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Every E.H. Taylor Bourbon Reviewed [2021]

Last updated Apr 1, 2021

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by Matty Sims

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

There’s so much that can be said about Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon and even more about the real-life Kentucky colonel. My plan is to continue to research and fill this introduction section out more as time goes on. But fundamentally you should know two things — Colonel E.H. Taylor innovated in the whiskey industry in these key ways. First, he led the charge in getting the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 passed by congress. A consumer protection bill in the food and drink industry that was the first of its kind. Second, he was also ages ahead of the time when he built his Old Taylor Distillery as a castle and therefore as a destination. Last, he was set precedent with several lawsuits protecting his own brand and name. All of these are important for bourbon distilleries and brands today. We wouldn’t be where we were without Colonel Taylor, Father of the Modern Bourbon Industry.

As of 2009, Buffalo Trace Distillery owns the Colonel E. H. Taylor brand which is being distilled on the site of the original O.F.C. Distillery founded by Colonel Taylor in 1869 and purchased by George T. Stagg in 1879 where Stagg was the president and Taylor ran the distillery. According to Buffalo Trace, Colonel Taylor’s innovation at the distillery included: “copper fermentation tanks, state-of-the-art grain equipment, column stills, modernized buildings, a more efficient sour mash technique and a first-of-its-kind steam heating system.”

Just a few years ago some of the original copper fermentation tanks from the O.F.C. Distillery were discovered. This discovery was appropriately called the Bourbon Pompeii. Here’s a glimpse of the dig and restoration from when I visited: My guess is we will see an E.H. Taylor limited edition bourbon that’s fermented in these one day. Now to the bourbon. Colonel E.H. Taylor is a bottled in bond bourbon expression (except for the barrel proof). The Small Batch, Single Barrel, and Barrel Proof use Buffalo Trace mashbill one (low rye). The limited releases will experiment with the standard mashbill and celebrate Colonel Taylor’s innovation. The Straight Rye uses Buffalo Trace’s rye mashbill.

For those looking for an E.H. Taylor small batch vs. single barrel match up or an E.H. Taylor barrel proof vs. single barrel, you’ve landed at the right place. Check out our rankings below.

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Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Small Batch

Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Small Batch
E.H. Taylor Bourbon Small BatchDetails
In the Barrel125 Proof
In the Bottle100 Proof
ABV50%
MashbillMashbill #1 Low Rye
Distilled and AgedFrankfort, KY
AgeAged At Least 4 Years But Not Aged Stated
StyleBottled in Bond
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$35
DistilleryBuffalo Trace Distillery
113 Great Buffalo Trace
Frankfort, KY 40601
ProsConsistent Drinker and Full Bodied
ConsNot Readily Available
AvailabilityAllocated
RatingGold 93 out of 100 Points
InventoryKeep Stocked

Thick ribbons of bourbon coat my Glencairn glass. This sir is an oil slick.

Nose – 94 out of 100 Points

Cocoa, cinnamon, clove, burnt caramel, vanilla, and subtle floral notes. The interplay of the rich chocolate, baking spice, and floral notes just works.

Taste – 93 out of 100 Points

Black pepper, bright apple, and caramel start the front of the palate. It’s got a great mouth. The mid-palate is more of the baking spice and bitter chocolate.

Finish – 93 out of 100 Points

Solid finish with baking spice, cinnamon, and dark caramel.

Verdict – Gold 93 out of 100 Points

This bourbon is often one I will break out for newbie drinkers as a bridge to higher shelf bourbons. It’s got great mouthfeel and viscosity. It’s jam-packed with flavors. The package has a premium vibe with the tube. And depending on where you’re located it can be hard to find. Bang for buck, This would be my daily drinker if I could find it for retail consistently.

I get asked all the time, “Where to buy colonel E.H. Taylor?” I wish there was an easy answer, but there’s not. My recommendation: Find a friend in a state where it’s not allocated — that’s your best bet.

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Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Bourbon Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Bourbon

According to Buffalo Trace:

Many of the barrels selected for the E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel are aged in Warehouse C, which was built by Taylor in 1881 and proven to be an excellent aging warehouse. Each barrel is hand-picked and Bottled in Bond at 100 proof to honor its namesake.

Nose – 95 out of 100 Points

The minute I poured this I could smell cherries and caramel. Nose in the Glencairn glass and those flavors are prominent, but I also get a sweet and savory cinnamon and a vanilla charred oak. It’s a nice nose.

Taste – 95 out of 100 Points

That’s a cherry bomb on the palate. There’s a gentle tingling heat that reminds me of pop rocks. More cinnamon and oak mid-palate along with caramel pudding and white pepper.

Finish – 94 out of 100 Points

Medium to long finish that’s perfectly balanced with black pepper, oak, caramel, and a pop of cherry.

