Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 7th Release 2012

Consistency At The Top

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



17th Jun 2014

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

  • Nose: 25
  • Taste: 23
  • Finish: 24
  • Balance: 24

Tasting Notes by Victor

I own a lot of bottles of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey. Why? Because it's my favourite standard-bottling whiskey in the world. It is a good thing I do own a few bottles, though, because publicity by Jim Murray has made Thomas Handy Rye difficult to obtain, even in the US. Just a couple of years ago, bottles of Handy could be found on store shelves where I live for most of the year. No more

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is one of the five whiskeys in the Sazerac Company's Buffalo Trace Distillery's Antique Collection, along with George T. Stagg bourbon, William Larue Weller (wheated) bourbon, Sazerac 18 yo Rye, and Eagle Rare 17 yo bourbon. The Antique collection is released in the Fall of each year. Sometimes Eagle Rare 17, Sazerac 18, and George T. Stagg might also be released in the Spring of the year

I have tasted 2009 Handy, and own 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Handy. So why have I only reviewed one of these previously, the 2010 release? Mostly because Thomas Handy Rye has been getting a lot of attention elsewhere, especially from Jim Murray. A lot of people already know about Handy now, so it is less important for me to spread the word. So far I haven't even bothered to review the Handy 2011 release, which Mr. Murray named 2013 World Whisky of the Year. There is nothing wrong with the 2011 release, but I actually like the 2010 release a little better

The reviewed bottle has been open for 6 months and is 90% full

Nose: a perfect rye-whiskey nose, intense, thick, many layers of spice and fruity flavours in the standard rye grain palette of flavours: cinnamon-cassia, cloves, nutmeg, black pepper, black raspberries, and plums. There is plenty of sweetness and vanilla from the oak, which balances the predominant emphasis of DRY which is typical of US rye whiskeys

Palate: very good translation of nose flavours to the mouth, though the flavours are not quite as perfect as in the nose

Finish: long and intense, with all the fabulous flavours remaining

Balance: outstanding balance of the parts; the 2012 release is another outstanding release of Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye. This tastes great with water also, and you will get some very interesting effects and variations from adding some, but 66.2% abv is just too low for me to consider adding water, except for this review


Whisky details


Thomas H. Handy


Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 7th Release 2012




Amontillado Sherry



Frost wrote:

@Victor - thank you for an informative review. 66.2% sounds like a beast !

29 June 2014 03:01

Astroke wrote:

I traded my lottery won Saz 18 for the 2012 Handy and he threw in a 2012 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. Now that I have had a few drams I would have made this trade without the OFBB. This is the finest Whiskey I have ever had and that includes the the 2015 WLW which is also spectacular.

04 January 2016 00:27

Victor wrote:

@Astroke, thanks for joining in. I am always happy to meet another lover of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye.

04 January 2016 02:29

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