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hawkeye62

Sazerac Straight Rye

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hawkeye62

I managed to get a bottle today. Here in Utah, spirits are sometimes put in a category of very limited availability and limited to one bottle per customer. There is a web site that gives which stores have inventory. Today I got the last of three bottles that the store had.

 

The reviews I have seen of this rye say it is six years old. But straight rye only has to be two years old. So, why does everyone say it is six years old? And if it is six years old why no mention of age on the bottle?

 

Regards, Jim   

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tanstaafl2

It has traditionally been described as being a 6yo rye for a long time including by Sazerac, the parent company of Buffalo Trace including the linked website. But it does not have an age on the bottle. As a straight rye with no age statement it is supposed to be at least 4 years old but there is no real guarantee it is any older than that other than trusting Sazerac I suppose. Of note, on the Buffalo Trace website it does not mention an age that I can find..

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hawkeye62
1 hour ago, tanstaafl2 said:

It has traditionally been described as being a 6yo rye for a long time including by Sazerac, the parent company of Buffalo Trace including the linked website. But it does not have an age on the bottle. As a straight rye with no age statement it is supposed to be at least 4 years old but there is no real guarantee it is any older than that other than trusting Sazerac I suppose. Of note, on the Buffalo Trace website it does not mention an age that I can find..

 

OK, thanks! The Sazerac web site makes it clear that it is 6 years old. That is the only place I have seen the age statement.

 

Regards, Jim

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smokinjoe
4 hours ago, hawkeye62 said:

 

OK, thanks! The Sazerac web site makes it clear that it is 6 years old. That is the only place I have seen the age statement.

 

Regards, Jim

Though, I will take them at their word based on their age proclamation on their website, that still does not constitute an age statement, per se.  Either way, as I sip on a Baby Saz at this moment, I positively adore this whiskey regardless of whatever time it has spent in the barrel.  One of the great American whiskies, IMO.

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hawkeye62
13 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Though, I will take them at their word based on their age proclamation on their website, that still does not constitute an age statement, per se.  Either way, as I sip on a Baby Saz at this moment, I positively adore this whiskey regardless of whatever time it has spent in the barrel.  One of the great American whiskies, IMO.

 

Tell me more about what you like about Baby Saz! My first impression is a good whiskey, a little sweet with very little rye characteristics.

 

Regards, Jim

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smokinjoe
11 minutes ago, hawkeye62 said:

 

Tell me more about what you like about Baby Saz! My first impression is a good whiskey, a little sweet with very little rye characteristics.

 

Regards, Jim

I characterize Baby Saz as having the baking spices, nutmeg, clove , cinnamon profile in the rye spectrum.  That is what I love about it.  Plus, I enjoy the fullness that it possesses.  Great mouthfeel.  There are other ryes that have what I had always described and expected as a snappy/spicy/crackling pepper characteristic.  WT comes to mind here.  Then, there is the new kid on the block that is shaping the rye definition of this generation--i.e.  The minty and dill forward profile of the MGPI ryes.  I enjoy them all, but for different reasons.  But IMO, Baby Saz has the most depth, complexity, and plain ability to sip neat.  

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BottledInBond
3 hours ago, hawkeye62 said:

 

Tell me more about what you like about Baby Saz! My first impression is a good whiskey, a little sweet with very little rye characteristics.

 

Regards, Jim

Baby Saz is a "barely legal" rye. So it certainly isn't going to have the same rye characteristics that the Indiana stuff has with a 95% rye mash or some of the other stuff out there. It is a good introduction to rye I think. It's crazy how much more spice there is when you get it in the Handy form

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smokinjoe
51 minutes ago, BottledInBond said:

Baby Saz is a "barely legal" rye. So it certainly isn't going to have the same rye characteristics that the Indiana stuff has with a 95% rye mash or some of the other stuff out there. It is a good introduction to rye I think. It's crazy how much more spice there is when you get it in the Handy form

 

HH, WT, and Beam also have very low rye content in their rye mashbills (~51%), but all present different profiles, and in the case of WT it is much more in that sharp spice category that one might associate with a rye whiskey.  I believe that there are other influences at work that create these differences beyond simple mashbill.  A good discussion can be found below in regards to my own puzzlement on what a rye should really taste like.  As for not tasting like the MGPI ryes, that is for sure!  But again, the profile of MGPI goes beyond the 95% rye content as well, IMO.  

 

https://www.straightbourbon.com/community/topic/20955-rye-conundrum/#comment-395602

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Vosgar

IMHO, Baby Saz is a wonderful "comfort" whiskey that unless you're in the mood for a high proof kick you in the teeth pour, will never disappoint. Smokinjoe described its flavors better than I ever could, I just know there always has to be a bottle of it on my shelf.

 

Does anyone know for sure if private selections are no longer available? I bought a couple from Binny's and one from Everett's in 2010, but haven't seen any since.

