Thomas Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

Last night I updated the look of with a new photograph of a glass of Sazerac rye whiskey leaning against my computer monitor. Sazerac is fantastic. Most liquor stores don’t carry it—if they stock any rye at all it’s the really cheap stuff—but the excellent Twin Liquors chain, born in Austin, has a few bottles scattered among different stores. (If you are in Austin and want to try Sazerac, try the Red River store or the Guadalupe store. A bottle is only about $30. Or stop by my house. Bring a lemon if you want the full cocktail with Pernod and bitters.)

I found out about Sazerac by accident. A bottle of Thomas Handy Sazerac caught my eye at Chuck Evans Liquor Outlet in Bowling Green, Kentucky, while I was passing through on a road trip early in 2008. It was my first barrel strength whiskey and didn’t know how lucky I was to find it there.

2007 Thomas Handy proof label

On subsequent road trips to Vermont I have always made my route through Bowling Green to look for more rare whiskeys. I befriended a clerk at a Louisville store when I called to ask if they had Thomas Handy and he explained that it was very rare and only available for a short time after its yearly release in October or November. He has provided me with many exquisite whiskeys (including a 15-year Pappy which I guard with care) but it was the clerk at Chuck Evans who remembered to call me when she received a shipment of Thomas Handy two weeks ago. Though I tried to concoct an excuse for a three-day road trip for my favorite rye, I had to pass it up.

Instead of driving to Kentucky, I drove to my local Twin Liquors and asked if they could get me a bottle or a case. Without much hope, they said they would put in a purchase order. I expected disappointment and settled for a bottle the standard Sazerac which was on hand at the store on Brodie Lane. I gave that bottle to a friend in San Antonio, so yesterday I bought two more bottles at the Red River store. That’s what I photographed last night. Imagine how surprised I felt this afternoon when my phone rang and it was the neighborhoord Twin Liquors calling about three bottles of Thomas Handy that had just arrived. Zoe and I sped over there and bought them all up!

Thomas Handy Sazerac comes in a case of three 750ml bottles. The distillery, Buffalo Trace, sent along a nice letter and fact sheet. Only 22 barrels were bottled! We just finished the 2007 bottle on returning from the store—it was hard to make it last this long—and we’ll be opening one bottle of the 2008 this evening. Life can be so good sometimes.

2 thoughts on “Thomas Handy Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey

  1. I haven’t had a genuine Sazerac cocktail in New Orleans, but I did make one in my kitchen with sugar, bitters, Pernod and a twist. It was terrific.

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