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WatchUrSix

Bulleit Rye vs Baby Saz

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WatchUrSix

So I have a decanter that stays full of Baby Saz. I've been lucky enough to find plenty in stores around me. So far this it one of Mt favorite whiskeys. Aside of blantons, which it a world away in flavor really.

My question is the comparison of these two Rye's. A friend of mine suggests I'm missing out. I haven't found the rye in local stores yet. I'll keep looking. What do you all think?

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IncredulousNosco

Sazerac is good, but it is very particular, and does have a high percentage of corn in the mash bill. Bulleit is an MGP distillate, and therefore is 95% rye and 5% malted barley with no corn. It also has a very different profile than Sazerac. With Sazerac I get clove, caramel, sweet fruit (the corn) and...not tobacco, but cigar smoke. With MGP rye you'll absolutely and unavoidably get a large dill note to go along with heavy spices and light clove. And while I like it a lot, some people hate it for the dill note. 

 

But you don't need to find Bulleit rye to try basically the same thing. Given that Bulleit Rye is an MGP distillate, in my increasing order of preference, Redemption, James E. Pepper, Old Scout Smooth Ambler are a few of the more available MGP rye distillates. They all have different prices, ages and ABV, but all have that dill note to some degreee. There are MANY others which are non-finished, and many others  still which are finished (Angel's Envy, High West, Filibuster), blended (High West, HVSRW) or modified (Dickel, Templeton). 

 

 

Edited by IncredulousNosco
to change stuff

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tanstaafl2

It is also quite easy to try Bulleit rye (and bourbon) in a bar before deciding to buy as it seems to be on just about every back bar in the country! As far as I know, unlike the Bulleit bourbon (who knows how many different sources are supplying it these days, it can't all be Four Roses still can it?), the rye seems to be coming from one source, MGP, who apparently has a ton of the younger stuff available, especially given all the different labels they are supplying. It feels like they make more rye than all other distilleries combined!

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WatchUrSix

I've seen the bourbon all over, the rye I haven't seen yet. I'm sure it's out there.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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BDanner

To me, they are two totally different whiskies. I enjoy both, but Saz is just over 50% rye which allows for a high % of corn. This adds some sweetness not present in the Bulleit. The MGP produced Bulleit 95 rye is a 95% rye mashbill. I enjoy that mashbill as well, but it is decidedly different than Saz (or Rittenhouse, Overholt, Pikesville, etc). If I want that MGP 95%rye profile, I usually opt for the James E Pepper or the Dickel rye (in that order). They run $5-$10 cheaper, and the Pepper is 100 proof.

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smokinjoe

IMO, though I really enjoy the MGP ryes that are seemingly everywhere, the Baby Saz is far and away the better whiskey.  The MGP's suffer from a simplicity that hardly gets away from the dill and mint, regardless of bottler.  More age and proof helps this, but it always seems fairly confined in its profile.  I'll repeat though, I do like it.

 

The Saz, and it's big bro TH Handy , is much more complex and rich, to my tastes.  A plethora of rich baking spices and warmth. As Nosco wrote above, clove and caramel.  I'll add nutmeg, cinnamon and anise.  I love sipping it and extracting each from a glass.  THH just expands this experience 10X.  Baby Saz is one of the great American whiskies today.

 

Regardless, the MGP is a must try.  Definitely, seek it out.

 

 

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flahute

I'll agree with Joe on this.

I didn't start drinking rye whiskey until about 4 years when I decided to go full nerd and try everything possible outside the Maker's and Woodford that were my staples for years.

My first rye was actually a Thomas Handy (just a taste from my bro-in-law) that I didn't understand or appreciate at the time. My first full bottle was a Willett 4yr old sourced from MGP. Like most people who start with MGP, I thought that was what rye was supposed to taste like. I didn't understand that 95% rye in the mashbill was unusual. When I first tried Rittenhouse Rye I thought it tasted too bourbony and didn't like it. Then I got my own bottle of Handy as well as the little bro Sazerac rye and eventually did an about face.

 

The mint and dill of the MGP profile is too strong for me much of the time but if I'm in the mood for it, I love it while that mood lasts.

More often, I prefer the barely legal ryes as I get much more of a range of flavors from them. Also a richness at times. I had some Handy a few days ago for the first time in about a year and was blown away by it all over again. I have some baby Saz down in the basement and the only reason it's not open is because I'm trying to work through a variety of other open ryes to clear space. If the baby Saz was open, I wouldn't touch the others.

