E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon: The Ultimate Bottle Guide

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is a premium spirit that has garnered accolades and respect from bourbon enthusiasts and critics alike. Produced at the historic Buffalo Trace Distillery, E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is crafted using carefully selected ingredients and time-honored techniques. As one of the oldest continually operating distilleries in the United States, Buffalo Trace boasts a rich heritage and a wealth of expertise in the art of bourbon-making.

One of the key factors that set E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon apart from its competitors is its status as a "bottled-in-bond" bourbon. This designation signifies that the spirit adheres to a set of strict production standards, including being distilled at a single distillery during a distillation season, aged for at least four years, and bottled at 100 proof. These rigorous requirements guarantee the quality, purity, and authenticity of the bourbon, ensuring that consumers can trust in the product's excellence.

Since its introduction, E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon has become one of the most sought-after bourbons on the market, beloved by bourbon enthusiasts for its exceptional quality and unique history. The brand has also expanded to include a range of other bourbons, including Single Barrel, Barrel Proof, and Straight Rye, each of which pays tribute to Taylor's legacy in its own way.

History of E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon

The Small Batch bourbon has a rich and storied history that spans more than a century. The bourbon is named after Colonel E.H Taylor Jr., a pioneer in the American whiskey industry and one of the most influential figures in the history of bourbon. 

Taylor began his career in the whiskey industry in the mid-1800s, working as a clerk for his uncle's bank in Kentucky, which financed other distilleries before Taylor opened his own. In 1869, he purchased a distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, which he named the O.F.C. Distillery. Under Taylor's leadership, the distillery became one of the most advanced and innovative distilleries in the country, using steam power and other cutting-edge technologies to produce high-quality bourbon.

Taylor was also a tireless advocate for the bourbon industry, working to establish standards for bourbon production and advocating for the passage of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which required that bourbon be aged for at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse. 

In 1878, the O.F.C. Distillery was sold to the George T. Stagg Company, which eventually became part of the Sazerac Company (though Taylor continued running the distillery after the sale). In 2013, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Taylor's purchase of the O.F.C. Distillery, the Sazerac Company introduced E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon as a tribute to Taylor's legacy.

How is E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon made?

The process of making E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon starts with the careful selection of grains. The mash bill for this bourbon consists of corn, rye, and malted barley, with a higher percentage of corn and a lower percentage of rye than some other bourbons. Once the grains have been selected, they are ground into a fine powder and mixed with water to create a mash. 

The mash is heated to convert the starches in the grains into fermentable sugars, and then cooled and transferred to fermentation tanks. The mash is allowed to ferment for several days until the alcohol content reaches a predetermined level. The resulting liquid is then double-distilled using traditional copper pot stills. This process of double distillation is key to creating the smooth and complex flavor profile of E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon.

After distillation, the bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels for at least four years. The barrels used to age E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon are carefully selected to ensure that the bourbon has the perfect balance of flavor and aroma. Once the bourbon has aged for at least four years, it is ready to be bottled. Each batch of E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is made up of a small selection of barrels, which allows for greater control over the flavor and aroma of the bourbon.

What does E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon taste like?

First and foremost, E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon has a sweet aroma, with notes of caramel and vanilla that are sure to tantalize your senses. These sweet scents are balanced out by hints of oak and spice, which add a deeper complexity to the aroma. On the palate, E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is smooth and full-bodied, with a richness that lingers long after each sip.

The initial taste is sweet, with flavors of caramel and toffee that are reminiscent of a warm, homemade dessert. As the bourbon settles on the tongue, the sweetness gives way to flavors of oak, which add a satisfying depth to the flavor.

However, the complexity of E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon doesn't stop there. As you continue to sip, you may detect hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other warm spices that add a subtle heat to the flavor. These spicy notes are balanced out by the sweetness of the bourbon, creating a perfect harmony of flavors that dance on the tongue.

Different types of E.H. Taylor bourbon

While E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is an exceptional spirit in its own right, it's just one of the many remarkable offerings within the E.H. Taylor lineup. Each of these bourbons has its own flavor profile, providing bourbon enthusiasts with a wide range of options to explore and enjoy.

