Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey


63.6% Alc. By Vol

(127.2 Proof)

Product of Kentucky

I was luck that I got to try this. I was notified that it was at Rohrs in the Morris Inn Hotel on the Campus of Notre Dame. The bottle was not even opened yet. I was super excited I got to try it and be the first one to have a taste from the bottle.

Smell – It burned my nose and made me pull away. It was potent. My wife did the same. I found it difficult to pick up any scents due to the burn. I am sure I singed my nose hair. It was over from there. The ability to pick up any scent profiles was lost. This could be due to that the bottle was just opened and poured. It was something fierce.

Taste – I was expecting to get an intense burning sensation the moment it touched my mouth. I was waiting for the sharp bite of a high proof whiskey to come to life. The way it burned my nose I was preparing for the bite. Oh, I was wrong. There was no burn, there was no bite, or harshness about it. It had an amazing warming sensation. It was like there was a chemical reaction that cause the whiskey to go from chill room temperature to bath water warm in a split second once it touched my mouth. It was a crazy sensation. Once my wife tried it, I could see the surprised look on her face. She turned to me and said, “I feel like Khaleesi was my mother!” Needless to say, she enjoyed as much as I did. There was no alcohol or burn to it. It was very pleasant to drink but not to smell. I had a hard time picking up any flavors. I was able to pick up oak and a bit of spice. I could not pick up any vanilla or caramel. It had a bold flavor profile, extraordinarily strong but difficult to differentiate the flavors. Even though it was not one of the whiskeys that slapped me in the face with distinct flavor profiles it was still a very pleasant drink.

Color – It was a rich amber color with a tint of deep red.

Overall, it was an interesting experience. I do not suggest getting a big whiff of the it a first. Let it breath and take small sniffs and don’t shove you nose in the glass. Thomas H. Handy is probably one of the top whiskeys that I like due to the interesting sensation while drinking it. It was enjoyable and I highly recommend a try if you get the chance. It’s another one from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection that is super difficult to get. If you get the chance to buy it at retail snag a bottle. People go crazy over the Antique Collection and they usually get auctioned off like Pappy’s.

The tasting notes from the distiller – Powerful, lush, and boldly spicy. Flavors of toffee, fig cake, and candied fruit, followed by mint, cinnamon and clove. The finish ultimately reveals subtle notes of allspice, coconut and nutmeg. Long and warm.

None of which I was really able to pick up on but non the less it was good.

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