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Sazerac Rye

Belgian strong ale on steroids

1 2587

@GeorgyReview by @Georgy

27th Sep 2017

0

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
    ~
  • Balance
    ~
  • Overall
    87

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This rye was recommended to me by a bartender who said I just had to try it, since it's very hard to come by in Russia. I'm very glad I did. I've been told that this is their standard rye for mixing, but ...it's so palatable on its own!! I would love to try their 18 yo.

NOSE: Belgian strong Christmas ale, floral honey, quadrupel beer type notes again, rye bread toast, straightforward, not too complex, but deliciously satisfying. 23/25

TASTE: chewy, oily, spicy honey, toffee, caramel. That's about it. 21/25

FINISH: medium, sweet, a little spicy. 20/25

BALANCE: 23/25

87/100

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25 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@Georgy, the best 1% or so of barrels of Sazerac Rye become Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, and are sold at barrel strength once a year.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor And are quite impressive and almost impossible to come by...

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, true dat! As they say, "Smoke 'em if you've got 'em." Thomas H. Handy makes for good smokin'.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@Georgy awesome review, I really dig your tasting notes. Haven't had this in forever but remember enjoying it. It's a good reminder to try it again. I had a really good High West Rye recently it has wet my thirst for the spice!

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Is that so? Maybe not the 2014. I never felt the urge to smoke.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, then "drink 'em if you've got 'em". It's a metaphor. "Smoke 'em if you've got 'em" is the kind of thing you hear in the army, when a short break is declared.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor so..... Drink em if you got em and you're not driving, and you're not watching the kids, and you're not on call and.....

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Victor Thanks for this one! While slowly and surly becoming an alcoholic, I also improve my English vocabulary on this site :)

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Georgy, surely after resisting that Russian 10-shots-of-vodka-at-a-time trap, you are not going to let sipping whisk(e)y turn you into an alcoholic!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

...No, No, No! I would never try to keep up with a Russian drinking vodka. I have no pretense whatsoever of that sort of machismo.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Georgy
Georgy commented

@Victor it’s only a joke. Speaking of doing shots of vodka, some Russians consist whisky to be a more posh alternative to vodka. Sometimes I see a guy buying a bottle of JW Red Lable ( or Chivas, which is considered to be an even more sophisticated blend) and you just know that that bottle will be finished that same night ) however, I don’t think that this approach is exclusive to Russian binge-drinkers

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor I find it easy to keep up with heavy drinkers. When I'm sober, I find I'm quicker and more agile than someone who has had 10 shots of vodka...

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Georgy, no doubt binge-drinking is a common phenomenon in many places. My neighbour Dr. Feng, who is originally from Beijing had one of his old People's Army buddies over visiting him. Dr. Feng bought his friend a 1.75 L "handle" literally of Dewar's White Label. The friend proceeded to polish off about 1.25 Litres of it all by himself in the next 48 hours.

When I heard the CEO of Sazerac Company speak in July about volume of world alcohol consumption, the Chinese were # 1. It was mostly unaged stuff, of course, for them. The Indians and Russians were right up there too, around the top of the list.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, LOL, I am going to keep that image of you in my mind, you physically outperforming the drunks! Wonderful! I think that I may now remember you as "quick and agile". Don't be surprised if I refer to you that way among our circle of friends the next time I see you! "Where's @Nozinan?" Reply: "I think that 'Ol Quick and Agile just went to the rest room."

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Just don't confuse Ol' quick and agile with Ol'Jas

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Ol' quick and agile has traded many comments with the newly-re-screen-name-handled Ol'Jas. In the thick and fast of it one could become legitimately confused at times.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor And I still do. All in good fun.

about one year ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@Victor as someone who lived in China, whisky accounts for very, very little of their consumption. It is almost always bai jiu (白酒)。 And I can definitely see them leading the world in consumption. I often had a bottle of bai jiu to myself at dinners and weddings...on a Tuesday afternoon. Everyday thing there. One reason I think SMW is so inexpensive there is that they are trying to break in to the market. The Chinese don't really sip anything though, everything is shots, so I'm not sure it will catch on. Hopefully not. Can you imagine over 1 billion people suddenly adding to the demand for whisky? That's a horror story.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Georgy I’ve seen how some of my fellow Canadians “shoot” whisky to satisfy some kind of cowboy fantasy. It makes me sad....until I see that they’re shooting Jim Beam or Jack Daniels. I forced my brother-in-law to slow down and taste Lot No.40 and he was impressed. I may have to pick up a bottle of Sazerac and continue his training.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Georgy, I think that it would be appropriate to refer to Sazerac Rye as the Buffalo Trace Distillery's standard rye, period. It is used for mixing by some, but it is usually not confined to "mixer-only" quality. I say "usually" because every distillery can have "off" batches of products. The first bottle of standard Sazerac Rye I bought left me quite underwhelmed until it took about 2 years of air time. My wife recently bought another bottle of it, about 7 years later. This is only our second bottle of Sazerac Rye, because we have many excellent bottles of rye in the house. This one is very good from the git-go, and much nicer than was the first bottle. I am guessing that your sample tasted much like our current bottle. Coming from Buffalo Trace, "Baby Saz" as it is sometimes called, should always be on the ball. But even BT sometimes slips.

By all means taste some Sazerac 18 yo Rye when you get the chance. It's hard to get your hands on that one, for sure, and it might be ridiculously expensive. Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye will be somewhat easier to find, though still not easy, and that one will give a real top-of-the-line rye experience.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@casualtorture from a cultural standpoint it's almost rude to sip your bai jiu.

I was "allowed" to sip it the first time I tried it in Xin Jiang but then was expected to do shots. I would prefer to assess the subtleties of it. I brought a couple of bottles back of the most popular Xina Jiang brand. Hoping to pen one with some Connosrs one day.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@casualtorture, increased demand from China for both Scotch and American whiskeys is one of the great imponderables for the industry planners. They have no reliable idea of whether Chinese demand will go up, stay the same, or go down. Every possibility from extreme whisky shortage to whisky glut can result from miscalculating/misguessing the Chinese demand variable. I think that the whisk(e)y planners have programmed in moderate increase in world demand and a small net increase in Chinese demand. That's just a guess, of course. The world whisk(e)y planners don't tell me their plans.

about one year ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor Because I’m incredibly selfish, I hope Chinese demand decreases dramatically. I’d love to see a whisky glut and (in my idealistic mind) a slashing of prices.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, you and me both.

A replay of 2000-2010 whisky conditions would be wonderful for whisky lovers. Is it likely? Probably not for a good while. And who would delight in the global financial depression which would be the most likely catalyst to speed it along?

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Agreed. What's good for whisky producers is good for the world...

about one year ago 0

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