First up for review from the 2017 BTAC is the Sazerac 18 which is the big brother of one of my favorite whiskeys the Sazerac Rye aka Baby Saz. That lovely little drop is around 6 years old so this has been in the barrel 3 times as long. The thing I love about Sazerac Rye is its distinct taste, it’s one of those whiskeys I know for sure I could pick out easily at a blind tasting. It has a rich almost sickly sweetness too it that I just love.
About the Distillery
Back in the days of the Wild West, when pioneers and explorers opened new frontiers, some followed an old buffalo trail that led them to the Kentucky River’s banks. The town of Frankfort was born, the home of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and destined to become Kentucky’s capital city.
Claiming to be the oldest operating distillery in the U.S., a fact attested to by the Guinness Book of Records, Buffalo Trace is still a family-owned business. The original distillery was built in 1812. In 1886, they installed America’s first climate-controlled warehouse dedicated to the aging of whisky.
The original distillery building was burnt to the ground in 1882. During recent renovations, its foundations were discovered and can now be seen by visitors touring the site.
Apart from its celebrated range of exceptional bourbons, Buffalo Trace is also famous for being allowed to remain operational during the era of Prohibition for medicinal purposes.
As you probably know Buffalo Trace releases their Antique Collection every year and it is one of the most hotly anticipated events on the American whiskey calendar. This is one of 5 whiskeys that are a part of it.
But let’s forget the others for now and take a look at my review of the Sazerac 18:
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Age: 18 Years
Figs, plums, cinnamon, nutmeg. Some wood and rye. Slight scent of a musty cellar.
Rye spice, creamy toffee, crème brulee and some clove. Cinder toffee and ginger. Sweet dominates the plater but it is not as sickly sweet as the baby Saz but sweet enough and with more flavors coming in to play. It’s delicious.
Peppery rye, white pepper and hints of toffee. Not the greatest finish and lets it down a bit.
An excellent drink. I know some people didn’t think too much of this, the general consensus seemed to be that it was a slight improvement on the 2016 offering but nothing to write home about. I also think some people just prefer the higher proof big boys of the BTAC range such as the George T Stagg and the WL Weller.
I don’t agree, I think it’s tremendous and offers a uniqueness in its creamy sweetness, similar to the standard Sazerac Rye. The crème Brulee and creamy toffee dominate which I love.
Word of advice, you absolutely must leave this to rest in the glass for 5 minutes or so to get the true flavors, it changes drastically. Sweet and spicy in perfect harmony, if I could find a bottle of it at retail pricing I would snap it up, unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen.
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Sazerac 18 Rating