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Sazerac (6- to 7yo) Rye


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Name: Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

Proof: 90

Cost: $27.52 after sales tax in Middle Tennessee

Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

Bottle: 1890's-style 10-sided barrel with long, narrow neck and wooden-topped cork stopper. The white-lettered front label is stencil-screened onto the glass; the back label is clear stick-on. See picture below.

Appearance: Orange-amber hue, with uniform 'legs'.

Nose: Unique combination of cinnamon tinged with orange-y citrus. Some vanilla slides in, but the chief sensations alternate between the Red Hots and citrus. Hints of a summer garden, but herbs, not flowers.

Taste: Orange marmalade caramels. Light, but pleasant, heat, cinnamony-fresh. Young leather at the end. In that order, from front to back. To mix the flavors, just roll it around in your mouth. Mouthwash-fresh.

Finish: A definite presence, but with medium heat and length. Very clean and freshening.

Conclusions: Wow! I like this better than I realized the first couple of times I poured it. Both the aromas and flavors are very well-balanced and, while not muscular and forward, are nonetheless pleasing and integrated. This is a whiskey with 'flow', a sense of progression like a passenger train -- you are going to get to your destination from the time you board, but the scenery enjoyably changes en route.

I dropped a Maraschino cherry and its pre-mixed quasi-Manhattan juice in the last ounce or so, and it makes a noticably spicy cocktail. It holds up to the added sweetness quite well, providing a pleasing contrast. I suspect the label's claim that "This rye whiskey is the perfect choice to make the Sazerac Cocktail, America's First Cocktail" is something more than mere marketing.

Well done again, Buffalo Trace! toast.gif

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I know a lot of you think Gary is crazy, with his vatting experiments and all grin.gif, but I was perhaps one of his earliest converts after an entertaining and instructive discussion in the Bardstown Gazebo one evening.

Well, Gillmanizing was reborn in my glass again tonight on a whim, after I'd finished a 'formal' tasting of the new, young Sazerac rye (see above) -- to which I decided to add an equal part of the new Bernheim Original straight wheat. Call it the ultimate "Un-bourbon" -- two straights that don't take a turn for the worse.

Again, I ask -- as I did after vatting some Van Winkle rye with the Bernheim earlier -- 'Is this what Woodford Reserve was trying for with the 4-grain bourbon?'. Maybe the trick is to not worry about it being straight -- because, as with my earlier rye-wheat vatting, this is very good, I think. I don't think that about the WR Four-Grain.

If somebody has some Four-Grain to spare for a taste-off, I'm inviting Gary to be the judge of the "Distill or Vat? 4-Grain Shootout" at April's Sampler Gazebo.

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Tim, as with all your reviews, I was simply mesmerized. I mean, you put me there. I can see it. I can taste it. Now I can't wait to have some in my glass. Thanks!!! toast.gif

Ken

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What about Corner Creek?

Many here believe that the reference to four grains on the Corner Creek bottling is the whimsy of some overzealous and -- well, to put it bluntly -- ignorant copywriter who didn't know any better, and that it's not actually four-grain.

Even if it does, indeed, include all four grains -- wheat, rye, corn and barley -- the corn is at least 51%, making it straight bourbon, and the wheat and rye bourbons were most likely 'married' after unbarreling, not distilled together, as was the Woodford Reserve effort.

The referenced rye-wheat, 'single-glass' vatting(s) of mine above would not be bourbon, since neither the rye nor the wheat were.

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Tim,

I found your post much more enjoyable than any liquor while I'm in my present condition. (Sniffle, snort. Ha-a-a-ack! Groan. Wheeze. Stagger. Ker-plop.)

I'll look for the new Saz the next time I happen to be in a sufficiently civilized locale.

Just one question, though. I want to be clear about your use of imagery, as follows:

a sense of progression like a passenger train

Would that be a passenger train gliding nonchalantly across the Great Plains or one charging headlong into a darkened tunnel? grin.gif

Yours truly,

Dave Morefield

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...Just one question, though. I want to be clear about your use of imagery, as follows:

a sense of progression like a passenger train

Would that be a passenger train gliding nonchalantly across the Great Plains or one charging headlong into a darkened tunnel? grin.gif

Dave, that's that change of scenery I'm talking about -- all that rye grass and grain as you pass over the Plains, and that dark tunnel once you've drunk too much! icon_pidu.gif

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If I saw that bottle, empty lying beside the tracks I would have to think it had been there for 90 years. Good call resurrecting that glass BT. I always enjoy seeing the old bottles in that style at the Getz.

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If I saw that bottle, empty lying beside the tracks I would have to think it had been there for 90 years. Good call resurrecting that glass BT. I always enjoy seeing the old bottles in that style at the Getz.

Bobby,

when I first read your thread, all this talk of trains made me read your post in time with Johnny Cash' "Folsom Prison Blues":

If I saw that bottle,

Empty beside the tracks

I would have to think it had been there for

90 years.

Good call resurrecting that glass of BT.

And I still see those old bottles in that style at the Getz.

Hey, it coulda happened that way. It has that lonesome, wistful quality of a good country song, except for the last line which could use some help. Still, though, songwriters usually have to craft their verbage to get it just right, but you just riffed it off Kerouac-style.

Roger - slugged a shot in Reno, I think it was a rye - Hodges

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Great notes! I told you folks that when I tasted Sazerac Rye 6 year old, I liked it much better than our 18 year. Stil, I wish I could write like you!

kEN

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CrispyCritter

I'm finishing up my second pour of the "Junior" Sazerac right now, and the "opened bottle effect" seems to have taken hold - a bit of harshness that I noticed on my first pour seems to have gone away.

IMO, you really can't go wrong with either the young or the old version...

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Damn, I still haven't seen any in Louisville yet...I try to hit at least one store everyday checking for it...

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Opened bottle effect eh.... I've experienced this with Wild Turky Rare Breed lately. When I first opened it I was unimpressed. Now the last two times that I've sampled it have been wonderful to say the least.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tim, what does the back label look like. I was wondering because while looking through the TTB database(I had never realized that the print view actually showed the form and labels before), I noticed that one of the applications for the Saz Jr was wrong. The label says 90proof and the application says 90 proof but the application is for type 112 which is a BIB rye.

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Looks like the label of the type 112 app.

As I was getting ready to head out of town to do some bottle hunting in surrounding areas, I happend to stop by my local package store and there sits the bottles I had been hunting all over Louisville for-Hooray for Louisiana! woohoo.gif

Took four of the Saz Jr, and while I was in Louisville the store had done a little restocking...with L'burg ORVW! Grabbed up a pair of the 10/90 and called it a day without ever bothering to use all of the pretty maps I had printed out for the hunt.

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Interesting....an application for a BIB Rye...Hmmmmmmm

Does this possibly mean that BT will do a "BOTTLED IN BOND" version of Sazerac Rye in the near future...

Must not one get a label first?....One must!

Curious Dog

Just think....a 100 proof rye....watch out Rittenhouse!

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Virus_Of_Life

I really wish I could find this out here in SoCal, does anyone have any idea if we'll see it out here? I am pretty sure I already know the answer if there were only 1000 or so bottled... I did see a bottle on Ebay... for about 300!!! smiley_acbt.gif

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There were 3,600 bottles, of which the first 1,000 were numbered and reserved/rewarded to BT employees and 'VIPS', according to Ken.

I picked up 2 more today, leaving around 10 on the shelf. The storeowner said he'd sold any to only one other customer. I assured him he needn't worry, since I'd have money again someday. smirk.gif

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