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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon


If you’re looking for a special gift for your bourbon (or even a scotch) fan, it’s hard to pass up this bourbon in a tall, graceful bottle safely secured in a lovely scotch-like tube. E.H. Taylor Bottled-in-Bond represents all that is good within the bourbon industry, with a name that is steeped in history. It’s also great when the bourbon is every bit as good as its namesake.

Bigger than Legend

In 1869, Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. purchased the Old Fire Copper Distillery (O.F.C.) along the Kentucky River in Frankfort Kentucky. Nearly a decade later, he sold it to George T. Stagg. You’ll recognize both of these names – EH Taylor went on to establish the Old Taylor Distillery now known as Castle and Key. George T. Stagg went on to grow the OFC Distillery into what has become Buffalo Trace. Today, both of these bourbon legends are remembered in signature Buffalo Trace bourbons.

While EH was at OFC, he pioneered new techniques in bourbon production – many of which are still in use today He advocated for the use of the sour mash technique, where a portion of the fermented mash was “set back” for use in the next fermentation, leading to a more consistent product – much like a portion of sourdough bread starter is reserved for the next batch of dough. It was while preparing a portion of an old distillery building at Buffalo Trace in 2017 for conference and event area that original fermentation tanks from EH’s era were unearthed. Today, Buffalo Trace is filling them in preparation for special releases in the coming years.

Taylor, along with George Garvin Brown of Brown-Forman, were instrumental in advocating for the production of safe drinking spirits. It was in 1897 that the Bottled-in-Bond Act was passed, while Taylor was serving as mayor of Frankfort, KY. This bourbon honors this pillar of the modern bourbon era.

The Tasting

E.H. Taylor comes in a tall, graceful bottle encased by a cardboard scotch-like tube. While it carries no age statement, the bottled-in-bond labeling indicates it

  1. Is the product of 1 distillation season, by a single distiller, at a single location

  2. Has been aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least 4 years

  3. Is bottled at 100 proof

  4. Is labeled to identify the distillery where it was distilled

  5. Is produced in the U.S. may be bonded

Buffalo Trace is tight-lipped on the mash bill, but it is typically thought that E.H. Taylor is a produced from Mash Bill #1 – a low-rye mash bill. Siblings include Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare, Old Charter, and Benchmark.

Eye: Caramel

Nose: Caramel and vanilla with some honey notes and dried fruits.

Palate: Sweet with spicy notes. I sense plenty of browned butter and sugar along with some light floral notes. The mouthfeel isn’t as creamy as I might of thought, but this feels very well balanced – not too light, not too heavy. There’s great balance between the classic essences and the lighter fruit and floral sensations.

Finish: Medium with some vanilla, oaky char and pepper spice. E.H. would be proud.

Overall: For around $40, you can get a very fine bourbon that will impress your friends and family. There’s a great story here and some traditional bourbon flavors. Buffalo Trace is commended for keeping the Taylor legacy alive and thriving.

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