Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Jeff's Drinking Now ... The Darker Spirits

It’s cooling down which means I’m heading back towards the darker spirits. This time of year is also the time when Buffalo Trace does its annual release of the George T Stagg and Thomas Handy Rye. If you’ve missed out on them in the past, they’re here now for you to try.

This year’s Stagg has been aged just shy of 16 years. It’s bottled at barrel proof which clocks in at a hefty 128.2. The amazing thing is, the proof doesn't overshadow the taste. Even with the high proof, you’ll still get beautiful notes of vanilla, fudge, and tobacco. It’s okay to add an ice cube or two to the mix if you’d like. Either neat or on the rocks, this beauty is meant to be sipped.

Thomas H. Handy Rye is another fine example of what rye whiskey can be. This one has been aged for a little over 6 years. It packs a punch with its 128.4 proof, but like the George Stagg, you can still pick up great flavors. The toffee, clove and allspice still shine through. I would recommend a cube or two with this to open the spirit and temper the heat from the higher proof. Unlike the Stagg, it’s not been aged as to smooth out the edges. Then again, that’s why rye lovers enjoy!