Verdict – Gold 94.6 out of 100 Points

This E.H Taylor Single Barrel is complex and balanced. The flavors are straightforward. These are classic bourbon flavors at their pinnacle. The value is great if you can find these at retail as the ceiling is higher than the small batch.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Bourbon Barrel Proof Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Bourbon

BatchRelease DateIn the BottleABV
Batch 1May 2012134.5 Proof67.25%
Batch 2May 2013135.4 Proof67.70%
Batch 3May 2014129.0 Proof64.50%
Batch 4May 2015127.2 Proof63.60%
Batch 5May 2016127.5 Proof63.75%
Batch 6May 2017128.1 Proof64.05%
Batch 7May 2018129.7 Proof64.85%
Batch 8May 2019129.3 Proof64.65%
Batch 9May 2020130.3 Proof65.15%
Batch 10May 2021Coming SoonComing Soon

It’s one of the few expressions from this line that is not Bottled in Bond. According to Buffalo Trace:

Crafted from hand-selected barrels, this bourbon is bottled directly from the barrel; uncut and unfiltered at more than 125 proof. It reflects the way whiskey was produced in the days before Prohibition when Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was the owner of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Drawn from barrels aged in warehouses constructed over a century ago under Taylor’s watchful eye, the taste is smooth, yet powerful and uncompromising, just like its namesake.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye Review

According to Buffalo Trace:

Straight Rye Whiskey has experienced a strong resurgence in the American whiskey landscape, yet Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was making this style more than 100 years ago. This small batch, Bottled-in-Bond 100 proof straight rye whiskey pays tribute to the former Distillery owner with a unique rye whiskey reminiscent of days long past.

Nose – 92 out of 100 Points

The nose is cinnamon heavy with a charred sweetness and a floral backdrop. I’m also picking up licorice and some brown sugar toasted grains. It’s not the most complex nose, but the aroma is pleasant.

Taste – 91 out of 100 Points

The palate is creamy and floral with black pepper and rye on the front and just a hint of vanilla on the mid-palate. Oaky in the back palate.

Finish – 89 out of 100 Points

The finish is long. It’s a bit muddled with oak, floral, and black pepper.

Verdict – Silver 90.6 out of 100 points

EH Taylor Rye lacks the complexity to take it into the gold status and the finish lacks premium balance. For the price, I’d pass.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C (2021) Review

The 2021 E.H. Taylor limited release is a follow up to the Warehouse C Tornado Surviving 2014 limited release. This iteration is a 10-year-old bourbon. More information when it’s released.

Colonel E.H. Taylor 18 Year Marriage (2020) Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor 18 Year Marriage

According to Buffalo Trace:

[Colonel Taylor’s] constant drive for perfection revolutionized the industry, with many of his techniques still in use today. This unique bourbon combines barrels from three signature mashbills that matured for eighteen years, including two different rye bourbon mashbills and our wheated bourbon mashbill. The marriage of bourbon mashbills gives this magnificent whiskey a nose of vanilla butter cake, a rich palate of caramel and cinnamon, and long finish of toasted oak, cinnamon, and hint of spearmint. A true testament to Taylor’s pursuit of perfection and his dedication to push the boundaries of making whiskey, this bourbon would have made its namesake proud.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Amaranth (2019) Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Amaranth

According to Buffalo Trace:

This bourbon honors Taylor’s enduring spirit of innovation and commitment to exceptional whiskey by introducing Amaranth as the flavoring grain. Amaranth was originally cultivated by the Aztecs and is known as the “Grain of the Gods.” This ancient grain is similar to wheat, but offers a complex taste with subtle flavors ranging from a nose of butterscotch and spearmint, to a finish of pecans and dark berries. Amaranth roughly translates to “never fading,” just like the legacy of Colonel Taylor, the founding father of the modern bourbon industry.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Four Grain Review

EH Taylor Four Grain

Colonel E.H. Taylor Four Grain
EHT Four GrainDetails
In the Barrel104 Proof
In the Bottle100 Proof
ABV50%
MashbillCorn, Rye, Wheat, and Malted Barley (Undisclosed %s)
Distilled and AgedFrankfort, KY
Age12-Years-Old
StyleBottled in Bond
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$79.99
ProsComplex and Balanced
ConsMaybe Too Sweet for Some Drinkers
AvailabilityAllocated
RatingGold 95 out of 100 Points
InventoryKeep Stocked

A small note about the barrel entry proof. This bourbon went into the barrel at 104 proof as opposed to the legal limit which would 125. The low entry proof some argue is necessary when aging wheated bourbons to retain their subtle sweetness and to maintain their delicate flavors through the premium aging process.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Four Grain is the only limited edition Colonel E.H. Taylor limited edition which was released in two years. According to Buffalo Trace:

This special edition Four Grain bourbon is crafted just as Taylor would have wanted. Using the highest quality grains and a distinct combination of corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley, to create a flavor that is sweet with hints of caramel and vanilla, yet spicy with notes of clove and pepper. After twelve years of aging, this impeccably balanced bourbon embodies the character of the man that would expect no less.

According to Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley, Four Grain will be a regular release in the E.H. Taylor lineup although no firm release date was been announced.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Four Grain (2018) Review

I was lucky enough to try this at a bar in Lousiville first then grab a bottle several months before the demand went to bat shit crazy level. I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay of sweetness and spice that the four grains afforded.

