Classification: Straight Rye
Company: Sazerac Company
Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Release Date: October 2022
Age: 18 Years, 6 Months
MSRP: $99 (2022)
Rye grain | Oak | Light dried apple and apricot | Fresh leather | Hint of anise | Burnt caramel | Touch of toasted marshmallow | Gentle & nicely integrated
Summer fruits | Rye spice | Light aged oak | White peppercorn | Gentle vanilla syrup | Baking spice | Smattering of hard caramel candies | Well balanced
Light leather | Slight vanilla syrup | Rye spice | Peppercorn spice blend | Dry aged oak | Undulating heat | Lingering
After experiencing several years of ups and downs, the 2022 version of Sazerac 18 Year shows that the brand is back on track to starting to match its former glory years.
Since 2016, Sazerac 18 Year has been new-aged stock after moving away from the famed “steel tanked” years that preceded it. Since that time, the rye has been trying to find its footing, delivering just average to well above average pours, but never quite reaching the same level that the steel tanked batch had attained. Well, that has finally changed in 2022, as Sazerac 18 Rye is back on solid footing, delivering a pour that will definitely please its fan base.
The sip is full of light and sweet flavors along with well-defined classic aged rye characteristics. It starts with a nicely integrated nose that pulls forward lighter sweet notes that rest on a foundation of rye grain and oak. The palate is very well balanced and allows spicier notes to intermingle with sweeter notes, specifically a gentle vanilla syrup note that provides a welcome intrigue. The finish shows signs of its 18 years in oak, displaying dry aged oak notes that play off of its spice and heat quite nicely. I pulled out an bottle of a 2014 Sazerac 18 Year to compare it to, and while the 2022 version isn’t quite the same exceptional pour that those steel tanked years afforded, it comes pretty darn close. It’s safe to say that Sazerac 18 Year is back and that the future is bright for this line in the Antique Collection.