Rye On Rye X: Sazerac Cocktail
Boulevard Brewing Co.

Rye On Rye X: Sazerac CocktailRye On Rye X: Sazerac Cocktail
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Rye Beer
4.11 | pDev: 8.76%
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Rye On Rye X: Sazerac CocktailRye On Rye X: Sazerac Cocktail
Notes: For the second Rye-on-Rye X release, we drew inspiration from the famous New Orleans cocktail, the Sazerac. The official recipe is composed of rye whiskey, absinthe or Herbsaint, a sugar cube and bitters all garnished with a lemon peel. To translate this classic cocktail into a beer, we brewed batches of the base rye beer that received spice additions mimicking bitters as well as lemon peel during the boil. The resulting wort was fermented with our house Scottish ale yeast before being aged in freshly emptied Templeton Rye barrels.
Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 165 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of sultah

4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BBD of June 2018, did not get around to drinking it until today (1/2/2020).

Good amount of carbonation, good smooth head. Cocktail spices are much much milder than I remember from the bottle I drank fresh. Much better in my opinion. Just a little bit of bitter finish from the spices.

Jan 03, 2020
Photo of Danieljm
Danieljm from Missouri

4.44/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer has best by date of 2020. Had one bottle in 2017 when it first came out. This one was cellared till Nov 2019.
Beer poured dark with a nice off white head which sticks around. The smell is malts, sweetness with a hit of oak. The taste follows the aroma, with a definite rye which does not overpower the hits of the spices and lemon. Much smoother, balanced beer than my earlier notes indicate, less boozy. This one gets better with age, wish I had some additional bottles.

Nov 10, 2019
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from long-standing notes. Poured from the 750 mL bottle into a J. Wakefield OG teku glass. 2016 bottling, consumed 10/3/16.

A: Muddy brown - hazy to turbid. Forms a 1 1/2 finger light tan head that fades quickly. A low amount of visible carbonation.

S: Whiskey and sweet malts, toffee and light oaken vanilla.

T: Whiskey, sweet bready malts, and toffee with bits of caramel. Light spices (allspice? I'm not sure), vanilla, and light citrus flavors at the swallow. Malt sweetness, whiskey, and dry lemon in the hang. The flavors overall seem muddied – not unpleasant, but difficult to pull out individual characteristics in particular.

M: A fairly light bodied overall - I'm not sure what is "average" for a Rye Beer, I suppose. It's not watery though. A good amount of carbonation sensation, and the alcohol seems balanced with the other flavors.

O: Nothing offensive, but also nothing to make it memorable. Deciding whether the flavors so close-jointed are "well-integrated" or "muddled" is up to the drinker, I guess. It's not bad, but I don't think likely to have a repeat performance with me.

Aug 16, 2019
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a wide stemless wine glass: color is light amber, head is off white with fine bubbles - really looks like a mixed whiskey drink with some carbonation.

Smell is rye whiskey, light malt, limited booziness, some citrus pith and bitter spice. Quite aromatic and enticing, might be the highlight of this experience.

Taste evolves from start to finish and from cool to warm, great flavors present with malt originating notes of caramel, fig, toffee, brown sugar; evolving notes of spice and bitter lemon; then deepening flavors of herbs, vanilla, and whiskey based flavors.

Mouthfeel is full, sweet, bitter, and then drying. Really has the presence of a whiskey drink with just a hint of carbonation I really think the extended aging smooths out this type of presentation.

Overall this is an excellent concept and well executed. Really creates the presentation and flavor of a slightly bitter whiskey drink.

Feb 17, 2019
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sjrider from California

4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky dark amber/mahogany color with khaki head leaving foamy lacing. About a month past the best by date. Nose is rich wood, spice and toasty malt with a bit of booze. Taste follows with more boozy barrel ,spice and malt. Similar to a Belgian dubbel . Finishes with an almost creamy feel and a definite bit of alcohol creep. Really tasty.

Aug 12, 2018
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Sound_Explorer from Washington

4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A bottle aged until a smidge past its BBD in June 2018, now July 2018. Cork pops out with a nice carb to it. Pours a copy of a belgian dubbel, a dark mahogany red with a good amount of carb still in it. The aroma is at first sweet, not overly so, rye and a tinge of alcohol cutting through. Well and truly a Sazerac in there. Taste is again, similar to a dubbel in that the malt is on top and dominant to start but relinquishes to the rye, sweet, boozy bits as well that were behind it. Again, a great imitation of the cocktail overall that I quite liked. Whiskey isn't overly in your face and I'm not sure if that was the aging or if it was always subdued.

Jul 15, 2018
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a two finger off white creamy head. Heavy soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, rye and light whiskey.

