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Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

This one was a pleasure, not only because of the legendary name and stunningly shaped bottle, but because we’re talking about a traditional American rye whiskey.

Sazerac Rye Whiskey symbolizes the tradition and history of New Orleans, dating back to the 1800’s. To a time when coffee houses and saloons were serving toddies made using rye whiskey and Peychaud’s bitters.

Especially a place called Sazerac Coffee House on Royal Street offered its customers this alcoholic beverage, which became known as the “Sazerac”, America’s first branded cocktail.

Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey is a product by Sazerac Company Inc. which was founded in the 1800’s after the success of the drink and the bar. The company is still headquartered in New Orleans, yet the whiskey is produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery. Kentucky.

They have released two variations. A very limited 18 year old expression and this ongoing no-age statement release, also known as the “Baby Saz”, which once was marketed as 6 year old. So the general guess is that this core range product is still 6 years old, or at least 4 years.

Believed to be made out of Buffalo Trace’s “low rye mash bill” (approx. 51% rye, 39% corn and 10% malted barley).

Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey Review

Bottle design is stunning – takes you straight to New Orleans doesn’t it?

Most recent awards, list taken from Buffalo Trace website:

  • 91 points – “Best Buy” – Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Feb
  • 2019 Silver Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2018 Silver Medal – New York International Spirits Competition
  • 2018 Silver Medal – North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition
  • 2018 Gold Medal – Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
  • 2018 Gold Medal – San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 2018 Trophy Finalist; “Great Value;” “Tried & True” – 94 points – Ultimate Spirits Challenge
  • 2018 Silver Medal – Denver International Spirits Competition
  • 2017 Gold Medal – 92 points – Beverage Testing Institute
  • 2017 Gold Medal – New York World Wine & Spirits Competition

Tasting Notes

Mash bill:
51% rye, 39% corn and 10% barley
New charred American oak
ABV: 45%
Colour: Amber
Nose: Orange zest and clove notes along with spices and rye. Hints of raisins and even some anise buried in the background.
Taste: Fairly gentle yet crispy, almost hard to tell it’s a rye expression. Rye notes slowly start to rise but orange marmalade and toffee dominate. Citrus notes almost fully take over, hints of spices.
Finish: Bit spicy, with a touch of licorice. Mild rye notes along with citrus still kicking in a bit.
Balance: Easy to drink, might be the easiest rye whiskey I’ve encountered. Well, Helsinki Rye whiskies of course competing well in that are too!

Sazerac Rye Scoring

Distillery: Buffalo Trace Region: Frankfort, Kentucky, USA

Whiskey gift ideas

For gift ideas, check out my articles regarding whiskey glasses. I’ve also made posts for various whiskey glass niches:

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

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