Sazerac 18 (2015)

sazerac 18 2015 2.jpg

Thanks to /u/xile_ for the sample

Hey, look, it’s /u/TOModera , reviewing a rye. Everyone is happy to see this, right?

Recently I was asked to stop reviewing bourbon, as I don’t enjoy it. And it’s at times like that where one can only do one thing: Laugh. Laugh like someone is tickling your feet and ain’t stopping anytime soon.

As a reminder, I review everything and anything. I personally believe that every person can find a release from a distillery that they will like. Some will differ, some will stick with what they know, and that’s that.

So the idea of only reviewing what one likes is silly. It leads to stagnation. If you’re like that, then you probably won’t be reviewing long. You’ll find what you like, buy a case or two, and be happy. For the rest of us, who have writing problems, we’ll keep trying different things.

That brings me to Sazerac 18 (2015). This is the last of the vatted, fabled juice from Buffalo Trace Distillery.

What’s the vatted juice? Well it’s what comes out after you open the ark of the covenant and it turns out it’s filled with rye.

That’s a lie.

This is the last of the pre-aged Sazerac 18 that has consistently been part of BTAC for previous releases. After this batch, any subsequent Sazerac 18 come from the warehouse, like some sort of animal.

Or mineral. I was bad at science.

Otherwise, this is a basic rye, aged to a wonderfully old age. So let’s see how I, someone who (according to rumors) hates bourbon feel about it, shall we?

sazerac 18 2015 1.jpg

Price: $130 CAD if you can win the lottery pick from the LCBO once a year

Region: Kentucky

Abv: 45%

Colour: 2.5YR 4/10

Nose: Cherry blossoms, buttered scones, cereal, lime cheesecake, Skittle vodka, ginger beer

Wow. Really powerful floral aspects. Can pick out exactly each flavour on the nose. It’s very fruity. Good amount of butter. Great cereal, which then gets out of the way for some complex flavours.

I’ve been learning (slowly) that the key to bourbons is the strong flavours that make sense. This has those. But it also has a unique side as well, and complex flavours.

That’s a good thing.

Taste: Ginger beer, charred wood, graham cracker, bison grass vodka, banoffee muffin

Spicy. Has some aspects that are quite unique. Lots of grass. The alcohol is there, but works. Almost a dry sweet element to it.

Took a long time on this one. Quite tasty. More dry than I typically enjoy, but it makes it work.

Finish: Caramel, flan, Moscow mule, mushroom risotto, cream of wheat, peach cobbler

There’s been a consistent ginger beer element throughout that I’m really digging. Each time it’s different. The nose had light ginger notes, the taste the dry heat of ginger beer, and then the finish had that really good Moscow mule note.

Oh, it’s also a finish that lasts longer than a coked up porn star (that’s long) and as complex as quantum physics in Swahili (that’s really complex).

Conclusion: Ah man, if I hated this, I could have angered more man-children who feel it’s up to them to safeguard M’bourbon’s honour. Damn.

I didn’t.

Did I love this more than any other bourbon ever? No. While it was extremely well put together, had distinct, unique flavours, and had some complexity, it wasn’t the most complex I’ve had. That’s not to say it’s bad. More so it’s quite tasty, and I’m sad this is the last of the vatted juice.

This whole thing has an element of spice that morphs as you drink it. It’s earthy in the right way, floral in the best ways, and overall a joy to drink. It could be more complex, but hey, that’s just my opinion.

I’m hoping they’ll be able to make something close to this again.

89/100

Bourbon review #179, Kentucky review #114, Whiskey Network reviews #955

1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die review #320

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