Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Review
I keep saying it over and over again, bourbon has the best folklore surrounding its origins. It’s hard to think of another product where so many stories can be told and based on someone’s historical relevance. It’s almost as if you had any sort of historical significance in Kentucky, chances are, you’re getting a bourbon named after you.
Obviously, some are more notable than others, and that is clearly the case with this Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel bourbon. Ole Col. Taylor is a mighty fine man that has an incredible story. From being an orphan and being shipped off to New Orleans only to return back to Kentucky to attend boarding school. His legacy continued to grow as time went on. He made himself an integral part in the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 and he is also considered by many the father of modern day bourbon.
When others were using sweeteners and additives to flavor their whiskey Colonel Taylor believed that aging whiskey in American Oak barrels was the best way to induce flavors into these whiskies. He also thought to use climate controlled rickhouses to store the whiskies during the aging process. Helping the whiskies flow in and out of the oak barrels to seep up more that flavor that makes the delicious bourbon that we know and love today. So many great things can be said about the good Colonel, but I’ll leave it here, he had a true passion for bourbon, great bourbon and that my friends is his legacy.
The packaging of this Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel is hard to miss. It stands tall in a metal canister just like all of the other whiskies that bare his name. The canister is also similar to that of the Balvenie’s and the Laphroaig whiskies that I’ve previously reviewed. What’s unique about each E.H. Taylor canister is that the color used in the fonts helps distinguish the Single Barrel, from the Rye and Small Batch. Trust me, I doubt anyone is going to be upset about mistaking the Single Barrel for the small batch, that is of course until you get to the register to pay for it. You might be taken back a bit, but don’t worry you’ll appreciate the price down the road.
The bottle has a dull yellow label in the middle that contains the signature of the good ole Colonel. Alongside all the statements about the bottle. Including ‘Bottled in Bond’ and 50% Alc/Vol or 100 Proof. All essential information laid out incredibly well. On the side of the canister you will notice an old time portrait of the Colonel is a nice top hat. He looks like a gentle fellow and someone I would love to share a glass of bourbon with anytime. I can only hope people say the same about me down the road. Not much more to the packaging than that. The bottle inside the canister contains identical packaging. It’s a rather simple tall slender bottle. However, we all know by now that it’s what inside the bottle that counts. So let’s get to it!
The nose on this Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel is just phenomenal. Lots of oak and vanilla and leather. Some delicious aromas that I love picking up in a bourbon. The oak and vanilla are very soothing and what I expect to find in a nice single barrel. The leather is an interesting note that I usually enjoy picking up as well. However, I don’t typically get it in bourbon, it tends to rear its head more in cigars. So the fact that I found it in this bourbon excites me to pair it with a cigar. I have a feeling a flavor explosion may happen. Stay tuned for that pairing coming to a blog near you!
On the palate this Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel gave off a nice back end of cherry and mocha. Tons of vanilla hit up front and then faded. I’m also picking up a nice maple syrup. A very sweet bourbon, overall. It does have an incredible complexity to it. I’m sure there is a lot more hidden underneath all the levels that I’m not able to pick up on. I know that every sip I take it gets and better. It’s hard to argue with that.
The finish really pulls this bourbon together and combines the great nose and palate and makes it a winner in my book. It has a medium finish that gives you just enough heat to keep you cold in the winter, but sweet enough to not set your mouth on fire like you’re at chili cook-off. I even pick up some notes of toffee floating around the end that make it a nice balance of sweet and spice and everything nice. Couldn’t ask for a better glass of bourbon right now.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel: 10/10
This is easily a 10/10 for me. In fact I’m going to blind taste test and see if I can pick a winner between it, Four Roses Single Barrel and Blanton’s to help me determine which one is my favorite bourbon right now. It’s hard to decide unless you’re in the moment, but I can easily say that this bottle has crept into my top 5, if not my top 3 bourbons. Simply delicious. If you see a bottle on the shelf, leave it alone and email me where it’s at so that I can come snatch it up.