Price Point: $55 – $65 for 750 ML
Distiller: Buffalo Trace Distillery
The past two weeks, I have posted reviews from Sazerac’s Antique Collection. In case you missed it, I reviewed George T. Stagg first and Eagle Rare 17 Year Old second. Both are bourbons and very good bourbons at that.
Thomas H. Handy differs greatly. This is one of two rye whiskeys in the Antique Collection, with the other being the unmistakable Sazerac 18 Year Old Rye. This rye, however, is different than your average rye. Clearly the proof is a little intimidating, at 129 (64.5%). But, that doesn’t mean you only taste the alcohol. It actually packs that much more flavor, creating a nose, taste, and finish unlike any other.
Taking a whiff of Handy is overwhelming. It’s packed with all kinds of dessert scents; candy corn, apple pie, and cake frosting. Truly a nose for your sweet-tooth.
The taste is big, bold, and sweet! My dad has described this whiskey as “a taste of Christmas”. And by that, he means that, as the nose suggests, it’s full of holiday treats. I’m not a huge fan of rye whiskey, but this one doesn’t highlight the rye like many of its peers do.
The burn will stay with you for a bit, but fade along with the sweetness of the taste.
Rating & Recommendations
Thomas H. Handy is a great whiskey, but far too intense (in both proof and flavor) to be enjoyed more than a couple times a year. I give this rye whiskey an 82 out of 100.
It’s pretty tough drinking this stuff neat, but I think ice would freeze the flavor a bit. A splash of water cools the burn while keeping the flavors intact.
Stay tuned next week for my review of William Larue Weller Bourbon.