Sazerac Rye

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For a long time there were only two rye whiskies available on the local market here in Israel, Bulleit and Jim Beam Rye. I do quite like a good rye sometimes and I was really excited when this one became available here too. I’d heard much about it and was very keen to try it. This brand belongs to the Buffalo Trace distillery.

Aged 4 years*. 45%ABV. Mashbill: 51% rye, 39% corn and 10% malt.

*for lack of age statement. I’ve seen a few people referring to this as 6 years old, but no statement on the bottle or in any of BT’s marketing materials. 

Nose: Wine cake. Vanilla. Sandalwood. Rosewater. Bubblegum. Waxy fruits. Bitter oranges. Buttery candy. British style fudge. Woodspice.

Palate: Wet cardboard left to dry in the sun. Bit of a sweet alcohol note, like a sweet rum. Vanilla. Salty toffee. Caramel pudding. Then a huge hit of salt along with pepper and cinnamon. Bit of bitter chocolate on the swallow.

Finish: Long. Spicy, cinnamon and pepper. Bitter chocolate. Orange peel. Cardboard note comes back.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This was a very decent rye, not too complex and very spicy. I think I prefer MGP ryes, and at the local price Bulleit is better VFM, but that’s a matter of personal taste, so don’t write this one off until you’ve tried it. There’s also an 18 year old version (obviously not available here) which I’d love to try.

EDIT: I previously listed the age as 2 years for a lack of age statement, but some friends on reddit drew my attention to the fact that if a straight bourbon or rye carries no age statement it must be at least 4 years old. If it’s younger than that it must carry an age statement.

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