Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye 2016

THH 631.jpg

Thanks to /u/devoz for pouring me a sample.

I usually feel a bit sheepish about some of my reviews. They’re behind the times, to be honest. However when it comes to the rarer, harder to find stuff, I’m going to review them when I get the chance. Period.

Take, for instance, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye from 2016. Yes, this would have been more pertinent two years ago. However I’ll be dollars to donuts that few of the bottles were even opened, and people were going to scoop these up like babies made of chocolate and pure joy regardless of some dick joke making dude’s reviews.

So here you have it: The youngest of the BTAC (Buffalo Antique Trace Collection) at six years old, and a rye. At cask strength. Specially selected. With a name on it that I always have to look up. I think he invented the handjob.

Nope, founder of Sazerac company, which still has it’s DNA in Buffalo Trace. Hold back those rotten pieces of fruit to throw at me for now, I’m here to praise Cesar, not bury him.

Let’s see how this tastes (and if you should have camped out in the cold for it), shall we?

Price: A variety of organs from your body

Region: Kentucky

Abv: 63.1%

Colour: 5YR 5/10

Nose: Cinnamon, caramel sauce, nutmeg, orange, rye grain, daisies

Initial lovely spice and a strong, thick caramel sauce. That immediate smell you get when boiling sugar to make caramel and you add the whipped cream.

Water brings out orange and floral. If you’re here for the full spectrum of rye flavours, you’re in luck. If not… oh well?

Taste: Tons of butter, cloves, M&Ms, rye bread, honey butter, yoghurt raisin

Butter for days, aka my nickname in High School. Some spice, some rye, and some sweet aspects around it. While it starts out as butter, this really does remind me of older Scotches I’ve had recently, and one of my favourite things to eat, buttered bread with honey.

Really strong, memory-inducing notes, in other words. Big sweet flavours around the edges.

Finish: Orange rind, caramel, fruit bread, thyme, grape

For all of you orange fans out there (and no, I don’t mean hardcore Irish Protestants), this starts off with it. A bit bitter, somehow the rest of the dram expertly balances that with some stronger, sweeter notes.

Nice herbal and grape, though not as complex as the rest of the dram.

Conclusion: Nice amount of soft flavours. The entire thing is so well balanced. A great rye, hands down. This covers the floral, spice, strong yet balanced, and orange aspects that you look for. And all at once, in equal balance. Without being harsh.

My only issue was the finish, and that’s an issue of “it was only very good, not great, where’s my 100 dollar bills to wipe my face?” way. Quite the spectacular dram.

So if you have a tent and don’t mind waiting out in the cold, this was worth it. Now jump in your time machine and get on it. Or sell your kids for a chance to buy it at auction, whichever is easier.


Bourbon review #243, Kentucky review #155, Whiskey Network review #1592

3 thoughts on “Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye 2016

  1. Hi Tomodera,
    I’m with you on the great tasting of this rye.
    I’m with you on the rarity & price.
    But you may not be with me when I mention a vertical tasting of the 2017 Antique Collection at this years Whiskey Live Dublin!
    George T Stagg, Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17, Thomas H Handy and William Larue Weller.
    All lovely well balanced, complex & super tasty.
    Hard to pick a winner from this stable
    So I’m not going to!
    Each very enjoyable in their own way.
    1 hour of whiskey tasting heaven!
    And no body parts donated for the privilege!

    Liked by 1 person

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