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Sazerac Rye - The Character of New Orleans

The one and only New Orleans original, Sazerac Rye symbolizes the culture and history of the Big Easy. In the 19th century, industrious farmers and distillers in the heartland of the United States barreled and shipped their rye whiskeys down the great Mississippi River to the bustling, growing city of New Orleans. These spicy and assertive spirits fueled the whiskey culture of New Orleans and established the first American cocktail, The Sazerac.

The Birth of the Sazerac Cocktail

The Sazerac was born in the French Quarter at a time when saloons, veiled as coffee houses, lined the streets of New Orleans. At the famed Sazerac Coffee House, the drink of choice became a libation of rye whiskey, absinthe and bitters and with that, the first branded cocktail, The Sazerac, was born. Our Sazerac Rye carries the unrestrained taste and character of New Orleans.

“Any crisper and the glass would shatter … a rare and valuable gem!”

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible

Sazerac Rye

The one and only New Orleans original. Sazerac Rye Whiskey symbolizes the tradition and history of New Orleans. Rye Whiskey dates back to the 1800s, around the time when saloons, veiled as Coffee Houses, began lining the streets of New Orleans. It was at the Sazerac Coffee House on Royal Street where local patrons were served toddies made with Rye Whiskey and Peychaud’s Bitters. The libation became known as the “Sazerac” and America’s first branded cocktail was born. This is the whiskey that started it all.

Tasting Notes

Close up of a vanilla plant flower


The fragrance is of clove, sweet vanilla, anise and pepper. 

Orange slice, top view with transparent background


The taste has subtle notes of candies, spice and crisp citrus.

licorice roots, on transparent background


The big finish is smooth with hints of licorice. 

  • Sazerac Rye is the way New Orleans does whiskey.  That means enjoying a glass at a downtown jazz club, while camping in the woods with friends, or in a winter cabin beside a warm fire. And if it's wedding season, what better gift for the groomsmen but a bottle of  Sazerac Rye.

  • The great thing about Sazerac Rye is that it works seamlessly with a Low Country boil or barbecue. Try a Sazerac Cocktail with smoked salmon and bitter cheeses.  But, fresh oysters with Sazerac Rye? Say no more.

  • Sazerac Rye is a part of the rare and exclusive Legacy de Forge collection.

    Learn more about Legacy de Forge


"Versatile, crisp, and an ideal match for cocktails that also include orange liqueur, as well as its namesake classic cocktail.  Light aromas include vanilla and a touch of juicy citrus.  Flavors run to bitter orange, dark chocolate and black tea, finishing with a pepper tingle.  Velvety feel, despite the brisk alcohol.  

Best Buy.  95 points 

Kara Newman Wine Enthusiast

Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old

The famed Sazerac Coffee House was founded in New Orleans in 1850 and soon became known as the home of “America’s First Cocktail,” the Sazerac. Using rye whiskey (in place of French brandy), a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters, and Herbsaint, what eventually became the official cocktail of New Orleans was created.  This straight rye has a mellow spice and dry sweetness that dances on the tongue, giving pure delight that is worthy of the Sazerac name.

Tasting Notes



Plenty of sweetness and spice in the nose: allspice, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and dried fruit.



The flavor is of burnt caramel, dried herbs, black pepper, and dill pickle.

Close up of a vanilla plant flower


The long, warm finish is preceded by notes of mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, vanilla, and lingering pepper.


"Hits the ball out of the park … again." 
    5 Stars/Highest Recommendation 
    F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal

“World Whiskey of the Year”
    Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible

"This is an amazing, truly unique whiskey. There is no rye whiskey on the market that is as old or perfectly balanced as this one. For all who can't get enough flavors and intensity in your whiskey, your search has ended " 
    Whisky Advocate rating: 95
    Whisky Advocate


Thomas H. Handy Sazerac

Named after the New Orleans bartender who first used rye whiskey in the Sazerac Cocktail, this uncut and unfiltered Straight Rye Whiskey is bottled directly from the barrel, just as it was over a century ago. Full of rich flavors, this authentic American rye whiskey is a symbol of the timeless history of New Orleans and the legacy of Thomas H. Handy. Made at our esteemed Buffalo Trace Distillery, Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible named it Rye of the Year and World Whiskey of the Year.

Tasting Notes

Rye Grain


The aromas are powerful, lush, and spicy with rye grain.



Flavors of toffee, fig cake, and candied fruit are followed by mint, cinnamon and clove.



The finish reveals subtle notes of allspice, coconut and nutmeg. Long and warm.


"Extraordinary whiskey by any measure." 
    Rating: 94.5 
    5 Stars/Highest Recommendation
    F. Paul Pacult Spirit Journal

“Sweet baby Jesus what is this? An extraordinary aromatic nose. The alcohol will sear your taste buds so add some ice. Spicy. Wild at heart” 
    David Broom


Winner of Over Ninety Awards

2019 Best Rye, 11 Years and Over

Jim Murray's Whisky Bible

2019 Silver Medal

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

2018 Silver Medal

New York International Spirits Competition

2018 Silver Medal

North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition

The Sazerac cocktail garnished with a lemon Peel

The Sazerac Cocktail®

What You'll Need

1 cube sugar

1½ ounces (45ml) Sazerac Rye Whiskey

¼ ounce Herbsaint

3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

lemon peel


Pack an Old-Fashioned glass with ice.

In a second Old-Fashioned glass place the sugar cube and
add the Peychaud’s Bitters to it, then crush the sugar cube.

Add the Sazerac Rye Whiskey to the second glass
containing the Peychaud’s Bitters and sugar.

Empty the ice from the first glass and coat the glass
with the Herbsaint, then discard the remaining Herbsaint.

Empty the whiskey/bitters/sugar mixture from the second glass
into the first glass and garnish with lemon peel.