2011 Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Barrel Proof Release 128.6 Proof (64.3%) Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
If the whiskey world has anything that comes close to the kind of hysteria certain wines generate in mature adults, this is it: Five limited-release whiskeys of various ages, recipes and proofs simply known as 'The Antique Collection'. Introduced more than a decade ago these whiskeys have become a cult favourite and since 2000 have garnered a swathe of awards from such notable publications as Whisky Advocate Magazine, Spirit Journal and Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
It is rare to find these outside the U.S., but we make an effort to secure some every year for those Australian enthusisasts looking for the most incendinary whisky sensations on the planet. For those new to them, tasting the latest collection will be an achingly intense, over the top, high octane experience some whiskey lovers may never repeat. To others they will be a revelation - a compelling combination of heady aroma, extraordinary weight and overwhelming complexity that puts these American distillates into a category of their own.
Understandably, $300 / bottle will be beyond the pail for many. Yet on a world scale they remain relative bargains for spirits that have been universally acclaimed as some of the world's best, year in year out. If you need reassuring, we suggest you invest in a bottle of Eagle Rare 10 YO to find out just what Buffalo Trace are capable of at the entry level. Get together with a friend if need be, share a bottle (these are exceptionally high proof), take the plunge from there but be warned - these whiskies will be destroyers of complacency for regular American devotees - but then, life is like that.
“Every year the excitement and anticipation of these whiskeys grows,” says Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “We’re excited as well to finally be able to share them, and look forward to seeing what critics and consumers alike think about them.”
Other Reviews: (97.5 Points) - (n24) delicate, elegant, playful, though just a little subdued by Handy Standards. That said, on hand warming by placing your fingers around this sexy beauty, the cloves eventually come off...if you know what i mean...; (t24.5) a dazzling delivery which makes a lie of the nose. This is enormous, again with the cloves making the big entrance, though this time right in the middle of a chocolate tart; (f24.5) cloves coming off, tarts...sounds abit like a flavour orgy...and it is! The standard liquorice and hickory are there in number, the rye and crisp Demerara sugars send out their resounding cracks, like a leather ball off a willow bat; finally some trailing vanilla frames the picture; (b24.5) a real slow burner. Takes abit of time on the nose to leave the launch pad. But once off the ground it just doesn’t stop travelling. Superb! - Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2013