Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Bourbon is the 4th release under the modern day E.H. Taylor name. Produced by Buffalo Trace, the namesake is a nod towards one of the bourbon industry’s major innovators and owner of the Old Fire Copper (OFC) distillery. OFC and an adjacent distillery, Carlisle, would eventually become Buffalo Trace.
My experience with these E.H. Taylor releases have been a gradual increase in overall quality. The first one was just a little weird. The Single Barrel was an improvement, and the 3rd, the Tornado Surviving Warehouse C release, was a big step in the right direction (rating out at 8.9). Does Buffalo Trace continue the improvement in this series? Here are my thoughts on this barrel proof monster.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Bourbon, 67.25% abv (134.5 Proof), $75/bottle
Color: Deep Amber
Nose: Sorghum syrup and molasses, dried figs, cherry licorice, and sour apple. Tons of punchy spices as well (clove, nutmeg, anise).
Palate: Molasses, cherry cough syrup, baked apple, and a good bit of resin and grip from the wood. The spices are again ablaze in this one – chili heat and clove taking the foreground.
Finish: Heat and warmth abound with wood spices. Molasses sweetness as well as some bitters.
Overall: Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Bourbon is a monster pour at 134.5 proof. It benefits GREATLY from a healthy dose of water to calm the fire and levels the assault so to speak. The main complaint I have is there’s not a great deal of layered depth in spite of the proof. As a result it drinks a lot like what I imagine an air traffic controller feels like – stressed and intense. That’s not to say it doesn’t have many fantastic high points (boiled sugars, fruit and spice), but there’s a lot going on at a surface level. If you love ‘em big, brash, and in your face – this one is for you!
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.2 (Very Good)