This is not a post about my favorite distilleries. Although, I should do a post soon regarding this subject. In the meantime, as an introduction to this review I will mention that Buffalo Trace is one of my favorite distilleries. Nestled along a ridge in Frankfort, Kentucky, it offers one of the finest distillery visits in the world. If you go be sure to do their hard hat tour. You’ll need reservations but it is well worth it.
Their products are also some of the finest available on the market: Colonel E.H. Taylor (Rye, Small Batch, Single Barrel, and Barrel Proof), Blanton’s, Elmer T. Lee, Rock Hill Farms, Eagle Rare, W.L. Weller (Special Reserve, 107, 12 Year Old), BTAC (George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Thomas H. Handy, Sazerac 18, Eagle Rare 17), and Van Winkle (Rye, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 23 Year Old). That’s one mighty-fine lineup.
I’ve tried and purchased a lot of Buffalo Trace’s products. Blanton’s is a regular purchase when I’m at a restaurant/bar (although interestingly enough I’ve never bought a bottle). I’ve tried most of the other products listed above except some of the BTAC collection and older Van Winkles. Through my tastings one product has stood out as my favorite: Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof.
I tried their 2014 release during a visit to the famed Jack Rose in Washington, D.C. this past winter. It was a close second to my favorite pour of the night (and favorite bourbon), Elijah Craig Barrel Proof #6. This product is an uncut version of their regular small batch bourbon. It’s released once per year. It comes from their standard mash bill which is a low-rye (10%) bourbon which also goes into making their flagship Buffalo Trace Bourbon and the infamous George T. Stagg. Let’s see if this one can stand on its own two legs.
COLONEL E.H. TAYLOR BARREL PROOF
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Owner: Sazerac Company
Age: NAS (Estimated at 7-9 Years Old)
Mash Bill: #1 – Low Rye (10%)
Batch: #4 (2015)
Dark amber/copper. A well used penny. A finely bronzed piece of metal.
Brown sugar followed by orange peel and/or orange zest. Sugar cookies. Cinnamon-Apple crisp. A small amount of oak tannins. When I pulled my Glencairn glass away from my nose I was greeted by and left with hints of black tea (I love this note)!
The palate follows the nose with some additions. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and cinnamon. Orange-infused black tea. All the notes wrapped in loads of spice (pepper and cloves). It has a good amount of spice for being a low-rye mash bill.
Spice heavy yet balanced nicely with dark sweets. Warms both the mouth and chest.
The value is pretty good. For me, the 2014 batch of this bourbon came in second behind the ECBP #6. While this is a different product it’s very similar. Therefore, being that I can get (when I can find it) ECBP for around $40-50 (although you might remember I paid $90ish for Batch #6 in NYC) this holds this product back a bit in the value category. However, value is still very subjective. At the end of the day, I’d pay $75 all-day long for a bottle of this fine bourbon.
I really like this bourbon. While it’s not extremely complex it’s pretty well balanced, fairly deep and rich, and packs a nice punch. While it’s not a daily sipper it’s in my top 10 list of overall favorite bourbons!
92.5/100 (An Excellent Tipple)