Tag Archives: col eh taylor

Col. E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon

Distiller: Buffalo Trace. 50% ABV. Age: 4+ years. Mashbill: BT’s Mash Bill no. 1 – exact proportions undisclosed, but 10% or less rye. Price: $40-45.

If anybody’s hit the sweet spot between tradition and innovation, it’s Buffalo Trace. There’s their fine standard offering, old standbys like Blanton’s, and their enormously ambitious and wide-ranging Experimental Collection — an effort to systematize and track the effects of everything from what floor in the warehouse the whiskey was aged in to what part of the tree the barrel was made from.

Along these we have BT’s Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. series, honoring a man who was an innovator of his time and helped pass the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897.

The Col. Taylor Rye is big, bold, and one of my favorites in the category. The Small Batch Bourbon is big and bold too, but for me, less successful.

The nose has the standard BT Mashbill no. 1 profile of baked goods and dark oak, but there’s an odd unintegrated note there too: anise? It’s 50% ABV, but feels even hotter on the tongue — harsh where I want it to be rich. The palate brings notes of shoe polish and wood varnish to the caramel and oak.

This is a confrontational bourbon, not a masterpiece of integration like Blanton’s or BT’s Rock Hill Farms. Not a daily drinker for me, and not for the faint of heart. But on a night when I’m looking for a challenge, it can still hit the spot. – BO

Buy Col. E.H. Taylor Whiskey online at Mash + Grape

Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye Review

Distiller: Buffalo Trace. 50% ABV.  Mashbill: rye and barley (proportions undisclosed, but at least 51% rye, likely higher, and no corn). Price: $60-70.

The Colonel E.H. Taylor Rye is part of the Buffalo Trace lineup honoring whiskey legend Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., great-nephew to President Zachary Taylor and proponent of the bottled-in-bond act.

It’s fascinating to taste this side-by-side with one of the many fine LDI ryes out there: think Willett 8-year-old rye or Bulleit’s standard-issue rye. Massive contrast. While the LDIs jump out of the glass with candied lemon, burnt orange, maybe mint and chamomile, and always a ton of sweetness, the Taylor’s a different story.

The Taylor is darker on the nose, enigmatic, subtler…fresh-baked squaw bread. Then you taste it: bam. Dark coppery funk. Molasses stuck to a cast-iron skillet. Family resemblance to the wild and divisive Taylor Small Batch Bourbon, but this is my favorite of the two.

Plenty of great LDI-distilled ryes out there. This BT original is something all its own. – BO

Buy Col. E.H. Taylor Whiskey online at Mash + Grape