Saturday, September 28, 2013

Review #3 - Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Bourbon



I love the old-timey look of the bottles coming out of the Colonel E.H. Taylor line. Currently distilled at Buffalo Trace there are 6 different types in the Taylor Collection ranging from rye to small batch to the single barrel bourbon and a few others. Today I'll be reviewing the Single Barrel Bourbon.

Most of the products within the Taylor Collection are done under something called Bottled In Bond(BIB). There are many American whiskeys that are BIB because of the perseverance of Colonel E.H. Taylor. It could be said that the American whiskey establishment owes a huge debt of gratitude to Taylor. 

Long story short, Taylor uses his power and reputation in the industry to help back the Bottle in Bond Act of 1897 which essentially makes a partnership between a given distillery and the US Government to ensure that the US Government certifies the whiskey being released has undergone government supervision and has met all agreed upon standards. The term Bottled In Bond would then be printed on the bottle to give the customer comfort in knowing that the whiskey was authentic and not likely to harm them. This practice is still performed today.

The requirements are essentially that the product is distilled by one distillery for one distillation season (calendar year) and then stored in a federal warehouse under government supervision for a minimum of 4 years. Once the whiskey is identified to be ready for bottling, it is then bottled at 50% alcohol by volume. On each bottle the label must indicate where the whiskey was made and the location in which it was bottled. If you look at the photo above you'll read the words "Bottled In Bond" at the bottom of the label.

PRODUCT SPECS

Whiskey Type - Bourbon - Single Barrel

Alcohol By Volume (ABV) - 50%

Mashbill - Unknown

Age - No age statement on bottle. Most likely 11-12 years.

NOSE
Tropical fruit - coconut and oranges
Vanilla
Fudge
White Chocolate
Honey
Brown Sugar
Cedar wood

PALATE
Black pepper
Toasted Oak
Tobacco
Walnut

With water
Spearmint
Dark Roast Coffee
Tiny hint of red berries

FINISH
Medium with heavy oak, black tea and leather.

FINAL IMPRESSIONS
This is a very drinkable daily sipper of a Bourbon. The nose is incredible and very complex with sugar sweetness however the palate and finish left something to be desired. I personally don't like a huge amount of oak wood in my palate and I felt like this bourbon isn't quite balanced in its flavor profile. There is a bitter and harshness that is sustained from the delivery through the finish. I added water to settle down the heat coming off the glass. 

Colonel E.H. Taylor has been well received by friends and I enjoy sitting down and enjoying a bottle with them for something different. One of the biggest turnoffs is the price which typically falls in the $65 to $75 range. Quite frankly there are Bourbons that are just as good and if not better at half that price range.

PRODUCT RATING 
3.5 out of 5. Again, its tough to justify the cost for this Bourbon however if you get the chance to purchase a bottle on sale and you want to experience a more bolder oaky Bourbon then I would recommend giving it a shot.

RATING SYSTEM
0 - hot dog water - nothing redeeming
1 - one dimensional - not complex and can be flat in areas
2 - entry level whiskey -  a few highlights for a good value
3 - daily sipper - solid, well made product that is always enjoyed.
4 - big whiskey - complex layered flavors - amazing balance
5 - huge, exceptional, unique, one of a kind