91

Score

Sazerac Rye, 18 year old, 45%

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

This whiskey has been getting intermittently softer and less vibrant since the 2005 release. Additionally, the 2009 release is slightly sweeter on the palate when compared to last year's release. Is this good or bad? That depends on how you like your rye whiskeys. Personally, I'd like to see more rye zing, but the pleasing, soothing nature (for a rye) in this new release makes up for it. Notes of toffee, cinnamon, creamy vanilla, date, mocha, bramble, glazed citrus, soft mint, and dusty spice (nutmeg, cocoa), with a dry, polished leather finish. I like it slightly better than last year's release, which I rated an 87. That was my least favorite vintage over the past five years. This new vintage is still not up to those classic Sazerac 18's bottled in the first half of this decade, which I consistently rated 95 and higher.