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As whisky love goes, I have been first and foremost a rye whiskey lover for the past couple of years. For this reason, I had great expectations of Sazerac Rye when I first bought a bottle of it two years ago. I liked the name. I liked the graceful bottle design. I liked the tales of the cocktail associated with the whiskey. But I found my bottle of "Baby Saz" just boring, repeatedly boring. The reason I have never previously done a review of this whiskey on Connosr is that, even though others are very enthusiastic about it, I have never much cared for it.
I have learned, though, that if a whiskey is quite popular and I don't like it at all, then there is a very good chance that either my bottle of it hasn't yet opened up to its full flavours, or, I got a bad bottle or a bottle from a bad batch. I still didn't like "Baby Saz" much at 18 months of my bottle open, and had only chipped away at 1/4 of the bottle over that time. Now, two years in, and maybe 4-6 months since I last sampled it, my bottle of Sazerac Rye Whiskey tastes more open in its flavours than ever before. Opening of flavours is common after bottles are opened and left for a time, but it is relatively rare for it to take so long for the full flavour opening to occur. The Sazerac Rye flavours always had focus, but they were way too restrained for me to enjoy-- until now. So here's the review at two years of the bottle opened. At 18 months or less this whiskey would have rated from me 74 pts.
Nose: this nose has really become good. Rich bright rye spices approach those of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, its slightly older hand- selected sibling. Sweet, spicy, and very delicious. There are good wood flavours here too.
Taste: lovely palatal greeting, crisp, well-defined, sweet, with plenty of spice, and the right amount of wood.
Finish: There is a slight bitter note on the finish, which I find discordant. Otherwise the finish is a good continuation of a good palate.
Balance: this bottle has come a long way in two years, with blossoming rye spice now marching to the beat of a disciplined drummer. Even though I am liking this bottle of Sazerac Rye as never before, I will stick with prefering to drink Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye or a good release of Sazerac 18 Rye in the future.