James B. Beam Distilling Co | Review | The Olds

Old Taylor Bourbon (1997) Review

Last updated Mar 31, 2021

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by Matty Sims

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

Old Taylor Bourbon has a long storied history and is still one of the most respected brands on the market because of the legacy of Colonel E.H. Taylor who innovated in bourbon-making and was a key figure in the passing of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897.

Old Taylor Bourbon was first distilled at the Old Taylor Distillery (now Castle & Key) then purchased by National Distillers. Beam purchased National Distillers whiskey catalog in the late 80s but Old Taylor 6 year Bourbon was nothing more than a bottom shelf bourbon. As of 2009, Sazerac and Buffalo Trace purchased the rights to Old Taylors Bourbon. The bottle I was lucky enough to taste was from 1997 and distilled by Jim Beam. It had the signature Beam peanut flavor no mistaking.

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Old Taylor 6-Year-Old Bourbon (1997) Review

Old Taylor 6YO Bourbon

Nose – 85 out of 100 Points

Just a hint of peanut butter brittle with caramel and baking spice to round out a nice nose. It reminds me of another recent Beam bourbon I’ve had — Booker’s 2020-01 Granny’s Batch.

Taste – 81 out of 100 Points

The front is creamy peanut butter moving back into chunky peanut brittle drizzled with toffee. Baking spice with a hint of oak shows up at the back of the palate.

Finish – 83 out of 100 Points

The finish short to medium with light peanut butter notes with more baking spice and toffee.

Verdict – Bronze 83 out of 100 Points

It’s a light honey color with medium viscosity in my Glencairn whiskey glass. The lighter color initially had me concerned it would lack flavor. This 1997 Old Taylor drank dry. It wasn’t off-putting, but it was also a flavor profile I don’t love. It’s always fun trying dusties regardless and this was no different.

I would still buy Old Taylor 6YO Bourbon 10 out of 10 times if I found it on the shelf. And many bourbon hunters do find it on the shelf. It’s worth the experience and also worth sharing with others.

Old Taylor 6-Year-Old Bourbon from National Distillers

Check this review of Old Taylor Bourbon from National Distillers courtesy of Malt Review:

However, while National Distillers owned the Old Taylor Distillery at the time this whiskey was produced, it was not distilled there. Some research indicates that National Distillers ceased operating the distillery in 1972. I was therefore inclined to conclude that this likely came from the company’s Elkhorn Forks distillery. That distillery was opened in 1937, having been started four years earlier by Kenner Taylor, son of (wait for it) E.H. Taylor. This distillery is better known as the site of production of Old Grand-Dad, which (as noted above) was also owned by National Distillers at the time.

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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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