From Sazerac’s website: The one and only New Orleans original, Sazerac Rye symbolizes the culture and history of the Big Easy. In the 19th century, industrious farmers and distillers in the heartland of the United States barreled and shipped their rye whiskeys down the great Mississippi River to the bustling, growing city of New Orleans. These spicy and assertive spirits fueled the whiskey culture of New Orleans and established the first American cocktail, The Sazerac.
I first got into whiskey by exploring bourbon. I tried rye whiskey but I didn’t care for some of the notes I was picking up. A friend of mine recommended I try Sazerac Rye. He thought this whiskey might be a great “gateway” rye. He was right. This review was a fun one to do and I couldn’t think of a better rye to review first, than Sazerac Rye!
Sazerac Rye is distilled by Buffalo Trace and is 90 proof. The mashbill is not disclosed but we do know that it is a low-rye, rye mashbill. Some in the whiskey community sometimes refer to this as a “barely legal” rye. Suggested retail for this bottle is $30 but you might be able to find it for cheaper in certain areas.
On the nose, I get rye spice and orange citrus. With this being a rye, those notes aren’t uncommon. At 90 proof, this whiskey is very approachable on the nose and allows you to really take time to smell, instead of being attacked by a strong ethanol note.
The orange/citrus note I got on the nose still comes through but not as strong. Black pepper and cinnamon. The orange/citrus note on the nose would be more as if someone were cutting into an orange. The palate orange/citrus note is more of an orange peel note. The orange peel then seems to transition into raisins. Very light palate, which isn’t surprising at 90 proof.
The finish is short with black pepper, raisins, and a little bit of honey. With the finish being short, it’s harder to pull some of the flavors out of it. Guess that just means I need to take another sip!
Whether someone is just getting into rye whiskey or someone enjoys bourbon but is looking to expand into ryes, this one would be a great start. It’s definitely an above average whiskey. If you find it at suggested retail or below, I think it’s worth it to buy a bottle and see if you like it! Cheers!