Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
After reviewing two unaged grain spirits (shudder), I had to step up my game a little. Maybe I stepped it up a bit too much...
A couple of months ago, our provincial liquor monopoly / retailer / dictator / gouger brought in some of the 2014 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection bottlings. Knowing of course that demand would far outstrip supply, they developed a lottery system whereby you win the chance to purchase the bottles (which I've never seen them do before). Luckily, I won one bottle, and two friends won two other bottles, which means....sample swap!!
The 2014 Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye was distilled in the spring of 2008, matured in 47 barrels for six years and three months, then bottled in the fall of 2014.
The colour is a deep reddish copper. On the nose we have those beautiful notes of rye spice, pepper, herbs, wet slate and cinnamon / cloves. Hints of vanilla and coconut. Becomes richer and fruitier with water. Very nice but not as robust as in previous bottlings.
Very mouth-drying on the palate, with more vanilla, Christmas spices (more nutmeg on the palate than on the nose) and stone fruits. Very big and robust but a little overpowering. Water smooths things out but retains the punch - but it's still a bit too much punch.
The finish is hot and dry, with herbaceous notes and overwhelming spice. This is a powerful rye but I think it needs a bit more subtlety and complexity, which I found was there in prior years. However, you still can't go wrong with the Handy. Delicious as always.