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Nose: Much like the William Larue Weller, we're welcomed by an explosion of banana bread. Of course this is rye rather than bourbon, however the Buffalo Trace distillery characteristics still come through, as do those of the rye - spearmint, cauliflower, white chocolate, candle wax and even iodine covered edamame beans.
Taste: The beans are still there on the palate, although this time of the standard green variety, sprinkled with crushed almonds. Plenty of nougat and marzipan, nicely counter-balanced by the cigar smoke and iodine. There's even an element of oaky milk-of-magnesia coming from somewhere. A complex and rewarding palate if given the time to express itself.
Finish: The eucalyptus and strong herbal spice element from the rye really shines through here, with underneath it a generous layer of fruit, with oranges and bitter peaches the most prominent. Aniseed, leather and oak, as well as that rogue milk-of-magnesia all complete this very contained and highly impressive finish.
Balance: This may be a slightly less delicate and sophisticated version of Sazerac than the highly lauded Thomas H Handy variety, however this is nonetheless highly characterful and elegant stuff, and perhaps even benefits from a slightly more bitter profile that the Thomas H Handy, thus giving it its own identity. Comparison apart, this is top notch rye and worth every penny.