Sazerac 18, 45%, 2013 edition

If you’re anything of a bourbon nut, you know to be on the lookout for the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. Well, if you have money that is. The five whiskies that come out every autumn are far from cheap and, especially when/if they come to Europe, very rare as well.

I’ve done a bottle-share with these bottles a couple of years ago, but since then the prices have gone up even more to about € 140 per bottle. That, times five, makes for a big chunk out of my annual budget and something I’m not willing to sacrifice.

What also doesn’t help is the knowledge that in the good ol’ US of A these bottles are about half as expensive. That somehow doesn’t sit well with me.

Now, the Sazerac. Sazerac is ‘the’ cocktail from New Orleans, it is also a company that is Buffalo Trace’s owner. They named it after the cocktail since they are trying to capitalize on the generally positive and prohibition like associations with it. Good choice. It’s easy to remember and at least there’s two tasty drinks with that same name!

Sazerac 18

Sazerac 18

Except for some rye spices I mostly get cocoa and banana at first. Grilled banana too. After a couple of minutes the spices increase and give the scent of cinnamon and oak. Some hazelnut and cloves.

Sweet, spicy and dry, like a lot of rye whiskies. It’s pretty sharp with black pepper and pink peppercorns. The sweetness has quite some influence and becomes rather oaky.

The finish is sweet and gently spicy too. The spices are king here and there is not that much else going on.

While everything about this whiskey is great, I can’t shake the feeling that I liked the previous bottle of this that I had better. The nose on this one is stunning as ever but I think the palate has somewhat less depth.

Still, while € 140 is a shitload of money to spend on booze, there aren’t many rye whiskies around that can top this, if any. The gentleness works very well and makes this a rather approachable dram. There is enough depth left to give the more experienced drinker something to discover for a long time.

Sazerac 18, 45%, 2013 edition. Sold out.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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