We continue our venture through Buffalo Trace Distillery’s mash bill #1 brands with the Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. (EHT) line. By way of review, below is a chart from Bourbonr depicting Buffalo Trace Distillery’s various brands by mash bill:
[Our final conclusions and links to the other Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 brands can be found here.]
Here, we’re focusing on the the right half of mash bill #1’s top row.
The brand’s namesake, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., has a storied history. His grand-uncle, General Zachary Taylor, was the 12th President of the United States. E.H. Taylor, Jr. was a Kentucky native and started many distilleries, including the Old Fashioned Copper distillery (which he later sold to George T. Stagg), an ancestor of Buffalo Trace.
E.H. Taylor, Jr., like his grand-uncle, also dabbled in politics. He is credited with championing the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. The Act was one of the first federal regulations governing the production and marketing of whiskey in the United States. It required that whiskey bearing the label “bottled-in-bond” must be produced by the one distiller, at the same distillery, during the same distilling season, aged for at least four years, unadulterated (except for pure water for dilution), and bottled at 100 proof.
Buffalo Trace’s EHT line gives homage to the Colonel by its ornament packaging. The EHT bottles are easy to spot, due to being placed in large tubes with ornate labeling. Every bottle in the lineup is also bottled-in-bond, except for the Barrel Proof.
In full disclosure, we had to trim down the EHT bottles that we sampled. For one thing, the EHT line is not exclusively made up of mash bill #1 products. The E.H. Taylor Straight Rye and the recently released E.H. Taylor Four Grain, for example, are obviously different recipes. Also, we also were unable to sample some of the one-time limited release bottles – the Cured Oak, Seasoned Wood, Warehouse C Tornado Surviving, and Old Fashioned Sour Mash (though we’re willing to accept samples for the purpose of scientific review).
Our review focused on the three perennially released bottles: Small Batch, Single Barrel, and Barrel Proof. All are mash bill #1 and are not age stated.
Now, onto the reviews themselves.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch:
As a bottled-in-bond bourbon, though not age stated, this bottle is at least four years old. Because it is not a single barrel, it is likely to be a blend of different barrels containing distillate from the same distilling season, and therefore the same age. But, it cannot be a blend of barrels of varying age.
Nose: musty, a bit herbal, grain, ethanol.
Palate: the higher proof from the Eagle Rare and Buffalo Trace is quite evident here. No overpowering notes. Not overly sweet. Grain and oak.
Finish: a light finish, but much longer than Buffalo Trace or Eagle Rare. There is some pepper, grain, and vanilla.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel:
Like the Small Batch, this bottle is at least four years old. We enjoyed another single barrel bottle at a previous tasting event featuring Kentucky single barrel straight bourbons.
Nose: Though the color is not noticeably different from the Small Batch, it smells older. More caramel, oak, and that same sort of musty scent.
Palate: more oak than the Small Batch. A sweeter vanilla, too, with some fig. It also drinks under proof compared to the Small Batch.
Finish: longer than the Small Batch. It has that second wave to it, with butterscotch and ethanol left tingling.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof (127.5):
Nose: less ethanol harshness than anticipated. Similar musty oak and leather, with some slight green apple.
Palate: noticeably hotter than the Small Batch and Single Barrel, but much more complex and full flavored. Sweet vanilla and citrus with mint, oak, and plums.
Finish: long and mouth-coating, with citrus, green grapes, and toffee.
We have previously reviewed another barrel proof mash bill #1 brand, Stagg, Jr. We revisited it for the purpose of contrast, and found that, despite the nominal difference in proof (Stagg, Jr. – 129.7; EHT BP – 127.5), the Stagg, Jr. was MUCH hotter from the nose through the finish. The Stagg, Jr. also had that red hot/cinnamon flavor that was not present with the EHT BP.
Our next step in this series will feature an oft-neglected member of the mash bill #1 family, including one bottle that is reportedly near extinction.