Thomas H. Handy Straight Rye Whiskey (2015)
Age: 6 Years
Recipe: Buffalo Trace’s rye mash (low rye)
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Price Paid (MSRP): N/A ($80)
Nose: Super fruity nose with dominant notes of candied orange, red apples, and cherries. Vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Palate: Medium mouth feel, oily, spice forward and peppery, more of the aforementioned fruits, vanilla, mild mint, molasses, and some heat. Drinks at its full proof.
Finish: Medium to long length, wintergreen, orange peel, ginger, coconut, a bit more heat and spice, moderately drying oak. Orange and menthol linger.
Rating: 86/100 – Excellent | Really quite exceptional
An exceptional rye that unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to its legendary reputation. Buffalo Trace is working wonders to get this much flavor and complexity out of a six year whiskey, but it’s not enough for me to rank this next to the my favorite pours. I do, however, really love this nose. That candied orange note is just wonderful and seems fairly unique to this bottle. The fruitiness in general is cranked up to 11 and does a great job of taking this rye in a different direction from that more traditional rye whiskey herbaceousness, while also avoiding feeling too bourbony. A trap that so many of these Kentucky ryes fall into. All in all, If you can find it at MSRP, or if you get lucky through a raffle, Thomas H. Handy is a great buy, but I struggle to find a reason to pay more when so many equal or superior barrel proof rye options are available these days.