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0895
2 hours ago, Vosgar said:

IMHO, Baby Saz is a wonderful "comfort" whiskey that unless you're in the mood for a high proof kick you in the teeth pour, will never disappoint.

 

Yes, all of this.

It is just a great middle of the road rye that tastes slightly different from everything else on my shelf.  It has a very distinct taste to me that is neither offensive or wonderful.

I love using it for cocktails and I have no problems letting people use it for mixing at a party.

Definitely one to always keep around if you're lucky enough to be in a location that gets a regular supply of it.

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hawkeye62

I had a second and a third pour last evening. I have a very poor taster, I have never tasted anything I could identify in any whiskey. But, the Baby Saz does have a different taste than my other ryes. Very nice. And I am never sure if the "pepper" on my tongue is from the rye spice or just the alcohol. Anyway, too bad Baby Saz is so hard to get here in Utah. It sure is good whiskey at $22 a bottle.

 

Regards, Jim   

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EarthQuake
On 2/19/2017 at 3:38 PM, BottledInBond said:

Baby Saz is a "barely legal" rye. So it certainly isn't going to have the same rye characteristics that the Indiana stuff has with a 95% rye mash or some of the other stuff out there. It is a good introduction to rye I think. It's crazy how much more spice there is when you get it in the Handy form

 

Yes it's very interesting how much different the Handy is from the baby Saz. I've only been able to try Handy once (not sure what year), but it was easily one of the best ryes, probably the best rye I've ever tasted with huge flavor, complexity, and leathery notes that made me think it was much older than it is. It's sort of hard to believe that Baby Saz comes from the same juice. Now if only I could find a bottle for less than $300. :blink:

 

Baby Saz on the other hand, which is readily available in Iowa City, IA for about $33 a bottle, drinks more like a bourbon. Sweet, smooth, easy to drink, but not much depth or complexity, and as another poster pointed out, lacking the distinct rye spice that I've come to expect. A decent bottle for the money, but I don't see what the fuss is about. I don't know that I would say it is better than Rittenhouse 100, or MGP sourced George Dickle Rye, both of which cost a bit less, and I greatly prefer Pikesville and WhistplePig, and E.H Talyor Rye, though those can run up to 2.5x the cost.

 

Overall I would say Baby Saz is good for the Bourbon drinker looking to branch out into Rye but not so good for someone looking for big punch-you-in-the face rye spice/flavor. I think it works well in mixed drinks where you want something that isn't obtrusive, as its mild flavor profile makes it quite versatile. For a contemplative sipper, or something you put in a spirit forward drink (like an old fashioned), I would pick something with a bit more character personally.

Edited by EarthQuake

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BottledInBond
8 hours ago, EarthQuake said:

 

Yes it's very interesting how much different the Handy is from the baby Saz. I've only been able to try Handy once (not sure what year), but it was easily one of the best ryes, probably the best rye I've ever tasted with huge flavor, complexity, and leathery notes that made me think it was much older than it is. It's sort of hard to believe that Baby Saz comes from the same juice. Now if only I could find a bottle for less than $300. :blink:

 

Baby Saz on the other hand, which is readily available in Iowa City, IA for about $33 a bottle, drinks more like a bourbon. Sweet, smooth, easy to drink, but not much depth or complexity, and as another poster pointed out, lacking the distinct rye spice that I've come to expect. A decent bottle for the money, but I don't see what the fuss is about. I don't know that I would say it is better than Rittenhouse 100, or MGP sourced George Dickle Rye, both of which cost a bit less, and I greatly prefer Pikesville and WhistplePig, and E.H Talyor Rye, though those can run up to 2.5x the cost.

 

Overall I would say Baby Saz is good for the Bourbon drinker looking to branch out into Rye but not so good for someone looking for big punch-you-in-the face rye spice/flavor. I think it works well in mixed drinks where you want something that isn't obtrusive, as its mild flavor profile makes it quite versatile. For a contemplative sipper, or something you put in a spirit forward drink (like an old fashioned), I would pick something with a bit more character personally.

IMO Baby Saz is also worth a buy just as a cool looking addition to your bar if you're into that sort of thing. Classic bottle. 

 

I but it once in a while. One of my favorite stores has had it on sale lately for $25.99 and at that price I don't care if it isn't epic. 

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JasonMPyle

It's always interesting reading how states handle whiskey differently.  Here in southern Arkansas, I can find the baby Saz pretty easily...little overpriced at ~$35.  If I go to the Sam's Club across the border in Louisiana, they'll have 30-40 bottle at a time at a low price...about $22.

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kevinbrink

Yeah it really is a trip how different prices can be, in NJ Baby Saz is around fairly frequently ofte over $30 sometimes almost $40, I only buy when it is Sub $30.   I work in NY and all BT product prices are way out of control at least in NYC, but they typically have better prices on WT and Beam products. 

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