Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner
5th Jan 2011
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Tasting Notes by dbk
Sazerac Rye is a straight rye whiskey produced by the ever-prolific Buffalo Trace distillery, makers of such great whiskeys as George T. Stagg, W. L. Weller, Eagle Rare, and, of course, Buffalo Trace. Affectionately, if patronizingly, known as “Baby Saz” and “Saz Jr.”, Sazerac Rye lives in the shadow of its older sibling, Sazerac Rye 18 year-old, Jim Murray’s darling pick for World Whisky of the year in the 2010 edition of his Whisky Bible. Having tasted Baby Saz many a night, I think it’s high time we cast some light on it and see how it shines.
The nose is of the floral, bready variety of rye. It is layered with notes of honey, apricots, butterscotch, and apple cider. With time, it develops into dry hay and a gentle bedding of brown sugar. Certain moments distinctly remind me of 7-Up.
The palate is again floral and bready; in fact, it is quite reminiscent of gingerbread. It is malty, spicy, crisp and dry, with sweet touches of apricot, honey, and butterscotch.
Some claim that Baby Saz is good, but isn’t especially complex. I think otherwise: it is balanced, nuanced, and sophisticated. And, importantly, Sazerac Rye holds its own.