The Southside Whisky Club  

Sazerac Rye (~6yo) | 45.0% | USA
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Meet Deets
Meet #9   |   09/04/11   |   Hosted by Phil
As part of a world whisky extravaganza, we ventured into America via a Louisiana rye whisky - we even had enough for a couple of Sazerac cocktails!
Other bottles sampled:
#20 Redbreast 12yo | SSWC review 9b
#21 Nikka 'From The Barrel' | SSWC review 9c
#22 Elements Ar2 | SSWC review 9d
There's certainly some sweetness here, from fizzy jerks to cherries and raisins via flat coke, candyfloss and buttered, sweet popcorn. There's something about the frontier here too - finely-chopped wood shavings? - and some weirdness creeping in with driftwood, newly-mown Kentucky hay. Keeping up with the childish sweets, there's also a hint of plastic toys and gum boots and somewhat of a leather-tanning theme going on. You can't deny the whiff of spice either, particularly black pepper, and melancholic medicinal thoughts, with nail polish remover, white spirit and cough syrup.
The sweetness on the nose transforms somewhat to a more savoury affair: sea salt, pine resin, salty bacon and hot chips with vinegar, next to a roadside veg stall: celeriac and traffic fumes. The excitement of this meal in the mouth is offset with some bitterness: there's chalk and talcum powder compound in there but also a crumbly, cloying, dry goats cheese - all set in a beautiful alpine glen with parma violets and popping candy in place of the Spring bloom. There's still some fiery spice, but mostly after the event: burnt bark, burnt rubber with cinnamon and cardamom. There's a new edge on the mouth as well, some menthol, a hit of rosewater and finally, a squeeze of lime.

  Sazerac Rye is named after Sazerac de Forge et Fils Cognac.
Finish & Comments
The length seems somewhat hard to pin down, somewhere between being inside the 6-yard box to lost in the opposition half - most agree it's medium. The aftertaste brings a fair bit of salt, with much more fruit than before: melon, sour apples, lemon and aniseed. A skirmish of bitterness also features, like a paracetamol stuck at the back of your throat. Finally, there's that consistent sweetness: dark treacle, sherbet sweets and liquorice.
~£32 (70cl)
Useful Links
Differences between Rye Whiskey and Bourbon   |
Wikipedia: Sazerac Cocktail   |
Sazerac Cocktail 'How To' Video   |
We've always scored out of 10 in our group (see number in red box, below), with scores regularly given across that spectrum. The value out of 100 below is adjusted to the scale most commonly used for whisky reviews, to allow for better comparison.

73 / 100

Average score

Detailed scores (out of 10)
Adam: 8
Hamish: 6.8
Huw: 6
Iain: 6
Jamie: 5
Laura: 5
Martin: 6.1
Phil: 6.9
Russell: 7.3
Saskia: 7
Will: 4
Tasting Game Points (out of 6)
Adam: 1
Hamish: 1
Huw: 2
Iain: 2.75
Jamie: 3.5
Laura: 0.5
Martin: 1
Phil: N/A
Russell: 1
Saskia: 1.5
Will: 0.5


[ for other thoughts on whisky and more in-depth activities of the group, check out whisky on meiotic ]