The Single Barrel Bourbon is a more exclusive expression, offering a unique experience in every bottle. Each barrel is hand-selected by the master distiller, ensuring that only the finest bourbon makes it into this limited release. The Single Barrel Bourbon features enhanced richness and depth, with a velvety mouthfeel and a slightly more pronounced oakiness.

For those who appreciate a bold and full-flavored bourbon, the Barrel Proof Bourbon is a must-try. This expression is bottled straight from the barrel, without any dilution, resulting in a higher alcohol content and a more intense flavor profile. You can expect robust notes of dark fruits, with a bit of spiciness and a lingering warmth on the finish.

There's also the E.H. Taylor Straight Rye Whiskey, which is a noteworthy addition to the E.H. Taylor lineup. Made from a mash bill containing at least 51% rye, this expression offers a distinctly different flavor profile compared to the bourbon offerings. Expect bold and spicy rye flavors, accompanied by notes of caramel, vanilla, and a hint of citrus.

How to drink E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon?

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is a versatile spirit that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, depending on your personal preferences and the occasion at hand.  One of the simplest and most traditional ways to enjoy E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is by sipping it neat. This allows you to fully appreciate the bourbon's intricate flavors without any dilution or added ingredients. 

For those who prefer their bourbon chilled, serving it on the rocks is a popular option. On cold winter nights, a hot toddy can provide some warmth and comfort. This soothing drink combines bourbon with hot water, honey, lemon juice, and a touch of cinnamon or cloves, and is said to help with colds and sore throats, as well as provide a comforting nightcap.

If you want your cocktail to have a balance of sweet and sour flavors, the whiskey sour cocktail is a delightful choice. This cocktail mixes bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and sometimes an egg white for a frothy texture. It is usually garnished with a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange. 

You can also try making a classic mint julep cocktail, a traditional Southern cocktail that consists of a refreshing blend of bourbon, fresh mint leaves, sugar, and crushed ice. Perfect for warm days, this drink is both cooling and invigorating. 

Is E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon expensive?

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is considered to be a higher-end bourbon, and its price point reflects that. At the time of writing, a 750ml bottle of E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon typically retails for around $40 to $70, depending on the retailer and location. The demand for E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon often outstrips the supply, which can contribute to the higher price point.

Undoubtedly, the price of E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon may be a consideration for some consumers, especially those who are new to the world of premium whiskey. However, it is important to remember that the cost of the bourbon is reflective of its quality and craftsmanship. For those who appreciate the finer things in life and are willing to invest in a premium product, E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is certainly worth the price.

Difference between E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon and Eagle Rare

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon and Eagle Rare are two bourbons produced by the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. While both bourbons share a similar heritage, there are some notable differences between the two. One distinguishing factor between E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon and Eagle Rare is the age of the whiskey.

Small Batch Bourbon is aged for at least four years in new, charred oak barrels. Eagle Rare bourbon, on the other hand, is aged for at least ten years in the same type of barrels. This longer aging process can result in a more mature and complex flavor profile for Eagle Rare.

Another difference between the two brands is the strength of the whiskey. E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is bottled at 100 proof, while Eagle Rare is bottled at a lower proof of 90. This difference in proof can result in a difference in the intensity of the flavors between the two bourbons. When it comes to the flavor profile, E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is known for its rich, complex flavor profile, with notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice. Eagle Rare, on the other hand, has a smoother and more delicate flavor profile, with notes of honey, orange peel, and a hint of oak.

How to properly store E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon?

After investing in a bottle of E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon, you'll want to ensure that it's properly stored to maintain its quality, flavor, and integrity. Storing your bourbon correctly is crucial, as improper storage can lead to degradation of the spirit and, ultimately, a less enjoyable drinking experience.

One of the most important factors in storing bourbon is protecting it from direct sunlight. UV from the sun rays can cause the bourbon to deteriorate over time, leading to changes in color, aroma, and flavor. To prevent this, store your bottle in a cool, dark place, such as a cabinet, pantry, or cellar. 

Also remember that minimizing exposure to air is crucial for maintaining the quality of your bourbon. Once a bottle has been opened, the whiskey begins to oxidize, which can eventually alter its flavor and aroma. To prevent this, always ensure that your bottle is tightly sealed with its original cork or cap when not in use. If the original closure is damaged or lost, consider using a wine preserver or airtight stopper as a temporary solution.

