Sazerac's Legacy and Releases

Jun 2, 2024

Are you a fan of spice? No, not the synthetic cannabinoid, you street thug! You know, spice! And not the Spice Girls or the Spice Network raunchy TV you snuck a peak at while at your uncle's. I'm talking spice, like Hot Ones interview kinda spice. For those in the whiskey world, the spice lovers enjoy some fine ryes. If you're not a spice lover, perhaps you'll dig the Sazerac White X Cognac. Now back to the rye.

German and Scottish immigrants discovered that rye grain thrived in the New World and used that as their primary whiskey-making ingredient. From the likes of those early immigrants arose some well-known rye-producing distilleries: Old Overholt, Michter's and more.

Sazerac Rye's Intro

Sazerac Rye has a rich history that is deeply intertwined with the origins of American whiskey and cocktail culture. Its story begins in the early 19th century in New Orleans, a city known for its vibrant and eclectic mix of cultures. The Sazerac cocktail, one of the earliest known American cocktails, was named after the Sazerac de Forge et Fils brandy used in its original recipe. However, as American rye whiskey became more popular, it replaced brandy in the cocktail, giving rise to what we now know as the Sazerac Rye.

The Sazerac Company, which produces Sazerac Rye, has its roots in a small French Quarter saloon purchased by John Schiller in 1850. The saloon was later acquired by Thomas H. Handy, who began using American rye whiskey in the Sazerac cocktail. Handy's contributions to the cocktail's popularity cemented the connection between Sazerac Rye and the cocktail that shares its name. Over time, the Sazerac Company grew and expanded, eventually becoming one of the largest spirits companies in the United States.

Notable Sazerac Releases

Sazerac Rye whiskey itself has seen several notable releases. The standard Sazerac Rye, often referred to as "Baby Saz," is aged for around six years and offers a spicy, robust flavor profile with notes of vanilla, clove, and citrus. It is a favorite among bartenders and whiskey enthusiasts alike for its versatility in cocktails and its approachable yet complex taste.

Sazerac de Forge is a historic cognac brand with deep roots dating back to the early 19th century. Named after the Sazerac de Forge et Fils house of cognac, this brand is famously linked to the creation of the original Sazerac cocktail in New Orleans, where it was initially used as the base spirit. Over time, Sazerac de Forge evolved from a brandy staple to a celebrated legacy in the spirits world, synonymous with rich history and refined quality.

Sazerac White X Cognac by Quavo is a modern collaboration between the Sazerac Company and hip-hop artist Quavo. This unique expression blends the rich heritage of Sazerac with Quavo's contemporary influence, resulting in a smooth, premium cognac with a fresh twist. This partnership not only introduces a new generation to the world of cognac but also showcases an innovative approach to spirit crafting, blending tradition with modernity.

The 2023 release of Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old is a highly sought-after addition to the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, known for its exceptional depth, complexity, and rich flavors of dark chocolate, toffee, and leather. Similarly, the 2023 release of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey offers a bold, uncut, and unfiltered experience, delivering intense spice and robust character. Both of these rare releases exemplify the pinnacle of rye whiskey craftsmanship, making them prized collectibles for enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Overall, Sazerac Rye stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of American rye whiskey. Its historical significance, combined with its continued excellence in production, ensures that it remains a cornerstone in both the whiskey world and cocktail culture. Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the foundation of a classic Sazerac cocktail, Sazerac Rye continues to capture the spirit of New Orleans and the rich heritage of American whiskey.