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IncredulousNosco

Unlike most in the thread, I prefer the low  or no corn ryes. WhistlePig started me on this, and every since it has been about finding simmilar flavor profiles. Alberta ryes are still my favorite here, but  I've greatly enjoyed HVSRW, Lot 40, MGP, finished MGP, as well as CEHT. And a lot more area  on the way with many young distilleries putting out 100% or near that rye.

 

For the high corn ryes, WT101 and Pikesville are really great, but I still prefer the low or no corn variants. 

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GaryT

I'm not sure I can pick a favorite.  I agree with much of what Joe wrote, although I struggle to call one "better" than the other.  I do think that the barely legal ryes tend to develop more complexity than the near 100% ryes, and offer a more balanced whiskey.  But I like that edge you get from the near 100% ryes.  I just recently bought my first bottle of Baby Saz, as when I had tried it several years back, I thought it was good - but not "half again Ritt BIB good" (which is another fine example of a barely legal).  I like it more now than I remembered back then, although I'm fresh out of Ritt BIB to compare to.  But some of the MGP ryes are still delightful.

 

It's like when someone who doesn't suffer from whiskeria nervosa asks me "So, do you prefer bourbon, or rye, or scotch?" and my answer is "Yes" :)  Thankfully we're blessed with not having to pick one over the other!  If you haven't explored the rye spectrum, but have enjoyed what you've tried thus far, I would absolutely expand that horizon.  

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ken_mays
On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 2:26 PM, smokinjoe said:

IMO, though I really enjoy the MGP ryes that are seemingly everywhere, the Baby Saz is far and away the better whiskey.  The MGP's suffer from a simplicity that hardly gets away from the dill and mint, regardless of bottler.  More age and proof helps this, but it always seems fairly confined in its profile.  I'll repeat though, I do like it.

 

The Saz, and it's big bro TH Handy , is much more complex and rich, to my tastes.  A plethora of rich baking spices and warmth. As Nosco wrote above, clove and caramel.  I'll add nutmeg, cinnamon and anise.  I love sipping it and extracting each from a glass.  THH just expands this experience 10X.  Baby Saz is one of the great American whiskies today.

 

Regardless, the MGP is a must try.  Definitely, seek it out.

 

 

 

This is about how I feel.  The Sazerac is just better rounded with more complexity and more flavors to discover.   I don't drink it often as I should and my THH, which was my gateway rye as well as my all-time favorite, has been consigned to Special Occasions Only.   I had swapped in SAOS cask strength rye as a pinch hitter around 2013 and grew quite fond of the profile.   The Bulliet / GD expression is a lighter, more refreshing and drinkable whiskey that I often reached for simply due to its cost and ubiquity.  There are times when I want one (Saz) or the other (MGP) and nothing else will do, so I will definitely always have a bottle of each open on the bar and sealed backups in the closet. 

 

I wasn't aware of the James Pepper but I will make seeking it out my top to-do-list item, especially since I just emtpied my GD rye bottle a couple weeks ago.

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BDanner
55 minutes ago, ken_mays said:

 

...

 

I wasn't aware of the James Pepper but I will make seeking it out my top to-do-list item, especially since I just emtpied my GD rye bottle a couple weeks ago.

I like the JE Pepper just a little bit better than the Dickel. I don't know if it's the lower proof, the charcoal filtering or the extra age that puts the Dickel just behind the Pepper in my book. I do prefer the Dickels $5-$10 lower price tag.

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IncredulousNosco

You have to really enjoy MGP to like JEP Rye. It is as about as aggressive as the dill profile gets outside of the younger Redemption CS versions. And yeah, it's still better that the Dickel molestation.

 

And those younger Redemption CS variants just serve to point out how damn good SAOS CS Rye was.  Both ryes at 7 years don't even compare. Yeah, Redemption is good, but SAOS CS Rye was spectacular. I plan to pick up a Redemption 8yo CS in a couple of weeks if it is still available at my local joint (no huge loss if it ain't). I'm anxious to see if it is nearly as good as SAOS yet.

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Tony Santana

I find the Saz to be very thin.  Personally, I take the Bulleit.

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squire

Baby Saz is my choice for the reasons mentioned.  More complexity, depth of flavor, a richer, cleaner taste than the simple notes of MGPs 95% rye, which was created to be a limited flavor profile flavoring whisky to be used in blends.

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LCWoody

Baby Saz is the better rye hands down. I'll take it one step further and say EH Taylor is much better (though it's more expensive). I've always felt that EHT Rye is a hidden gem in the world of rye.

