Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch
Intro: From the Buffalo Trace website:
As founding father of the bourbon industry, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. left an indelible legacy. His dedication to distilling began at the close of the Civil War when he purchased O.F C. Distillery. There, he developed innovative techniques that are still in use today. Made by hand, this Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey has been aged inside century old warehouses constructed by E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrels are evaluated and selected to create a perfect blend of distinctive character that is like no other. This bourbon is a true sipping bourbon that honors the uncompromising legacy of E.H. Taylor, Jr.
I can say already that this review is at the peril of my strong bias toward this bourbon. In my opinion, Buffalo Trace has forged the way for the bourbon industry with two mash bills to choose from. The E.H. Taylor series, aside from the wheated and rye variants, is distilled using mash bill #1. I'll do my best to squelch my previously solidified love for this bourbon when doing this review.
Poured neat into a gentleman's snifter, as is customary treatment for the namesake beverage of an esteemed colleague like the good Colonel! Very faintest bit of alcohol fumes...in no way an eye squinter, much less a clincher. Smooth aroma that has a light spice level and almost a sweet honey scent. You can catch a little bit of the char when you take a deep lungful. The nose itself is well balanced....okay, enough damn smelling...let's get to tasting already.
Damn that's good...Colonel, you MAGNIFICENT BASTARD!!! No burn to the lips or front of the tongue. A mild heat to the center portion of the tongue, then cools with the swallow for a smooth finish. It's like the elves from the story 'The Shoemaker and the Elves' are moonlighting at Buffalo Trace, making some miraculous bourbons when not engaged in making wingtips and loafers. For 100 proof, it is uncharacteristically smooth...no teeth clinch, no eye clinch, no fist clinch....just a warm tongue, throat, and belly and a great aftertaste. The spice level is ideal, unlike some bourbons that taste like you took down a handful of red hots or a bowlful of potpourri! There is a light caramel taste, but not the honey flavor I picked up on the nose. Who gives a shit, this is a great product.
Is it worth the $?
This is a bourbon I have seen the widest variation of price on as I travel all over the U.S. Most places have this priced in the mid $60s. I found this one in Jacksonville for $40, and it is well worth that. $70+ is a bit too high to make this your frequent go to, especially considering it is pretty comparable to a $30 Eagle Rare in quality. However, $40-$50 price range, I will keep my cabinet heavily stocked with it. Time to sample this little gem in a bigger glass with a Colonel sized pour!