Sazerac "Baby Saz" Rye Whiskey

Sazerac ("Baby Saz") Rye, as its nickname implies, is a younger version of the 18-year-old Buffalo Trace Antique Collection Sazerac Rye whiskey. Some writers believe that the Saz 18 was actually distilled at Bernheim in the Spring of 1985 and that Baby Saz is simply a diluted Thomas H. Handy rye. That's likely- it's a 6-year-old, 90 proof, 51% rye whiskey.

In the mid-2000's, Buffalo Trace moved its stock of the 18-year-old Sazerac Rye into a massive 13,500 gallon stainless steel tank to prevent further aging.  The tank was so enormous, that the company later moved the whiskey into three smaller vats to prevent unnecessary evaporation and excessive exposure to air.  

As a result of the unusual move, each Fall, Buffalo Trace is able to release the 18-year old-rye, and every year the fact sheet declares that it was distilled in the Spring of 1985.  Since the BTAC releases are so limited (4,011 bottles released in 2015) and so aggressively  sought after, Buffalo Trace began releasing the 6-year-old Sazerac Rye.  While it doesn't carry the extremely complex and delicious nose and profile of the BTAC ryes, it's a solid whiskey and a must buy at an MSRP below $40, if you can find it!

Sazerac "Baby Saz" Rye Whiskey

Buffalo Trace Distillery
90 proof
$40 at Frugal MacDoogal's in Fort Mill, SC

Color: Bright bronze.

Nose: Grainy at first with rye spice and corn.  With air time, I get allspice, mint, and Christmastime aromas of clove and orange peel.

Tasting notes:  So smooth.  Caramel, vanilla, citrus, honey, and mint.  It's thick and pleasant- not overly spicy thanks to the "barely rye" mash bill.  Not complex; very easy to drink.

Overall: B+.  Baby Saz is a sipper.  It is probably too smooth and sweet for most experienced rye drinkers or those used to MGPI whiskeys, but that's to be expected considering the 51% rye/39% corn mash bill and a 90 proof.  It's nothing to lose sleep over if you can't find it, but if you do, I highly recommend it.

Peer Reviews:

Whiskey Obsessive

Sour Mash Manifesto