T - The taste is caramel, toffee, candied lemon peel, spicey rye, whiskey and oak.

M - Medium body with low carbonation carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - This is a nice Rye on Rye variant. Taste is like a mellow sazerac cocktail.

Mar 18, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a dark-ish brown, with a very small head and basically no lacing.

This one smells like caramel, booze, rye whiskey, spice, citrus, and oak.

This is pretty tasty. There’s lots of barrel, with a subtle booziness, and a mild spice and citrus character. There’s lots of oak, caramel, toasted bread, and toffee too.

This is medium bodied, clean and creamy, with a lower level of carbonation.

This is a nice variant on Rye on Rye- but I think the regular version is better.

Mar 13, 2018
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours with a Belgian profile, building a huge, rocky ecru head atop the tawny liquid; nice stickage with splatters of lacing all around

Smell: Caramel. cinnamon, cardamom, anise and lemon all awash in Templeton Rye barrel tones

Taste: The Rye is prominent from the outset, with the caramel and spice tones building; the lemon and anise tones are very subtle, which may be a function of the age on this bottle; through the middle, the bitters add an interesting dimension and they wind up as prominent in the finish as the Rye was in the start

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: A reasonably successful faux cocktail effort, though the lemon and anise are a bit understated; still, complex and enjoyable

Jan 27, 2018
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REVZEB from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Super thick cloudy tawny brown pour with a tan cap. Rye whiskey booze with a lot of table sugar, candied lemon, oak, and juniper berry, caramel, kind of all over the place. Taste cleans up nicely: rye whiskey and oak balance the sweeter elements well, lemon elevates the booze, hints of iced tea flavoring. Feel is massive, very warm, thick but not the most smooth

Jan 12, 2018
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.02/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour reveals a cloudy dark copper colored beer with a rich tan head. The rye is present on the nose, as is the caramalt - and a wallop of booze.

The taste is malt-forward, with the caramalt blending well with the subtle spice of the rye. The barrel adds a significant booze component, to the point that this does indeed resemble a beer martini. Nicely done by one of my favorite breweries.

Jan 12, 2018
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Attractive dark brown with garnet highlights. Head production is moderate, with simply OK retention.

Brew is surprisingly malt forward, with the whiskey providing a wonderful second half to the aroma. Rye, spices, and toffee; whiskey and oak; dulled brown sugar and dark fruit.

Flavor follows, with a touch of sweetness not particularly present on the aroma. The rye (whiskey or malt) provides a really pleasant second half bite. Between the lemon peel and the spices, they really nailed the flavor of a cocktail (although I'm unfamiliar with this particular cocktail), mostly on the second half. Fresh and minty on the finish, too. Up front, dry and grainy caramel malt prevails.

Lively and pretty smooth, not unlike a carbonated cocktail, actually. Long finish.

A very enjoyable and completely unique brew.

Oct 21, 2017
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish-brown color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a decent cap

S: Rye whiskey, rye malt, oak, lemon peel, spices, and a bit of malt sweetness all quite present

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the rye malt and whiskey and slowly picks up the oak, lemon peel, and spices. Really restrained in terms of sweetness. Finishes with lingering rye, anise, and a touch of the lemon peel

M: Medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Very much on the dry side

O: A great rye beer that really highlights it with both the malt and Templeton Rye barrels. A nice sipper at a touch under 12%. Definitely get the sazerac effect out of it, too. Worth a try even with age on it

Sep 24, 2017
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bnes09 from Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm sad to say I did not enjoy this beer as much as expected. Flavor and aroma were primarily cereal grains with some rye detected. Minimal to no lemon or spice qualities. Finishes flat. Grainy texture. Not terrible overall. Just not what I expected.

Jul 23, 2017
Photo of Mdaniel723
Mdaniel723 from Missouri

4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love the combination of malt and spice in this one. It has a very dark, cloudy amber color with about a finger width head. Tastes of malt and the added spice comes through. Fairly viscous mouthfeel, overall a great beer.

Jul 03, 2017
Photo of Buck89
Buck89 from Tennessee

3.49/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. A muddy copper brown color with a modest off-white head. Aromas: sweet orange bitters up front and they didn't leave room for much else. A hint of caramel malt. The taste followed closely with a heavy dose of the bitters and orange peel. Some sweet malt on the back end. A warm finish. All in all, a disappointment. I would like more subtle flavoring and a less boozy finish.

