Sour Mash Manifesto

Bourbon and American Whiskey

Review: Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon

The line of Colonel E.H. Taylor whiskey products just keeps on growing and growing. The Small Batch is the latest in the lineup, and hits the shelves at the least expensive price point. Here are my thoughts on this bottling:

Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon, 50% abv (100 Proof), $40/bottle
Color: Medium Amber
Nose: Caramel corn, sorghum, vanilla fudge, red apple, and rich wood spices. Gorgeous sweet, mildly fruity nose with a balance of wood and spice.
Palate Butterscotch, corn, molasses, cinnamon heat, and wood astringency (grip). Some bitterness really sets in late in the sip.
Finish Cinnamon and wood notes prevail – moderately long finish for a flatter palate profile.
Overall: This is one that settles in the “good” range for me. I’m just not sure what it is – none of these E.H. Taylor whiskeys have really wowed me. Pleasing, straight forward in flavor, but the palate of this small batch has some flaws – sweet and heat up front, very flat ride in the middle, then emerging bitterness. Buffalo Trace rarely misses, but for me this one slips a bit from the nose on through to the finish.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 7.7 (Good)


  1. Yeah, the EH series has been really interesting to follow. Personally, I’ve really liked the Tornado and the Rye, but the others have had their ups and downs. Nevertheless, it’s still an exciting series and I’m looking forward to seeing what BT does with it over the coming years.

  2. Yup, pretty plain Jane stuff here. Bought it because it’s the only CEHT with a halfway reasonable price. Or that’s what I thought at the time, at any rate. Just as soon have the standard BT.

  3. The Tornado for me has far and away been the top Taylor. Everything else, including this, has been sorely average at best.

  4. Haven’t tried this bottle yet. Glad I read your review. I’m a big fan of the CEHT Straight Rye and I’ve been curious about this one.

  5. Hey Jason, I was at my local liqour store yesterday and saw bottles of “buffalo trace experimental collection” being sold. It said it was made with oats and distilled/barreled in 2002. Sounded very interesting to me but couldn’t bring my self to buy one for 59$ for a 375ml. Do you have any experience with these?

  6. Brandon, perhaps what you saw was what Tim Read at “Scotch and Ice Cream” reviewed previous. For a period of time he was receiving and reviewing each of the releases from the Experimental Collection.

  7. The only EH Taylor I have ever had is the Tornado and it remains one of my absolute favorite bourbons. It’s too bad that the others appear not to measure up, according to the reviews.

  8. I agree with your review. I’m a fan of 100 and higher proof pours, but this one drinks hot for 100 proof. Adding a splash of water to take some of the heat out really makes this whiskey taste “thin”.

  9. Hey Jason, I have not had this one yet.I have couple on order thru my favorite store. I also agree the Tornado was the best.I’m pleased the price has come down.Good old Rock Hill Farms does it for me over this line.

  10. Like most, I really enjoyed the Tornado, jumped very early on at a barrel proof, which I just found difficultly hot. No amount of water or ice could balance it out. The rye is nice but pricey compared to some of the Willet Family Reserves on the marketplace. I did stumble upon the “Old Fashioned Sour Mash” today and brought it home as it’s the only one I have not had the opportunity to try prior to the small batch. Unfortunately, the barrel proof experience slowed me down on buying the small batch. I’ll probably try it at a restaurant at some point, but most of the reviews I have seen are average at best.

  11. I agree with your review on the Small Batch, average at best. In my opinion the Sour Mash, Single Barrel, Tornado and Rye have all been above average with the best of the bunch going toward the tornado. The Barrel Strength did not measure up in my opinion and the small batch is a serious disappointment.

  12. I recently tried the small batch and though it a good deal better than you rated it– not superb, but very good. I gave the nose a 9/10 and the flavor an 8/10, so a crudely wrought 8.5 for me. The bottle I tasted from had been open for about a week, which in my experience often tames the alcohol burn with BIB whiskeys.

    If you have an unopened bottle of this, I recommend you open it and let it sit open for a couple hours, then cork it up. Wait at least a few days to a week before trying it, and it will show much better.

  13. The Taylors haven’t wow’ed you — what about the Tornado Bourbon? I recall you gave that high marks. A lot of people did.

    Loved the rye too. The others… eh, good, but nothing super special there.

  14. Another great review! I’m new to bourbon and I was wondering if any one could recommend any good really smooth very low in the spice bourbons? thanks a Bunch.

  15. I agree with what Jeff W said. When I opened the Tornado a couple weeks ago it didn’t do a thing for me. I revisited again a week later and it really opened up! I will be going back for another bottle soon!

  16. I thought it was kind of thin and got thinner with more water added. decent nose but nothing special even at that price point couldn’t pick out something to love about it

  17. steveciavola@yahoo.c

    December 31, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch, Eagle Rare, Rip Van Winkle 10 Yr….anybody see any real differences between these three? They’re all made by the same distillery and there’s barely a point of difference.

  18. Well, different strokes for different folks, I guess. I have tried a LOT of bourbons in my life and this is now one of my favorites. The nose on this is absolutely amazing, in my opinion. Yeah, it’s not as complex as a lot of my other favorites, but it’s different, in a good way. The taste is grew as well. I don’t understand the mediocre reviews of this bottling at all. Did anyone take their time with it to let it open up? I can’t imagine how one could not thoroughly enjoy this nectar.

  19. “…taste is great…” ^

  20. Well I guess I need to try the Tornado! I definitely enjoyed the rye I received as a gift. In fact that is why I grabbed the SB bourbon when I saw it. While I liked the general (primitive) character of this whiskey, I really expected more (as in, more complex, interesting). Eagle rare notwithstanding, I do think this is comparable in quality to other bourbons in the same price range. At least BT seems to understand the real “value” of this whiskey in the market and didn’t try to stick us with a $75 price tag. I give them some credit for that. But then why not offer something better, even if at a higher cost?

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Sour Mash Manifesto

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