That is one pretty bottle, isn’t it? Reminds you of the cut glass and etched lettering of those old decanters you find in antique stores or on Those Pre-Pro Whiskey Men. It really is nice looking. It’d look nice on your shelf, looking old and sophisticated.
But what if I told you, you couldn’t have this? That there were going to be places and times when this wouldn’t be available. If you were smart, you’d probably grab a Rittenhouse Rye or maybe a Bulliet. If you were a human on the internet, you’d probably run all around the city you live in and a few of the surrounding ones to go hunting for one.
Well it’s true, it can be hard to find.
WAIT! Don’t go running out to the car or bus yet! Because here is the thing. It depends on where you live and when you are looking. In Minnesota, at this particular point in time, it’s on most store shelves. I recently heard from a guy in Florida that said it was hard to find there. So wait a bit, or look online. Do NOT pay exorbitant sums for this just because it is rare where you live right now. Because, and I’m going to level with you, it’s a good rye but it isn’t a great-ohmygod-I-need-to-get-it-right-now rye.
Here’s a little info. Sazerac Rye is a rye whiskey is produced by, you might have guessed it, the Sazerac Company. It is a non-age stated bottling. (Though if you look on the Sazerac website it’s still listed as six years. Which, while not legally binding, might be close. It is labeled as Straight and doesn’t have an age statement so it’s at least four.) The internet tells me that it is a barely legal rye with a mashbill including 51% rye or thereabouts.
Purchase info: $32.99 at Ace Spirits, Hopkins, MN
Details: 45% ABV
Nose: Soapy. Mint. Dried Grass. Cedar underneath.
Mouth: Thin Mouthfeel. Black pepper. Cedar. Mint. Banana candy
Finish: More Cedar and banana that fade to a lingering bitterness
Thoughts: Weird. Banana. This is passable when neat in a Glencairn glass. OK, nothing more. In a rocks glass, I find it better. Still just good, not great. I’ve used it to make a very tasty Sazerac cocktail. Which though it was spicier than with Rittenhouse, wasn’t actually better. If this were around $25 like it was when I first started buying it, I’d recommend it. But after creeping up to about $35, I’m not sure that you wouldn’t be just as happy grabbing one of the more readily available ryes out there. Maybe try one of those Canadian 100% Rye ones. I like it, but not enough to miss it if I can't get it.