...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Colonel E.H. Taylor Rye Bottled-in-Bond (2017)

Though I've tried most of the major ryes on the market, I didn't taste this — shall we say...Four Year Old Taylor? — rye until December of last year. And I liked it a lot. But when I priced-shopped, I was disappointed to find that $70 is apparently now considered a bargain, and many retailers won't blink at charging $90-$100 for it. It was better than the $25 Rittenhouse BIB but not by that much. And this BIB is neither scarce nor old. So I gave up on it.

Then one day, while driving through a state that neither begins nor ends with an 'O', I found a bunch of bottles of Taylor Rye BIB selling for $52.

And that is how I wound up with my one bottle, a bottle that has not impressed me at all, I regret to say. It hasn't work well in Manhattan's, at full strength or watered down. It's approachable but unremarkable when sipped neatly.

Because of this disappointment, I've left it alone for the past two months. The fill level is now below the halfway point. I hope a little bit of oxygen helped it out.

Brand: Colonel E.H. Taylor
Company: Buffalo Trace (Sazerac)
Distillery: Buffalo Trace?
Region: Kentucky
Type: Straight rye
Age: at least four years old
Mashbill: just rye and malted barley, the %s are as of yet unknown
Bottling Code: L172850115087
Alcohol by Volume: 50%

It has a nice, crisp nose full of fruit and spice. Anise and mint combine with hints of stone fruit. Orange peel and cinnamon. Rye seeds, vanilla syrup and potpourri. The palate has mild sweet and heat levels. Cinnamon and freshly split lumber. Jalapeño oil and oranges. Ume and tart limes. Loads of wood. A touch of vinegar and bitterness. It finishes on lumber and limes, ginger, alcohol heat and chili oil.

An improvement! The nose really opened up. And the palate is a little better. The whiskey is likely from a very high rye mashbill, but Sazerac pushed the oak big-time, perhaps to hide any scary parts. Thus this will be one of the rare times where I'll say this whiskey would not be better with a few more years of maturation.

Though it's a different style than Pikesville 6yo or High West's Double, Taylor Rye BIB is of comparable quality. But that's all a matter of temperament, as is how one feels about spending $90-$100 on a $40 whiskey.

Availability - In the US, most specialty retailers. A little harder to find overseas.
Pricing - $70 to (really) $200 (US), $100-$150 (Europe, w/o VAT or shipping)
Rating - 83


  1. It may be a consolation to you to hear that I paid $70 for this back in 2012, when Willett 5yo rye was going for $35. My comments reflect precisely how I remember it: i) pretty much like baby Sazerac rye; ii) very overpriced:

    "Nice rye whisky, similar to Baby Sazerac, perhaps better. On a good day it's 80-82pts. Ultimately not that exciting, a little weak body. Definitely not worth the asking price!"

    1. Damn, there you go reminding me of $35 LDI Willett. :'(