Sazerac Rye, 18 year old, 45%

Price: $65.00 Issue: Spring 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

Deep and complex, yet still quite lovely for an 18 year old whisky. Not as a lush and sweet as its younger sibling (Thomas H.Handy), showing more oak, dried spice, and a certain degree of sophistication. Toffee and molasses are quickly matched and then dominated by notes of brittle mint, vanilla, cinnamon, dried fruit, and black raspberry leading to a long, earthy, resinous, polished leather finish. The last great vintage of Sazerac Rye 18 year old was 2005, which was impeccably balanced and still displayed great youthful qualities. The three vintages since then, including this one, are similar in flavor profile and, while still very nice whiskeys, show just a tad too much oak and lethargy to reach the classic status of the 2005 release.