Monday, September 21, 2015

Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

- $35
- 90 Proof
- NAS (6 years)

Two posts in a row are dedicated to ryes, here. Perhaps I've just been in a mood for a little more spice lately. This time I grabbed the bottle of Sazerac Rye (or "Baby Saz" as it is frequently called) for one main reason -- despite the positive reviews that it consistently receives, I've never actually had it before. That needed to change.

While visiting Portland last week, I grabbed the bottle to share with my brother-in-law over the course of what would be a few very difficult days. Sazerac was there, though, to provide some momentary enjoyment during an otherwise somber visit.

The first thing I noticed with this rye was not the flavor, but just how smooth this rye is. Ryes typically come with a bit of a bite, which is why they are not for everyone. Sazerac is one of the most drinkable ryes I've ever tried, though.

The burn is minimal from the start, which allows Sazerac to be a more mellow rye compared to others. The fact that it is mellow, though, does not make it a lesser rye by any means. In fact, I believe quite the opposite is true.

This is a sweeter rye, strong in cherry and cinnamon flavors (reminding me somewhat of cherry pie). The sweetness is enhanced a bit by a strong brown sugar flavor that creeps in a few seconds later.

It still retains its traditional rye spice, providing a decent enough kick after the up-front sweetness. It is not as strong of a kick as other ryes, but it is still there, and there is no questioning that this is a traditional rye whiskey.

It's just done a bit differently, and, in my opinion, it's done better. I should have grabbed a bottle or four of this a long time ago. Sazerac has immediately found a place among my favorites, and is probably only second to the Willett 8-Year that I reviewed a few months back.

Grade: A

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