Jun 25, 2017
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Samlover55 from New York

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

.750ml bottle into Libbey Tulip
BB 6/17/2018 sitting in the cellar for about half a year
L- murky brown, with thin white cap
S- smells like a cinnamon bun, with prominent cinnamon, and vanilla from the whiskey barrel
T- sweet caramel, with some booziness, and subtly spicy finish
F- medium-bodied, creamy, very easy drinking for an 11.8% ABV
Overall a solid drinkable Barrel-Aged beer, that was definitely very mellow, and I didn't pick up all the spices especially the lemon peel.

May 22, 2017
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Boulevard Brewing Co. "Rye On Rye X: Sazerac Cocktail"
750 ml brown glass bottle, corked and caged, "BEST BY DATE: 17JUN2018" and sampled on 15MAY2017
$14.99 @ Weis Market #231, Conshohocken, PA

Although it doesn't come across to me directly as mimicking a Sazerac (there's not enough Anise), they've certainly come close. I was really surprised, and I'm probably actually just imagining it, but they really got the character of the Peychaud's bitters to come through - and there's a note of lemon as well. Beyond that, the rye is clear, as is the oak from the rye barrels. If you've had a Sazerac made with rye, and not Bourbon as is occasionally done, you'll "get it". But let's face it, this is not a cocktail, it's a beer, so how does it stand up as such?

Firstly, the head retention is some of the best I've ever seen. The lacing is quite good as well, but not quite up to the same level; and the haze is a bit of a let down ~ had I allowed the bottle to sit for longer it might have settled though and poured clear if I'd handled it carefully .

The aroma is bright and enticing, delivering sweet rye malt and sugary oak. It's a little like whiskey, sugary with brown sugar and soft spice, anise-like and herbal, slightly bready, and just a touch sharp with lemon. It makes you want to keep delving deeper but really it's all right there on the surface.

The flavor follows, and as I've mentioned it does recall the flavors of a modern day Sazerac cocktail (the name Sazerac of course refers to the brandy that was once its main ingredient rather than whiskey). Thinking about that that takes me back to lazy spring days on the patio at the Commanders Palace in New Orleans looking across the street towards the cemetery. BUT... had I never tasted a Sazerac I'd still enjoy it, and look at it as more of a Belgian spiced ale. All of the components are in balance, and the herbs and lemon and oak and sugar all work together well, combining to become one beer while still standing out on their own. In that sense it's what I'd call superbly rounded; and it's also nicely balanced. The alcohol is the one thing that's perhaps a little bit surprisingly missing as it might be a little more conspicuous given the "Sazerac" tag, but I think if it had any more bite it would throw things off, and there is enough there in just it's presence that it gets the job done.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with a dextrinous edge that makes it seem fuller even though it's not, and it's fine-bubbled median carbonation leaves it soft and smooth with just a light caress on the palate.

In the end I'd label this as a special beer. I've never had anything that's really quite like it, and it was quite enjoyable from start to finish. It's got notes of whiskey, oak, rye, herbs and citrus, sugar and malt, alcohol, etc. and yet it doesn't just drop into that 'malty strong ale good for sipping at before bed' kind of thing. It would be perfect for that and I can imagine just zoning out with one in front of a low crackling fire tonight, but I could also see it in many other setting as well, perhaps shared with a table of friends as an after-dinner drink. Very nice. Well worth trying.

May 15, 2017
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Tspesak from California

4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml into stemmed tulip.

Look: pours dark deep brown, reddish or burgundy. Reminds me of a cherry wood table or deep mahogany look; 1 inch off white hazelnut head with lacing the whole way.

Smell: some toasted rye whiskey, slightly bready, notes of brown sugar, definitely some great charred smells. Not completely okay kind of has a hint of campfire or burnt bread. Spice lingers in the background.

Taste: great! So much going on. Oaky rye up front, but subdued by the sweetness of vanilla or molasses and brown sugar. Subtle spice notes, nothing overwhelming, just enough to be present but not take over.

Feel: think and syrupy, but just enough carbonation to be a pleasing, drinkable beer. *be WELL aware of the 11.8% though, it will get you!

Overall: great aged beer!!! Executed perfectly, very complex, has a lot going on without blasting your entire palate. Really pleased with this highly drinkable, highly enjoyable beers. Stoked with this pick up. Highly suggested.

May 09, 2017
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sjdevel from Utah

4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Deep brown - Hazy - Like iced tead. Huge POP! of the cork from from a 750ml bottle. Slow bubbling upwards - not quite 1 finger head though. Remains lacey and a decent foam ring that lingers on.
Smell: Charred Oak and some whiskey. Some spice comes through, but not a lot.
Taste: A BLAST of whiskey right in your face. Theres a battle between sweet and dry - back and forth. Spicy Rye flavors come instrong along with rich caramel and campfire (charred oakiness is very apparent). Do get some citrusy lemon. Not sure what other spices we have in here, but they are apparent. It's like walking into an organic/herbal store - quite a few herbal notes swirling around. Has hints of Belgian beer (yeast and spice as well). Very BOOZY @ 11.8%
Feel: Medium bodied - thinner maybe. High ABV and a bit slick.
Overall: A very good barrel aged beer. Many flavors take turns punching your taste buds. Citrusy, spicy, herbal, malty, woody, and strong.

