Released at a ready-to-vote age statement, this Sazerac rye delivers the peak age of the 2022 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. An assumed-to-be barely legal rye mash bill, this ultra-aged whiskey boasts a similar scarcity to the Eagle Rare 17 year. With very few bottles ever going into circulation, most people won't ever get to try this bottle. After reading my review below, are you going to be chasing this one?
Company on Label: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Low Rye Mash Bill (Assumed/Estimated at 51% rye)
Age: 18 years
Further identification: The 2022 release of Sazerac 18 touts the following stats:
Nose: Sweet buttercream frosting and lemon pudding jump out of the glass first. The creamy tones continue through subsequent inhales as cardamom, leather and toasted bread add nuance to an exceptionally delicate aroma. Touches of clay tell me this is indeed an ultra-aged whiskey. Verbena flowers, bergamot and lemongrass continue to build the sweet citrus backbone of this impossibly light nose-feel. Deep inhales from any depth refuse to cough up any proof, leaving just baked cornmeal and sweet florals. Let's have a sip to unlock some more volume.
Returning my nose to the glass reveals a deeper sweetness that now includes hints of cherry wood. Verdant forests come to mind as I continue to nose through this. Deep inhales late in the glass begin to produce some smoky tones. The empty glass smells of Hershey's chocolate milk powder, copper and honeysuckle.
Palate: My first sip brings forth a lemon lollipop before earthy clay and oodles of almond toffee stick to the tongue. The mouthfeel is creamy and easy, as if I were drinking a room temperature tea. Another sip brings forth butterscotch, lemon peel, caraway, and old, spent oak. A longer sip and swish amplifies hints of bubblegum. This pour unfortunately struggles to really deliver much volume, but it is unbelievably easy to drink. Late in the whisper of a linger, one can imagine having ate something minty long ago. Sipping near the bottom of the glass finally delivers something for me to chew on. Potent bubblegum, mint chocolate chip ice cream and a touch of rum sweetness come together solidly. My last sip is sweet as can be with nutmeg, cardamom, lemon frosting and vanilla cake. The finish is short & delicate highlighting simple scones and lemon bars covered in confectioners sugar.
TL;DR: Soft sipping, creamy rye that has some vintage characteristics that fail to impress
This year's release struggles to put forth as much depth and character as previous years. 2020 and some tanked 2010 both come to mind as significantly more memorable pours. Lovers of easy sipping whiskey and perhaps single malt Scotch whisky fans may find this one interesting for the subtle parallels.