Sazerac Rye 18yo Fall 2009 edition

So then – Jim Murray’s 2010 World Whisky of the Year – the Sazerac Rye (fall 2008 edition) has been replaced by the all-new new fall 2009 edition, and it’s an absolute belter.

As far as we know, at the time of writing this post, we’re the only retailer in the UK to be offering this for sale – and there are only limited quantities available.

The delivery arrived at 09:30, and before the pallet was even off the lorry, a bottle had been snaffled, opened, and was in the process of being tasted. Here are the results:

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old Fall 2009 Edition 45%

Nose: Huge and powerful sweet rye on the initial nosing gives way to cinnamon toasted brioche, leather, and more than a hint of maraschino cherry. A really huge hit of oak follows, somewhat vinous with it – we were reminded of a barrique aged chardonnay. There’s something slightly medicinal lurking somewhere – a hint of iodine perhaps? It’s definitely not out of place amongst the other huge aromas given off by this whiskey though. A slight suggestion of coconut right at the tail end.

Palate: An initial astringency is surprising after the sweetness of the nose, but it soon becomes clear what the game is here, as under-ripe banana that arrived first is elbowed out of the way by its caramelized, almost barbequed banana based bigger brother (enough ´b’s. in there anyone?)

Finish: As the complexity continues to build, we get hints of cola nut, and a touch of hazelnut latte. The spiciness continues right to the end, and the finish seems to go on for ever.

Overall: We’ve had a lot of ryes over the years at Master of Malt, but this is a different beastie entirely. We wouldn’t go as far as to call this whiskey austere, but it’s definitely a grown-up dram. If you’ve not had the pleasure of sampling an American whiskey of this age (and very few of us have), this is a very, very good place to start.

The Chaps at Master of Malt.