You should also be mindful not to store your bourbons in the fridge. Bourbon is best enjoyed at room temperature or slightly chilled, and storing it in the fridge can cause it to become too cold, which can mute its flavors and aromas.

E.H. Taylor Small Batch is a multiple award-winning bourbon

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon has garnered an impressive array of awards and accolades, testifying to its exceptional quality and taste, and the dedication of the Buffalo Trace Distillery team in crafting this remarkable spirit. At the 2022 American Whiskey Masters, the Small Batch Bourbon took home a gold medal in the Bourbon — No Age Statement category. 

The judges were divided into five panels and tasted a range of bourbons from different distilleries in different price categories. The judges noted the whiskey's "complexity" and flavors of "caramel, vanilla, and oak." E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon's achievement highlights its position as a high-quality bourbon amidst a growing market of American whiskeys and comparable bourbon flavors. The Small Batch Bourbon was also awarded and labeled "Excellent / Highly Recommended" by scoring 90-94 points at the 2022 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is aged in century-old warehouses

The Buffalo Trace Distillery, where E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is produced, is home to several warehouses that date back over 100 years. These historic warehouses have been standing since the time of Colonel E.H. Taylor himself, who was instrumental in modernizing the bourbon industry and establishing the distillery's reputation for excellence.

The century-old warehouses are not temperature controlled, which means that the bourbon barrels are exposed to natural seasonal temperature fluctuations. These variations in temperature cause the whiskey to expand and contract within the barrels, leading to a more intimate interaction between the spirit and the wood. As a result, the bourbon takes on the unique characteristics of the charred oak, such as notes of vanilla, caramel, and toasted nuts.

The age and construction of these warehouses also create a unique microclimate that can't be replicated in newer or artificially controlled environments. The thick brick walls and sturdy wooden beams in these buildings allow for a slow and steady exchange of air, which impacts the rate at which the bourbon interacts with the oak barrels. This natural process contributes to the development of rich and complex flavors in the final product.

E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is made in one of the oldest distilleries in the United States

The distillery behind E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is the Buffalo Trace Distillery, a national historic landmark located in Frankfort, Kentucky. The distillery has a long and storied history, dating back to 1775 when the first distillery was established on the site. The site was originally chosen due to its proximity to the Kentucky River, and the presence of natural limestone springs which provided an abundant supply of clean, mineral-rich water — a key ingredient in the production of bourbon.

Over the years, the distillery changed hands several times. By the mid-1800s, it was owned by Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr., who transformed the distillery into one of the most advanced and innovative distilleries in the country. Today, the Buffalo Trace Distillery is owned by the Sazerac Company and is one of the most iconic and respected distilleries in the bourbon industry.

One of the key factors that sets the Buffalo Trace Distillery apart is its commitment to producing high-quality bourbon using traditional methods. The distillery uses the same mash bill and fermentation techniques that were used by E.H. Taylor Jr. more than a century ago, and they are dedicated to aging their bourbon for as long as it needs to reach its full potential.

E.H. Taylor has a special, limited edition expression that survived a tornado storm

While the E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon is known for its rich history and exceptional taste, one of its rare and unique expressions has an extraordinary story that sets it apart from the rest. The E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon is a limited-edition release with an incredible backstory that makes it a must-have for bourbon enthusiasts and collectors alike.

In the spring of 2006, a powerful tornado tore through the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Warehouse C, the aging facility for E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon, was damaged during the storm. The tornado ripped off part of the roof and walls, exposing the barrels to the elements for months.

Despite the devastation, the distillery team salvaged the barrels and continued the E.H. Taylor legacy. After careful examination, they discovered that the exposed barrels appeared to have been affected in a unique and favorable way. The combination of natural sunlight, fluctuating temperatures, and increased air circulation during the aging process resulted in an extraordinary bourbon with a distinct flavor profile. 

Dubbing it the "Tornado Surviving" expression, Buffalo Trace has decided to bottle this remarkable bourbon as a limited-edition release, honoring the resilience of both the distillery and the E.H. Taylor brand. 

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