Colonel E.H. Taylor, Hr. Small Batch Bourbon Graph

Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Review + Bourbon Graph

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Jennifer Wells2 Comments

Every regular bourbon drinker has THE bourbon, the one that opened up the portal to the possibilities that the spirit offers. For me, it wasn’t one bourbon, but several from the constellation of Buffalo Trace’s collection. Blanton’s. Elmer T. Lee. Eagle Rare. This was a galaxy I wanted to inhabit.

My first pours of any of the 7 E.H. Taylor, Jrs., were experienced in this order: the Tornado Surviving, then Cured Oak, and the Barrel Proof. Tough life, I know. But, I had spent so much time chasing unicorns that I had overlooked the “entry-level” E.H. Taylor Small Batch. Big mistake. Big. Huge.

In short, E.H. Taylor, Jr. small batch is what philosophy majors call a “Platonic ideal” – if there was one first bourbon, and all other bourbons were shadows of that bourbon, it would be this one.

The History of Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr., Abridged.

After the Civil War, “Colonel” E.H. Taylor, Jr. purchased a Frankfort, Kentucky distillery and called it “Old Fire Copper” or O.F.C., in a nod to the copper kettles commonly used for distilling whiskey in Europe. O.F.C. was later sold to George T. Stagg, and, nearly 100 years later, was renamed Buffalo Trace. In addition to his eponymous line of bourbon, E.H. Taylor, Jr. is best known for his work on the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. Anything labeled “Bottled-in-Bond” means the bourbon is made by one distiller at one distillery in one distilling season (one year), has been aged for four or more years, and has been bottled at 100 proof. E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch is Bottled In Bond.

Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bourbon Review

Name: Colonel E.H.Taylor, Jr. Small Batch

Proof: 100 proof / 50% ABV

Age: NAS – (No Age Statement) but The Internets seem to agree 7 years

Year: 2016

How I Drank It: First pour: Neat in a Libbey 5130 5-oz Old Fashioned Glass; Second pour: With 11 drops of water

Nose: This smells like walking into a rick house during a distillery tour in Kentucky: the air is faintly sweet with the angel’s share, which is made even better by the contrast of slowly aging wood and dust.

Taste: This entire pour reminded me of driving down a red dirt road on the island of Kauai with sugarcane clacking in the breeze to signal an approaching tropical storm. The first moment of the sip picks up the greenness of the sugar cane stalks and the road ahead begins to…

Burn: … rise gently like a rolling hill in the mid-palate, which then drops back down as it passes on to the back of the throat. Then boom: a vortex of singed sugar which sends spice vapors spiraling up, and out, like the outer bands of a hurricane. Anticipation. Adventure. Adrenaline. It is all here.

Neat, Splash or Rocks: At 100 proof, it may be a little hot for some. I drank it neat, but found that diluting it with a few drops of water didn’t make the pour overly thin.

Share With: TYour friend from Wisconsin who used to drink brandy and now drinks Eagle Rare. Upgrade to EH Taylor Barrel Proof during Packers’ OT.

Worth The Price: For $40? Buy a case.

Bottle, Bar or Bust: Bottle. At this price point, this is your “light at the end of a long-day-at-work tunnel” but not your everyday sipper or mixer. Unless that’s how you roll.

Here’s a #bourbongraph that I created while sampling Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch for this review.

Share your own #bourbongraph of Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch on Instagram or Twitter!

About the Author

Jennifer Wells

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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Jennifer currently lives in sunny, swampy Florida, where she is the co-founder of the Sarasota Whiskey Society and President/only member of the Willett Family Estate Two Year Rye Defense League. When she isn't making Star Wars shaped jelly shots with Pappy Van Winkle or teaching others how to graph, she is training for triathlons, traveling around the world, or teaching college.


  1. Avatar

    I agree on all accounts, except for drinking with a Packers fan. I was passing Buffalo Trace on the way to NC and saw the E.H. Taylor on the shelf. Both me and my brother-in-law love Blantons, and E.H is a good second. We did a side-by-side comparison, and think it’s comparible with Blantons, with a slight burn.

  2. Avatar

    West Texan, raised on Jim Beam and JD. Never had a clue what a real bourbon was until a few years ago. I’ll swig your Blantons, gulp your Willets and caress your Rare Eagle. E.H. works just fine for me. Pappy is overrated for the price IMOP but that’s just me.

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