BWG Is doing our first giveaway promotion via Instagram. Click the link to enter to win this bottle of Russel’s Reserve Single Barrell Bourbon. Cheers and good luck!
Spring was shorter than usual this year in Western NY. Winter didn’t loosen its White Walker like clutch on our souls until the last week of April. Now a week into June, Summer is already in its full stampeding stride. Festivals, events, concerts, bbq’s and vacations are booking every weekend up well into September. After the worst winter of all time Spring was seemingly overlooked — but BWG most certainly didn’t overlook enjoying delicious libations as we dreamt of the warm summer to come…
Thomas H. Handy Rye (most simply referred to as “Handy” by whiskey enthusiasts) is part of the annually released Buffalo Trace Antique Collection (BTAC). BTAC whiskies consist of famous brands of the whiskey world including George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17 and the aforementioned Handy. This high-end rye whiskey is named after a New Orleans bartender who first used rye whiskey in the now famous Sazerac Cocktail. Handy is unfiltered and bottled at cask strength. The 2014 release clocks in at a monstrous 64.2% abv. Opposite of our last review of the entry-level Old Overholt Rye, Handy Rye is considered among the top echelon of American rye whiskies and is highly limited in distribution and availability in NY. Handy is incredibly vibrant on the nose. Sharp notes of vanilla spice, rye, and a bouquet of fresh herbs and spices. One of the best features of this whiskey is how well masked the high alcohol content is. As Handy sits in the glass it gains more and more complexity, the alcohol always a second fiddle to the flavor. On the palate we get some heat, but it compliments the spicy rye characteristics wonderfully. Handy’s finish is epically warm and long. It stays with you a good while, leaving pungent traces of herbal flavors that weave themselves back through the nose as you begin your next sip. This is an excellent whiskey, but it’s not obtained easily. Best local bet for a bottle of Handy is to get on as many liquor store call and waiting lists as you can and hope they get a good allotment. The 2015 Handy release should get to NY sometime between October and December. BWG rating: 94/100.
Couldn’t agree more with our brother-blog Buffalo Dandy. #LocalPride indeed.
Originally posted on Buffalo Dandy:
This weekend the Dandy family along with some friends (and most of Buffalo it seemed) headed downtown to enjoy some fun in the sun, and finally check out the Buffalo Canalside. To say we were amazed is an understatement. The area is incredible. Full of activities for people of all ages from bike rentals, paddle boats, remote controlled sailboats, or just enjoying the waterfront, the space is immaculate and shows a truly transformed Buffalo. This is perhaps, in my opinion, one of the best examples of the “New Buffalo” everyone has been talking about and we could not be more excited for not only ourselves but for future generations of Buffalonians like our son who will hopefully have this park to enjoy for years to come. With the warmer weather finally here, we encourage everyone to head down to Canalside and enjoy everything this amazing space has to offer.
Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey is one of the least expensive whiskies on the market. It has been around for over a century (literally) and due to its relative value, is the resident house rye at most cocktail bars. Old Overholt is part of the “Old Whiskey” trio, composed of itself, Old Crow and Old Gran-Dad. These entry level whiskies are owned by the Jim Beam Brands Company. Old Overholt is a simple whiskey with rich, spicy rye grain flavors on the nose and palate. It has a bit of sweet corn and cherrywood. It’s mild, wistfully smooth on the tongue and glides into medium-long finish. There’s absolutely nothing outstanding about this whiskey, almost to the point of being boring to the practiced whiskey drinker. But Old Overholt’s mildness and spiced flavors lend themselves very well to rye-centric cocktails — and its price point makes it an unbeatable beginner level foray into the American rye whiskey style. Available online and in store at Gates Circle Liquors for $20. BWG rating: 82/100.
BWG has been delving into rye whiskies lately and we’ve steadily been gaining an affinity for the spicier, more herbal characteristics of the style. Woodford Reserve is best known for bourbon but they have a mid-level rye whiskey that is recent to our market. Woodford Reserve Straight Rye is composed of 53% rye, 14% malted barley, and 33% corn. The nose starts us off with a more bourbon-like vanilla extract and oak. Some pleasant potpourri spices come through as the whiskey is allowed to open up. The palate gives lots of herbal, peppery tang — and there’s a lovely maple syrup, candied bacon flavor that fades into a long peppercorn finish. This is a solid, well structured whiskey. It’s not overly complex or unique, but it displays all the flavors one would look for in a nice rye. Locally available at Gates Circle Liquor for $45. BWG rating: 88/100.