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WatchUrSix
Baby Saz is the better rye hands down. I'll take it one step further and say EH Taylor is much better (though it's more expensive). I've always felt that EHT Rye is a hidden gem in the world of rye.


There are four bottles of this at a store I regularly go to. I think it was 73$ I might have to try it.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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musekatcher

Sazerac - to be fair, I had inflated expectations.  Not a bad whiskey, but it just didn't impress.  I completed 3/4 of the bottle, and gave the remainder to a friend.  I hear the Saz 18 is a different animal.   I've had a few bottles of Bulleit Rye, that I enjoyed (despite its sourced MGP origin).  I've got a bottle opened right now.  In fact, I think I had finished a bottle of Bulleit Rye, just before cracking the Sazerac, for a near A/B comparison. 

Edited by musekatcher

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MTNBourbon

I would probably go with the Baby Saz.

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hawkeye62
On ‎12‎/‎17‎/‎2016 at 5:01 PM, IncredulousNosco said:

Unlike most in the thread, I prefer the low  or no corn ryes. WhistlePig started me on this, and every since it has been about finding simmilar flavor profiles. Alberta ryes are still my favorite here, but  I've greatly enjoyed HVSRW, Lot 40, MGP, finished MGP, as well as CEHT. And a lot more area  on the way with many young distilleries putting out 100% or near that rye.

 

For the high corn ryes, WT101 and Pikesville are really great, but I still prefer the low or no corn variants. 

 

I am with you about low or no corn. To me, the barely legal ryes are just a bourbon variation. I like bourbon and the barely legal ryes, but when I think of rye, I want at least 90% rye, no corn and preferably with some rye malt. 

 

Regards, Jim

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flahute
5 hours ago, hawkeye62 said:

 

I am with you about low or no corn. To me, the barely legal ryes are just a bourbon variation. I like bourbon and the barely legal ryes, but when I think of rye, I want at least 90% rye, no corn and preferably with some rye malt. 

 

Regards, Jim

I used to feel the same way but my tastes have evolved over time and now I prefer the barely legal ryes more than the 90-100% ryes. Not sure why.

 

Also, I'm curious why a guy from Utah has the photo of a Seattle craft distillery rye as his avatar photo. Can you get it out there? (I live about 6-7 miles from the distillery).

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Charlutz

I agree that the high rye style is more or less a different animal than the barely legal ryes. I like both but don't find them comparable. Picking between Bulleit and baby saz isn't picking a label, it's picking a style. 

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smokinjoe

It's my thinking that it's not the percentage of rye in a rye mashbill that is important, but rather what the distiller does with it from there on out that is the determiner of what profile ends up in the bottle.  Regardless of the rye percentage beyond 51, wonderful variations have resulted.  To say that low rye percentage ryes are just a bourbon variation is an oversimplification of the type.  Sure, some are "bourbony", but others present an all together flavor difference that is well beyond the typical bourbon profile.

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Paddy

^^^^^Blondes, brunettes, redheads...I do not discriminate, and give them the loving attention they deserve, equally.:wub:

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portwood
11 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

It's my thinking that it's not the percentage of rye in a rye mashbill that is important, but rather what the distiller does with it from there on out that is the determiner of what profile ends up in the bottle.

You're on to something there - the wood imparts a great deal of rye-like flavors to whiskey. 

 

On a related note, Canadian Whisky is traditionally known as "rye" even though the vast majority is made with very little to no rye grain at all. I'm not suggesting Canadian "rye" is the same as American Straight Rye, but merely pointing out, how is it possible to make nearly 100% corn whisky taste like rye? Answer: the rye flavor profile is achieved through maturation and cask selection.

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flahute
3 hours ago, portwood said:

You're on to something there - the wood imparts a great deal of rye-like flavors to whiskey. 

 

On a related note, Canadian Whisky is traditionally known as "rye" even though the vast majority is made with very little to no rye grain at all. I'm not suggesting Canadian "rye" is the same as American Straight Rye, but merely pointing out, how is it possible to make nearly 100% corn whisky taste like rye? Answer: the rye flavor profile is achieved through maturation and cask selection.

I posted this interview somewhere else on the site a long time and can't remember where so I'll post it again here.

Master blender Don Livermore at Hiram Walker talks about the various distillation techniques used and how they can strip out the grain character if they want to. Very interesting stuff.

 

http://spiritsjournal.klwines.com/klwinescom-spirits-blog/2015/3/12/more-on-canadian-whisky-hiram-walker.html

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