Colonel EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel comes from the Buffalo Trace Distillery and is named after Bourbon legend Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. Taylor operated his O.F C. Distillery in 1869 during the time of some questionable practices. Customers were getting swindled with inferior and doctored Bourbon. He lobbied successfully for the Bottled in Bond designation to ensure quality. His great uncle was Zachary Taylor and he was also related to James Madison, so he apparently had a political pedigree.
Bottled in Bond means the whiskey is distilled from one plant during one season and aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years. The whiskey also has to be bottled at 100-proof. In honor of this effort, the most of the Colonel EH Taylor Jr line is Bottled in Bond.
The O.F.C. Distillery was purchased by George T Stagg in 1878 and Buffalo Trace has commemorated this line of Bourbons to Taylor. The collection includes a Small Batch, Single Barrel reviewed here, Barrel Proof, Straight Rye, Old Fashioned Sour Mash, and Warehouse C Tornado Surviving. The later was a special release of barrels exposed to the weather after a 2006 tornado damaged Buffalo Trace’s Warehouse C.
No Age Statement. Bottled at 50%. Buffalo Trace’s #1 Mash of about less than 10% rye. MSRP – $59.99 (2016 Price)
Fruity. Apples, plums. Caramel. Cinnamon and maybe a little nutmeg. A little honey. Light oak char. Some corn.
Caramel and sweet. Buttery. Hot cinnamon and some alcohol burn. I like this with a little water. Water dials down the heat a bit and brings out more toffee and sweetness. A little jammy. Oak builds in the finish with a nice richness that’s a little woody, spicy, and nutty.
I’ve been enjoying this bottle of EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel. I think I prefer this at around 90-95-proof. Once I get settled in I find myself enjoying this as the glass goes down and wanting more when it’s gone. This is a nice pour.
The big question for me is how this stacks up to the EH Taylor Jr. Small Batch? For me that’s $20 less and generally easier to find. At the same adjusted proof I found them to pretty similar. Maybe a little more body in the EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel with a little more of that hot cinnamon, but side by side I didn’t see $20 difference. I’d probably recommend checking the Small Batch out first and if you enjoy it grab this EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel and compare.
EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel Recommendation
Buy a Bottle – 3.5/5.0 Rating
(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)
Buying Options and Further Research
I already covered the EH Taylor Jr. Small Batch and that would be my top alternate to EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel to research or buy. This is a low-rye Bourbon and it doesn’t’ have too many peers, so we’ll look further in the rye category for similar bottles at this price range. Blanton’s would be a good choice as would John J Bowman. If you’re looking to enjoy something similar to EH Taylor Jr Single Barrel for about half the money, Eagle Rare 10 would be something to consider. I’d, however, also put that a bit below the Small Batch.
Links & Other Reviews
- Buffalo Trace Website
- Stu’s Recent Eats Review
- Bourbonr: Buffalo Trace Mash Bills
- Drinkhacker Review