, that's why we're here. The only way to find out if it's worth the money is to pay up, and then ponder your buyers remorse (or remorselessness) over said whiskey.

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The only way to find out if it's worth the money is to pay up, and then ponder your buyers remorse (or remorselessness) over said whiskey.

Well said sir! ........

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Handy is a great bottle, and when it's under $70 it's a no brainer. I also really like Baby Saz.

I find it hard to believe that any regular on this forum would dislike anything labeled bourbon or rye on any shelf. They're all good, that's why we're here. The only way to find out if it's worth the money is to pay up, and then ponder your buyers remorse (or remorselessness) over said whiskey.

That or find somebody with an open bottle and get a taste. Most members here are happy to oblige when asked nicely.

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That or find somebody with an open bottle and get a taste. Most members here are happy to oblige when asked nicely.

My point was more along the lines of, "of course it's worth it when someone else is paying".

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I find the Handy to be a great whiskey,that being said I do have a hang up of paying the full BTAC pricing for a 6yr. rye.I prefer the Saz 18,but when I have a urge for a bold in your face rye Handy always fits the bill for me,a few drops of water brings out all the floral and spiced notes and it always hits the spot!The Handy seems to hover on shelves for months after the all of releases so I pour the Handy year round which is a really nice option to have if I do say so myself.

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I agree that you can't get saz to the same proof level, but the argument isn't bunk. Josh's point is that if it tastes the same at 90 proof, there's nothing more special about THH than the proof and therefore it doesn't warrant the high price tag.

I don't care if the only difference between THH and baby saz is that Harlen Wheatley hocks a loogie in each bottle of the THH. If that is what makes it taste great, I am not going to argue over the relative value of Wheatleys spit. At times I do geek out over the details of whiskey, but when it comes to a certain point I really don't care what happened to it before it landed in my glass.

I don't dilute THH, and that flavor at that proof is something I just can't recreate outside of THH. I don't drink everything at barrel proof, but THH and Bookers are a couple that I vastly prefer at full octane. I really have nothing to add on the overall quality or value of THH, but to me it is well worth $70-$80 a bottle.

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In this area Handy does tend to hang around the shelves longer than the other members of the Collection, which I've always supposed was due to lesser recognition.

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$80 is too much. I'm a big fan of Handy (at least of the years I've tasted - '09 & '10), but I'd pass by most days at $65. $60 and I'm likely in, though I scored three bottles of the '10 for $50 each last summer, so...

That said, my first bottle was very educational for me as far as showing me what a CS high-corn rye whiskey tastes like. Handy does not have much competition in that category...

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On it's own the THH wins hands down. I think the Baby Saz is fantastic in cocktails though. I've yet to find a better whiskey to make an Old Fashioned, and that includes the THH. It's so sporadic to find here in CA that I use it exclusively for this purpose.

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I haven't tried the Baby Saz yet, but I'll buy many more bottles of Willett before I pay for another bottle of Handy. And you can find lots of them around here. Rittenhouse is good, but I do love the Willett.

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