Bourbon: E. H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond, 100 Proof
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Reddish-amber; darker than many other bourbons of this approximate age.
Initial alcohol sting on the nose, but followed by caramel, corn grain, and oak. The nose opens up with a splash of water (and loses the sting) and brings lots of vanilla.
Caramel, burnt sugar, clove, and tobacco. With a splash of water the clove came out even more, along with black licorice. I didn’t really detect any fruit, corn or hot spices. The clear focus is on earthy flavors, but there’s great balance with sweeter candy flavors like butterscotch, caramel and toffee. Great warmth without being hot.
Medium finish, with medium warmth, caramel, oak and more clove.
If any brand deserves a mention about “Bottled in Bond,” E. H. Taylor, Jr. is it. Col. Taylor, who was a politician and banker in addition to being the father of the industrialization of Bourbon, was instrumental in passing the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897, meant primarily to protect the public against the “horrors” of whiskey rectifiers. The act required that any spirit labeled as “Bottled-in-Bond” be the product of one distiller at one distillery during one distillation season, and aged in a federally-bonded warehouse under federal government supervision for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof.
I’ve been researching Col. Taylor and his penchant for litigation (new post coming soon), so I thought that the least I owed to the brand and this history was a bottle. Thankfully, there’s no representation that this Bourbon is the same recipe as Col. Taylor used; in fact, it uses the standard Buffalo Trace mash bill #1, which is shared with the Buffalo Trace brand, Eagle Rare, George T. Stagg, Old Charter, and Benchmark. And this bourbon gets extra style points for being aged in the very same warehouse (Warehouse C) built by Col. Taylor in 1881, despite all of ownership changes of the old “O.F.C.” Distillery and the ownership of the Taylor brand over the years.
Despite the legitimate history of this brand, taste is still subjective, and I’m not particularly a fan of bourbons that focus on the earthy flavors to the exclusion of fruit and spice. I was also hoping for more from the finish. E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch is extremely drinkable, but overall I thought that the clove and earthy tones overpowered the other flavors that I wanted to find (although it was certainly nicely balanced with butterscotch, caramel, and toffee flavors). It’s still unseasonably warm and muggy here in Louisville, so maybe that’s why my palate was looking for more fruit or spice, but I can’t wait to try E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch again in a few months when it’s 20 degrees outside and I’m sitting next to a warm fire.
Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale: 3.0
The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Wouldn’t even accept a free drink of it.
2 – Would gladly drink it if someone else was buying.
3 – Glad to include this in my bar.
4 – Excellent bourbon. Worth the price and I’m sure to always have it in my bar.
5 – Wow. I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.