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Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

Beans and... Milk of Magnesia?!?

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@OJKReview by @OJK

8th Jan 2012


Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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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.

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Victor commented

@OJK, is this a review of the recent 2011 release Sazerac 18, or of another year's release? I did two reviews of the 2010 release, and one of the 2011 release. To me they are quite different, both in character and in quality.

12 years ago 0

OJK commented

Hi @Victor - this is a review for the 2011 release, apologies should have stated it in the title. I have a bottle of the 2009 release as well and found the 2009 to be slightly more interesting than this 2011 release. Both top quality rye though.

12 years ago 0

Victor commented

@OJK, thank you for the clarification. I haven't had a taste of the 2009 Sazerac 18 release yet unfortunately, but comparing the 2010 to the 2011, I consider the 2010 Sazerac 18 to be a bit of an "off" year. It is the only Sazerac Antique Collection whiskey which I have sampled that I found to be merely very good, and not fantastic. (Eagle Rare 2010 release bourbon started out for me 'very good' but became fantastic after the bottle was open for a few months.)

12 years ago 0