A brand new image surfaced on social media today, and it sparked immense hype for a potential, new single barrel Buffalo Trace, which may be offered to stores and restaurants in the near future. Sazerac Rye, AKA “Baby Saz,” is the younger and lower proof brother of the current rye offerings in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, which include Thomas H. Handy and Sazerac Rye 18 Year. Buffalo Trace currently offers numerous single barrel programs for several of their expressions, including Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Eagle Rare, Weller Antique 107, and the recent addition of E.H. Taylor Single Barrel. Could Single Barrel Sazerac Rye be added to this lineup?
Given the recent uptick in production of rye whiskies, and their growing popularity as a category, I am not surprised to see this as a potential option for consumers. According to the label, it appears that samples provided from the distillery will be chosen at the same proof they will be bottled at, which is 45% ABV. Other distilleries, such as Old Forester, offer their Single Barrel Select samples at barrel strength for the customer to choose. The barrels are then brought down to their final proof at the distillery before bottling.
What really intrigues me about this new single barrel offering, is the potential age ranges of the barrels being selected. The standard Sazerac Rye purchased off the shelf is slated as a 6 year whiskey, although there is no formal age statement on the bottle. Will we be able to find older barrels in the wild now? Will this be an option? I also wonder if this says something about Buffalo Trace’s current stock of whiskey. Buffalo Trace is four years into a 1.2 billion dollar expansion where they are massively increasing their production capacity and number of rickhouses. I am wondering if they are finally able to meet demand, and have enough juice to offer a new program like this. I, historically, could not find Baby Saz in the wild, but over the past 18 months I have probably seen it nine or ten times.
Given my recent infatuation with rye whiskey, I, for one, am excited about the possibility of a Sazerac Rye store pick. If previous practice is any indication, stores usually receive their barrel any time from three to six months after their selection is chosen. If that holds true, expect to see these popping up in late summer or early winter of 2020.
Are all of you excited for this new single barrel offering?
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