#1 Whiskey of the Year vs some lesser Rye…

Like everyone else I was a little surprised to see Crown Royal take the #1 Whiskey of the World title, but also decided that I should judge it for myself. I also thought it would be fun to try my first bottle of BTAC, that I traded for via bottle-spot. This Handy is 129.2 proof, which I believe is the 2011 bottling.

Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, made from 90% rye whiskey is a Blended Canadian Whiskey and is 90 proof. What’s the other 10%???  It has a nice honey yellow color to it. The Handy is a much richer and deeper color with copper tones.

The Crown had a very sweet nose to it: cotton candy, rock candy, honeysuckle, daffodils and a hint of graham crackers. Very little spice and almost no heat on the nose.

The Handy has very rich deep favors of butterscotch, Reese’s peanut butter cups, cracked pepper and yams.

The Crown has a very nice mouthfeel and the sweetness is confirmed on the palate. There is a nice surprise of a bit of heat which I didn’t think would emerge. The mid palate is a little weak but the finish is quite enjoyable.

The Handy is a big drink, decent amount of heat and big on flavor. The mouthfeel is great and the finish is long. The tannins are integrated and the whole experience is excellent.

Here’s the deal. These Ryes are worlds apart, but so are the prices. The Crown goes for about $30 while the Handy trades on the secondary market for $300. The crown is a good value whiskey but isn’t a great whiskey. The Handy is a great whiskey, but only to be consumed in special occasions, or in my case, tonight, Tuesday night.

Crown Royal Norther Harvest Rye 90/100
BTAC Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye 96.5/100




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