April 7, 2014

Every Man's Dream: Bourbon and Laziness

First, A Confession

Your faithful hubby has a confession to make.  I'm lazy.  Criminally, pathologically lazy.  Watching the 10-minute loop of news stories on NY1 because the remote is too far away lazy.  Never, ever, in a million years leaving Manhattan lazy.

Since my laziness confines me to a couple of square blocks around my home and office, I rarely get to experience what the outer boroughs have to offer.  Like, for example, I hear all this amazing stuff about Brooklyn.

Brooklyn has better food than us:

Fette Sau BBQ
Brooklyn has better beards than us:

Professional Outer-Borough Beard Grower

And, perhaps most distressing, Brooklyn has better whiskey than us:

Whiskey Shop Brooklyn

Every Man's Dream: Bourbon and Laziness

Well something happened last year.  A joint opened up on Houston Street called The Brooklyneer.  Their entire raison d'ĂȘtre is to cater to geographically-challenged Manhattanites such as myself by bringing the best of Brooklyn here to our shores.

It only took me a little over a year to make it the two blocks from my office, but it was worth the effort.  I browsed their wares: chipotle carrots, sour pickles, cheese pretzels, and placed one order of each.  I perused the taps and settled on a pint of Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner.  There was even a fairly decent handlebar mustache in the audience.  (Perhaps they also import an authentic Brooklyn hipster or two for ambience?)

Then my eyes drifted up to the spirits.  Good line up of single malts, some other boutique liquors and mixers.  But then, smiling at me from the very top shelf, were five familiar brown bottles.  Dare I believe?  Was it some kind of vegan hallucination-induced hipster mirage?  I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself.  It was still there.  The entire Buffalo Trace Antique Collection!
Erin pours the BTAC

I decided on one of my favorite all-time bourbons, William Larue Weller, and then threw caution to the wind and paired it with a Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye.  The charming Erin did an aerial maneuver onto the bar to reach those bottles on the top top shelf  (note to management, get this lady a step stool!) and came back armed and dangerous with impossible whiskey.

And to say this stuff is impossible to find would be an understatement.  The one restaurant I've seen pouring WLW had marked it at a hellacious $100/glass.  (Considering it retails for $80/bottle, that's beyond the worst of highway robbery).  Even bourbon joints like Maysville and American Whiskey can't track down the BT Antiques.  And these were priced in the not relatively unreasonable neighborhood of $25.  That still may seem stratospheric to some of you for a single glass of whiskey, but trust me when I tell you that if you haven't tried it, it's worth the splurge.

William Larue Weller 

One of our all-time favorite bourbons, we did a review of the old Stitzel-Weller 19-year bottling and it knocked our socks off.  While this younger cousin of the original may lack a touch of Pappy's SW brilliance, it still packs a mighty punch.  Also, unlike the SW version, it comes in at cask strength.  The smoothness given the high ABV is absolutely stunning.  It's a dynamite sauce of molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, cocoa, butter, old wood and leather.  It's really just everything that bourbon should be.  The finish is tremendous with all the flavors coming together into a great balance of power and flavor.

Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye

The rye sister of WLW is the cask strength Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye.  It's younger still, rumored to be only six years old.  The smoothness and richness that BT has managed to find in this young a whiskey never ceases to amaze.  It's sweet for a rye, and crossing over into a lot of bourbon notes like caramel and nougat.  But it's definitely got the big spiciness of a rye with black pepper, mint, cinnamon, cloves, tobacco, and the signature rye crispness.

Bean Spilling

Well I guess I've spilled the beans.  Luckily Blogger allows me to post-date this post so I'll be spending the next few days clearing out their stocks of BTAC until this goes live.  After that it's every beast for himself!

Cheers/ Mr. Beast


  1. B&B on Houston usually has a few BTAC bottles hanging around, if not their barrel aged manhattan is pretty darn good

    1. Nice another BTAC SOHO option. Let's see how fast they both are cleaned out! :)

    2. First time I went in there I finished about 1/3 of a Saz 18 for $25.00..not a bad deal. Their burgers are also really good and this is coming from a fat kid that does not really like burgers

  2. I may stop in tonight. Have a trip over to the other side of town tonight with my wife over to Pouring Ribbons. May have to stop here afterwards.

  3. "The rye sister of WLW is the cask strength Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye. It's younger still, rumored to be only six years old." No rumor about it, it is definitely 6 years old. Straight from Buffalo Trace: http://imgur.com/a9brbEH

    1. Good point, though I wouldn't be surprised if it was older. The declared age is the minimum age after all (this is not a single barrel) and it tastes like there is some older stuff mixed in. I could well be wrong, wouldn't be the first time. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Nice find. Stumbled into a place in Berkely a few weeks ago while on vaca to sip on 2 oz pours of Stagg, Handy and Saz 18 for $30 each.

    1. I love finding this stuff in bars. $30 is steep for Handy, but Saz18 is really really hard to find...

    2. Just spent the past weekend in Dallas watching Ky. .in final four with my two youngest sons. While there we visited a nice bar and grill called The Standard Pour. Nice food and good selection of spirits. Got nice pours of Saz rye(BTAC).Handy and W Larue aWeller. Talking with manager/owner.....he gave my a generous pour of Elmer T Lee when told him could not find in Ky.....anyone visiting Dallas should definitely visit THE STANDARD POUR...you will not be disappointed