Buffalo Trace Antique Ryes

Let’s continue the tasting of the Buffalo Trace 2011 Antique Collection with the two rye whiskeys: Thomas H. Handy Sazerac and Sazerac 18 Year Old.

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

6 years old; 128.6 proof

Aroma: Vanilla, hints of cedar; not much alcohol burn considering the proof

Taste: The alcohol kicks in here – this rye is fiery from the spicy start to the very dry finish, with the flat tang of rye and a note of ginger

Verdict: Buffalo Trace’s tasting notes describe this rye as “Christmas cake and allspice,” but I didn’t get that much richness; to me it was more like rye bread than cake, with a flat, slightly sour quality. 

Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

90 proof

Aroma: Spice, vanilla, raisins

Taste: Spices up front (anise) and in the long, dry finish (cloves); middle notes of raisins and currants and a hint of sweetness

Verdict: Here’s that cake. This warm, spicy rye has an almost chewy quality and a nice, long finish. It reminded me of the spice cake my grandmother made at Christmas, loaded with raisins and with that same lingering taste of cinammon and cloves. Very nice.

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