Nose – 95 out of 100 Points

Vanilla syrup, blue raspberry, caramel, and a hit of jasmine coming through.

Palate – 95 out of 100 Points

Ripe strawberries, vanilla, floral honey, cotton candy sweetness

Finish – 95 out of 100 Points

Rye peeks through with some vanilla

Verdict – Gold 95 out of 100 Points

Having tried half a dozen four grain bourbons this E.H. Taylor expression has been by far the best. It was complex, balanced, and most importantly delicious.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Four Grain (2017) Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood (2016) Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood

According to Buffalo Trace:

In 1870, Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. purchased a small distillery on the banks of the Kentucky River and named it O.F.C. He embarked on a massive renovation of the distillery, investing a small fortune to enhance production methods and beautify the grounds. Taylor also introduced many innovative techniques and elevated the quality of his whiskeys above all others at that time. This bourbon embraces Taylor’s spirit of innovation. It was aged inside new oak barrels crafted from staves treated with an innovative process of bathing and natural outdoor seasoning. This technique pulled rich flavors from the wood, to make the whiskey aged inside the barrels like no other. Using a unique wheat recipe mash bill, the result is a whiskey with bright, citrus flavors followed by spicy undertones. Savor every sip of this truly unique bourbon whiskey.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Cured Oak (2015) Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Cured Oak

According to Buffalo Trace:

During the 1800s, Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. established a reputation for making whiskey that consistently exceeded industry standards. From quality grains, to the best barrels for aging, Taylor exuded a passion for producing the finest whiskey in the world. E.H. Taylor Cured Oak Bourbon is aged inside oak barrels made with staves cured for 13 months, more than twice as long as typical barrel staves. This extended curing process extracts the rich characters deep within the wood. Barrels were aged inside of Warehouse C, built by Colonel Taylor in 1881 as a prime aging warehouse. As a special limited edition release, it is a bourbon of great character, in honor of the man who would accept no less.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving (2012) Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado

According to Buffalo Trace:

On Sunday evening, April 2, 2006, a severe storm with tornado strength winds tore through Central Kentucky, damaging two Buffalo Trace Distillery aging warehouses. One of the damaged warehouses was Warehouse C, a treasured warehouse on property, built by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. in 1881. It sustained significant damage to its roof and north brick wall, exposing a group of aging bourbon barrels to the elements. That summer, the exposed barrels waited patiently while the roof and walls were repaired, meanwhile being exposed to the Central Kentucky climate. When these barrels were tasted years later, it was discovered that the sun, wind, and elements they had experienced created a bourbon rich in flavors that was unmatched. This was truly a special batch of barrels, and though the Distillery does not hope for another tornado, it feels lucky to have been able to release this once in a lifetime product.

Colonel E.H. Taylor Old Fashioned Sour Mash (2011) Review

Colonel E.H. Taylor Sour Mash

According to Buffalo Trace:

A few years ago at a gathering of Distillery retirees, a method was recounted for making “Old Fashioned Sour Mash” whiskey. Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was known to use this technique in the late 1800s. Taylor’s technique involved allowing the mash to sour naturally for days before distillation. Distilled in 2002, this bourbon is a modern replication of this old-fashioned method. Using Taylor’s original souring process, the result is a bourbon of character and body like none other today.

Full review coming soon

E.H. Taylor Bourbon: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best E.H. Taylor bourbon?

Bang for the buck with availability considered, I’d go with the Small Batch. If availability wasn’t a factor the E.H. Taylor Barrel Bourbon rarely disappoints and is a steal at $79.99. The limited releases are going to vary by your palate and preferences. For instance, out of all the E.H. Taylor bourbons, I’ve tasted I’ve enjoyed the Four Grains from 2018 the most.

How much is a bottle of E.H. Taylor?

The E.H. Taylor small batch retails at $35 with other expressions ranging up to $79.99 (if you can find them).

Who makes E.H. Taylor Bourbon?

Buffalo Trace Distillery currently makes E.H. Taylor Bourbon but the brand was previously owned by Beam Suntory and National Distillers previously.

How many E.H. Taylors are there?

I would break them down into (1) Small Batch, (2) Straight Rye, (3) Single Barrel, (4) Barrel Proof Bourbon, and (5) Limited Edition releases.

What is E.H. Taylor bourbon?

It’s a bottled in bond bourbon made at Buffalo Trace Distillery that honors the visionary bourbon legend Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr.

How long is E.H. Taylor aged?

E.H. Taylor bourbon has typically been Non-Aged Stated (NAS).

Is E.H. Taylor a Wheated bourbon?

The regular expressions are not, but three of the limited releases have been (Cured Oak, Four Grain, and 18 Year Marriage)

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Why trust The Bourbon Bard?

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is a storyteller who loves bourbon. He has been drinking and studying whiskey for over 10 years. He has also been featured on sites like Bourbon Sippers, Explore Whiskey, and Inside Hook, partnered with dozens of distilleries, and reviewed hundreds of whiskeys.
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