Earlier this year I wrote about the 2013 release of Sazerac 18 year old rye whiskey. There was so much depth of flavor and elegance, it easily became one of my favorite rye whiskies. Now, Buffalo Trace has release this year’s Sazerac 18 year old rye, along with the rest of their Antique Collection.
For the last few years, Sazerac 18 year old comes from the same well…er, vat of whiskey. This whiskey was distilled in 1985 and aged 18 years in barrels. When it came of age, it was taken out of barrels and moved into stainless steel vats, thus killing the aging process. Presumably, this should keep the whiskey the same or very close year to year. Some folks say oxidation is starting to play a part. I’m not sure – maybe I can compare the 2013 to the 2014 edition in a future post.
Buffalo Trace supplied a review sample. The smell is, to me, the most complex of all the Antique Collection and very similar to last year’s. I get oak, caramel, molasses, rye spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. In the glass, there’s a subtly spicy entry, followed by oak and caramel. Then there’s cinnamon and even a little mint. The finish is long and dry.
Sazerac 18 year old rye whiskey can be best described as elegant. It’s like wearing your favorite old jacket when the weather starts to cool. The flavors work together too well. The last few years this has been a standout whiskey, and this year is no exception. This one comes with my highest recommendation.