May 07, 2017
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iheartmyTHO from Georgia

4.68/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had several of these cocktail inspired beers. Either they're OK or just kind of weird in a not so good way. This Sazerac inspired beer is quite delightful though. It does taste like a Sazerac and probably gets you even more drunk than a Sazerac would. I'm only ~halfway through the bottle and I'm feeling it. And you don't taste the alcohol either.

Apr 29, 2017
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Viaduck from California

4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sazerac cocktail 2016 starts off with a nice big pop of the cork & pours a light brown with a generous tan head made of larger bubbles & is long lasting. Has an odd & interning aroma, rye & spices & I don't know what. Flavor slightly salty & slighly sweet, cherry & plum, rye & whiskey, some vanilla & bitter spices. Very complex. Alcohol flavor is well hidden. Nice feel. Another outstanding brew from Boulevard

Apr 22, 2017
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Poured into a chalice a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger light tan head, which leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate/toffee, whiskey/rye, oak, vanilla. The taste is really nice, malty, chocolate/toffee, rye/whiskey, oak, vanilla. Full Body, ABV hidden very well, a nice complex brew. Overall, another very tasty brew from Boulevard.

Apr 07, 2017
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drtth from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first pour is into a Corsondonk goblet. The liquid is a hazy reddish brown or mahogany color with a 1" light tan head that recedes slowly to a long lasting cover on the liquid while leaving a nice ring of foam around the sides of the glass. Sipping creates several small scattered patches of lacing.

The aromas show lots of rye whisky up front but also include some lemon zest, some caramel and some toasted rye bread. There’s also some light spiciness mingling with some vanilla and oak from the barrels.

The flavors are full of complexity with some caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Then there’s the toasted rye bread along with the vanilla and the oak. In addition there’s also some lemon zest against a background of spiciness that has a hint of earthy bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied and slightly creamy from the persistent but gentle carbonation. The finish begins as the sweetness and dark rye toast begin to fade, leaving behind a spicy, earthy, woody and almost dry ending that has a bit of lemon zest and a bit of warmth from the otherwise well concealed alcohol.

Overall this is an impressively well made beer that I'm enjoying and want more of with its layers and layers of complexity and its well balanced aromas and flavors. It is definitely a sipping beer for a cold winter's evening and the alcohol is a bit dangerous because it is so well concealed. Besides enjoying the beer I intend to revisit it to try and tease out more of it's complexity. In addition, I'll soon be getting another bottle to age for a while.

26 Aug, 2019

I did buy and age that 2nd bottle and here are some thoughts on tonight's tasting compared to the review of the first bottle.

Upon being poured into a snifter glass it is obvious that the appearance of the beer is unchanged from my original review. It’s mahogany colored with a light tan head and some scattered small patches of lacing on sipping.

The aromas seem much as described in 2017 with the rye whisky, caramel and toasted rye bread showing up front against a background of light spices, some vanilla and some oak. But I’m not really picking up any lemon zest.

The flavors are still complex. There’s the caramel and brown sugar sweetness, the toasted rye bread, the vanilla and the oak. Again though there doesn’t seem to be lemon zest mingled in with the spicy and earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is basically the same, on the full side of medium bodied and slightly creamy. The finish seems much the same as described in the original review. The dark rye toast and sweetness start to disappear first, leaving behind the sticky, earthy, woody and semi-dry ending. Again I’m not really picking up any lemon zest in the mix.

This is still a very complex, enjoyable sipping beer with much the same flavor profile as it had over two years ago. From the stand point of a Sazerac cocktail the lemon zest may be missing, but as a Rye or Rye beer this is still an excellent beer. So I’d recommend that if by chance you ever happen across a bottle that has been well cared for, give it a try.

Apr 03, 2017
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Rye on Rye X pours a dark cloudy brown color with a big lacing head. Rich aromas of whiskey and oak. Flavor is also very rich, lots of whiskey and oak,hints of rye and cinnamon, finishes warm. Body feels a little flat. Overall, fantastic sipping beer, very rich and flavorful.

Mar 09, 2017
Rye On Rye X: Sazerac Cocktail from Boulevard Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 165 ratings