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Old Forester Rye vs Sazerac Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Old Forester Rye vs Sazerac Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which Rye Whiskey is better for You!

Old Forester 100 Proof Rye

NoseRye spice, spearmint, cinnamon
PalateRye spice, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, caramel
FinishMedium length, anise, clove, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toRittenhouse Rye, Bulleit Rye

I like the Old Forester 100 Rye as it carries 65% of rye in the mash providing a still moderate amount of rye while bottle at 100 proof (50% ABV) providing pleasant warmth to make the Old Fashioned more punchy.

The nose hits with rye spice at first, followed by spearmint and cinnamon.

It has a nice peppery bite at first, offering notes of cinnamon, clove and baking spices. There is vanilla and caramel sweetness coming behind the spice blast along a licorice note.

The finish is a bit sharp and fairly warm yet pleasant, rich in rye spice, oak and more cinnamon which is present from start to finish.

The Old Forester has some complexity, along some nice punchy flavors. It’s a bit hot but a drop of water is enough to make it sweeter and easier to drink.

In summary, the Old Forester 100 Proof Rye offers good value for the money, this is a pour full of character, moderately spicy, fairly warm and fully flavored.

It makes a good pour for an experienced aficionado capable of handling some bold flavors.

This is one the best rye whiskeys for mixing and my favorite to make Manhattans and Old Fashioneds.

There are a few facts worth knowing about this whiskey:

  • Launched in 2019 with the first new mash bill in 150 years!
  • The mash is comprised of 65% rye, 20% malted barley, and 15% corn.
  • The Old Forester does not have an age statement.
  • Earned Gold at the 2020 International Wine & Spirits Competition.
  • Crafted at the Brown–Forman distillery in Shively, Kentucky.
  • Brown-Forman owns other brands such as Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve and Herradura Tequila.

Sazerac Rye

NoseVanilla, cherry, mint
PalateVanilla, mint, anise, oak, baking spice
FinishShort, oak, mint
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toTempleton Rye, Bulleit Rye

The Sazerac Rye makes a good replacement to the Buffalo Trace as they are both made at the same distillery with the Sazerac carrying more rye in the mash.

This makes the Sazerac Rye taste like a spicy version of the Buffalo Trace.

The nose starts off with some sweet hints of vanilla, cherry and the minty notes you expect to find in a Rye whiskey.

On the palate the sweet notes continue but then the pepper and spice notes start to take over. The mouthfeel is thin, but not in an unpleasant way, almost silky.

The only let down is the finish which ends quickly leaving oak and mint behind.

It’s sweet and spicy, as you’d expect from a pleasant rye. It doesn’t shock nor wow, but it’s very solid and quite easy to sip.

Overall, the Sazerac Rye is a nice and easy sipping and affordable rye whiskey, easier on the spice than most rye whiskeys as this only carries around 51% rye in the mash.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Sazerac Rye:

  • The Sazerac Rye does not longer carry an age statement but is matured for 6 years.
  • Produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Frankfort, KY.
  • Sazerac is named after the Sazerac Coffee House on Royal Street in New Orleans.
  • The Sazerac company is a privately-owned American company headquartered in Louisiana.

Old Forester Rye vs Sazerac Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Old Forester 100 Proof Rye$25
Sazerac Rye$20

Old Forester vs Sazerac Rye: Which is better?

Sazerac Rye is a safer bet

WhiskeyOld Forester RyeSazerac Rye
  • The Sazerac pretty much tastes like a spicy Buffalo Trace making it very easy to sip. It does not have any troubling note and has little to no burn.
  • Personally, I prefer the Old Forester which is fairly warm, full of character, with some nice bold flavors.
  • It drinks nicely neat although a drop of water is enough to bring-up some sweetness.
  • The Old Forester makes a good mixer as its warmth and punchy flavors will add a kick to your favorite homemade cocktail.

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