I think everyone knows my love for Buffalo Trace distillery knows no bounds. In my opinion, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (released every fall) is the best whiskey available to this world. Today I am enjoying Sazerac 18, the only aged rye in the BTAC (Thomas H Handy is the other rye, but is a 6 year, barrel proof expression).
18 years old, distilled spring 1985, stored in metal vats.
Large/Small/Finish Grain: Minnesota rye, corn, barley.
Color: Deep Amber
Nose: Sugar cookies and caramel fudge must be jammed into the bottom of my glass because this nose is sweet! Mint floats out of the glass along with rye spice, leather, and a very healthy dose of aged oak.
Taste: Starts with an extremely refreshing mint. Cherries and vanilla cream touch the tip of my tongue to create a rich, complex sweetness. Molasses, allspice, and rye transition onto the mid palate and are followed by rolled tobacco and aged oak.
Finish: Long and dry with mint, spice, and oak.
Conclusion: 18 years in the wood makes for a very smooth and mellow whiskey. At 90 proof, I was pleasantly surprised at how chewy and thick the mouthfeel was. Every aspect of this whiskey is a win; unfortunately for all of us, its incredibly difficult to find.
My Rating: A (Great)