To continue the trend of my last to two post on E.H. Taylor Jr. and the Bottled In Bond Act today I’ll be reviewing the latest release in the EH Taylor line of bourbons, the small batch. After Buffalo Trace’s recent acquisition of the Old Taylor brand they have repackaged the brand and priced it out to compete with other high end bourbons. The first releases were the one offs Old Fashioned Sour Mash bourbon and the Warehouse C Tornado Surviving bourbon. Then the one off EH Taylor Rye whiskey, which was Buffalo Trace’s shot at a high rye recipe that contained no corn in the mash bill. The line also contains single barrel and barrel proof expressions. All the whiskeys in the EH Taylor line are bonded with the exception of course of the barrel proof.
The small batch is the cheapest in the line at a retail price of roughly $40 and uses, I believe, Buffalo Trace’s high corn mash bill. So does the line do the man justice?
Appearance: rich amber with slow-moving legs
Nose: Right away it’s obvious this a Buffalo Trace bourbon. BT’s signature grassiness of corn husks is present along with a heavy layer of caramel. The vanilla is also very present. There are some nutty aromas and a beautiful scent of chocolate cake. The sweet aromas keep opening up with butterscotch and maple syrup notes becoming present with a little aeration. But it’s not all sweet there are some nice light rye notes and some spices like cinnamon and clove. I won’t even try to hide it, to me, Buffalo Trace’s whiskeys have some the most complex and balanced bouquets, it truly is spectacular.
Palate: The corn is apparent right away as is the vanilla. Followed by some peanut butter, burnt sugar and caramel notes. Midway through the rye and cinnamon starts to appear and are mixed in there perfectly, not to light but not to overpowering. As it heads toward the finish the dry oak flavors emerge along with a nice chocolate note. There is some kick from the alcohol but it helps to intensify some of the more spicy flavors. The finish is medium in length and a little dry but leaves behind some wonderful vanilla and rye flavors before fading leaving a nice chocolate note lingering. I did notice the longer you sip on this the spicier it gets.
Overall: I found this to be an excellent well-balanced bourbon. Like I said I’m partial to BT bouquets, I find their complexity to be outstanding but sometimes the palate doesn’t quite measure up. This was not one of those bourbons. The palate did measure up. The sweet and spicy flavors were well-balanced and diverse. I did notice that this is one bourbon that gets better with some time to open up. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and was able to notice a big difference.
Rating 89 / * * * *