Whisky Reviews

Sazerac Rye and my pick of the fringe


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I’m really enjoying rye whiskey at the moment – much like pretty much everyone else, it would seem – and so was pleased when I was able to pick up a bottle of Sazerac Rye (though unfortunately it was merely the standard expression, and not the 25 year old 18 year old that scored a hefty 97.5 and taking the place as the world’s best whisk(e)y in Jim Murray’s 2009 Whisky Bible) at one of my local whisky shops. Regular readers may expect a bit of history before I start the review, but unfortunately I couldn’t really find anything interesting to write about Sazerac. You may think that would mean that the review will be nice and short – but I’m afraid you’re mistaken. I’ve chosen instead to give you my pick of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival (as I did last year).

I’ve been to quite a selection of shows this year, and I decided right at the start to give free shows more of chance as I normally opt for better known ones that you have to pay for. I’m quite happy I did, to be honest, because it gives you a completely different view of the fringe as a phenomenon: and an idea of what it might be like to be a new and/or struggling stand-up comedian (horrific). Anyway, my top 5 of the shows I’ve seen this year are…

  1. Axis of Awesome – I’ve seen them three years in a row now, and they’re as good as ever! ($19)
  2. Richard Herring (what is love anyway) – outstanding stand-up comedian, well worth the price of a ticket! ($20)
  3. PacoErhardt (5 step guide to being German) – quite possibly the best free show I have ever seen, absolutely hilarious! (free)
  4. Fosters Comedy Live –a random selection of stand-ups performing for about 10 minutes each, and I was lucky enough that AndiOsho was one of them! ($15)
  5. Attention Deficit Let’s Go Ride Bikes – a great Laughing Horse free show at Espionage (free)

There we have, my top 5 shows from this year’s fringe! If I were to recommend one not to see, it would have to be “Kaos Theory (Dangerous Science) which is categorized as “science, stand-up” but should really be a kid’s show – it’s free, but a complete waste of time.

Now! On to the whisky!  The nose is a pleasant mix of sweet and savory – I’m getting a touch of vanilla along with sweetness that I can’t quite put my finger on, and heaps and heaps of spices; you’ve got your cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, rye, allspice, as well as a handful of mixed ground nuts. Very nice indeed. Then there’s the palate, which again is both sweet and savory; the savory comes in the form of spices again – perhaps ginger, rye, pepper, cinnamon,  cloves – as well as a helping of Vegeta (which is a vegetable based spice mix thingy) and just a touch of oak. The sweetness is again towards the vanilla side of things, but there’s a bit of cherry in there as well, and a sort of dry cider undertone. Once it’s slipped over your tongue and is making its way towards your belly, there’s an aftertaste of minty oak and a bit of clove/cardamom. Yummalicious!

Color: Rich, golden caramel.

Nose: Spicy! Cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, rye, nuts, vanilla.

Palate: Ginger, rue, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, Vegeta, oak, mint.

About Whisky Critic

My name is Martin and I live in Scotland. I love fine things in life, such as gourmet food, travelling around the world and, last but not least, whisky (naturally, I’m partial to a tipple of whiskey or bourbon as well). I have tasted hundreds of whiskies during the recent years and I finally decided to share my experience.

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  1. Joe

    August 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    great review! however, it was the 18 year old (not the 25 year old – there isn’t one) that jim murray rated as the best whisky in the world.

  2. martin

    August 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Hi Joe,

    Oh, how embarrassing! You are, of course, absolutely correct – I don’t know where I got 25 from. I will edit the post straight away, cheers for pointing it out (and for your kind words)!

  3. Joe

    August 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    no problem, please keep the reviews coming! it’s a great whiskey isn’t it. it works incredibly well in an old fashioned with decanter bitters. the bitters compliment the clove/cardamom notes you picked up on. have you tried the pappy van winkle rye?

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