2006 Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye. . . .

Sep 2003
Puerto Rico/NYC
132.7 proof.

Thass right dogg, don't be lookin' at me like that.

132.7 proof.

That's a DD40X in the horsepower department, for you railroad buffs.

Well, well, what can I say? What I can say is that just like the second release of this new idea in whiskey, a rye whiskey compatriot to the George T. Stagg bourbon, dare I say that, well, what I can say is . . .

nice try. VERY nice try. Sooooo, this was the first effort, huh?

It's not going to make my Top 5. The second release, the 134.8 proof 2007, sits in an empty bottle at No. 4 in my living room. I'm going to place this as the new No. 7 on my Top 10 Rye List, and FINALLY pushing the last of the sadly unworthy "Vintage" rye labels completely out of my Top 10.

I keep telling you it's slim pickings out there these days. Hell, it's slim pickings in my wallet, but I paid for this well back in to last year when I had money, and just got the delivery recently.

The new Bloofy Top 10 Rye List will be amended on the thread which houses the lists, and I'm telling you, the world of rye is really slim, especially if you're on a budget, but this new release, the Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye line appears to be a new hit. As for the flavor profile, okay, I haven't mentioned that yet, so let's take a crack at a coherent description.

I am beginning to "get" something about rye. And you all thought I was SO experienced, SO knowledgeable, SO high brow, huh? Well, with the world of rye gone a little haywire, and producers trying to come up with unique, palate grabbing releases during the past five years, I've come to understand that when it's young, pure rye tastes just plain weird.

At first sip, this initial release tastes like the "Baby Saz" uncut, a weird, really offensive, offputting taste, as though you went for a bagel and it tasted like that spot you hit sometimes where you think your friend Shmuel's son Mordechai took them out of the oven too soon, or his daughter Rachel didn't knead the dough thoroughly. I guess that's an acquired taste that even I, after almost a decade of being in to bourbon, will have to get used to.

And that's the point. Rye has made a big comeback. So, even Ye Olde Bloofadon has to get used to rye. And this one tastes a bit young at first. But when I hit the ever precious, oh so tasty fourth sip, the one that comes an hour and fifteen minutes after the pour, it's really beginning to smooth out, and a thick wash of clover and orange blossom honey cover that huge rye bite that hits your mouth upon entry. The lingering, raw, spicy grain taste that is so overpowering during the first two or three sips is lessening, and sweetness is flowing in, as well, beautiful balance. Some oaken flavors seep in from time to time, balancing the huge honey middle and finish on the latter sips, and I initially figured this to be eight, maybe nine years old. Some further research revealed that it is in fact eight years, and five months old.

By the time the sixth and final sip is taken, at the one hour, forty five minute mark after the initial pour, and one hour and twenty minutes after the first sip, there is no doubt that this is one fine whiskey. And, because the playing field is so bereft of worthy competitors, this one stacks up very well. By now any 2006 release bottle is also getting dusty, and a 2007 would be preferred. I haven't had, and may never have the 2008, but the Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye line overall seems to be a hit, and if it won't break the bank, I suggest you get any bottle with this name on it.