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Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Batch 11 Bourbon Review



This 2022 end-of-year release of Taylor Barrel Proof is finally here! I was fortunate to win the right to purchase this bottle from a raffle run by Vinnin Liquors. I of course dove right into it and started forming some thoughts on this new release. I've recently just finished my bottle of Barrel Proof Batch 10, so I have some of those notes fresh on my mind as well. Perfect time to dive into this one for a thorough review.


Buffalo Trace describes this years release on the back of the bottle saying:

Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was born in Kentucky in 1830. After moving to Louisiana with his great uncle Zachary Taylor as a boy, Edmund eventually returned to Kentucky where he made his most indelible mark on history as a founding father of the modern bourbon industry.
Hearty and complex, this uncut and unfiltered whiskey was drawn directly from barrels aged in warehouses constructed by Taylor over a century ago. Hand-selected and bottled over 125 proof, it reflects the way whiskey was produced in the days before prohibition. With hints of chocolate and molasses, it is smooth, yet powerful and uncompromising - just like its namesake, Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr.

Notably this batch 11 shares the same proof as batch 3 did, so in order to figure out the difference between those two you'll have to look at the laser code on the bottle. If you don't know where to find the laser code drop me a comment at the bottom of this page and I'd be glad to help you out.


If you're ever struggling to figure out which proof corresponds to which batch like me, here's a helpful list. Taylor Barrel Proof batches by proof and by year:


Batch 1: 134.5° (2012)

Batch 2: 135.4° (2013)

Batch 3: 129.0° (2014)

Batch 4: 127.2° (2015)

Batch 5: 127.5° (2016)

Batch 6: 128.1° (2017)

Batch 7: 129.7° (2018)

Batch 8: 129.3° (2019)

Batch 9: 130.3° (2020)

Batch 10: 127.3° (2021)

Batch 11: 129.0° (2022)


I thoroughly enjoyed Batch 10 which earned my top score and a 'Keep Amongst the Whiskey' distinction. Let's see how the new release stacks up!


 

Company on Label: Old Fashioned Copper Distillery (Buffalo Trace)

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 (Low Rye < 10%)

Proof: 129.0°

Age: NAS (supposedly 6-8 years)

Further identification: Batch 11 is the 2022 release of the barrel proof offering which first originated in 2012; this yearly release is set to be joined by a possible E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Rye at some point, which I am looking forward to


 

Nose: Thick, decadent caramel and oak are prevalent on first raising the glass to my nose. Gobs of dark molasses, gingerbread, brown sugar and black bread tingle in the nostrils. I find an effervescent aroma on deep inhales that reminds me of dark earth meeting verdant plant growth. This smells much higher aged than the rumored 6-8 years, though my sense could be fooling me here. Wafting from one nostril to the next I find light confectioners sugar, cigar smoke and dry newspaper on the right. On the left the glass drums up subtle floral tones alongside nondescript sweetness. Deep inhales on either are surprisingly easy, maintaining an approachable nose-feel devoid of any evidence of proof. The well rested glass produces quite muted tones of anise and cacao. After an aggressive swirl of the glass more vanilla tones flush out white lily, black pepper and allspice. Attempting to dig further leads only to a bit of nose-blindness setting in, so let's dive in on a sip.


Returning from sipping I begin to find the strawberry tones the palate produced, but layered in with a shortcake feel that really starts to feel complete & cohesive. The whole glass is much more lively now with a good bit of metallic proof showing through a thin veil of white linen. I love the well aged oak and caramel tones on the nose, but I can't find too many other interesting aromas here today. As I get closer to the bottom of the glass I finally start to find more of the cherry candied sweetness one would come to expect from the Taylor label these days. The empty glass smells of rich barrel funk, amaretto, newspaper and Kentucky rack house dust.


Palate: My first sip is a surprisingly citrus forward for Taylor. I find lemon peel, pomegranate, peach and strawberry sherbet up front. The mouth coating is thin but prevalent. Cherry hots sit squarely in the center of my chest in a delicate manner. The proof here is again invisible as it was on the nose. The linger tapers off slowly without much flavor volume. Another sip produces a little flash of tart red fruit sweetness; cherry, plum and date flavors sizzle on the tongue. The fruit dances a bit before splashing into a creamy river littered with chunks of cinnamon. Rye bread, molasses and a subtle hint of rosemary give this an interesting direction I wasn't expecting. Sipping towards the bottom of the glass highlights a noticeably sweeter profile than before with maraschino cherries and soft amaretto. My last sip is easy with tannic red grape, nutmeg, cinnamon and black raspberry leading the way. The linger is soft and short with stewed plum, muddled cocktail apricot, candle wax and dry cacao.


 

Rating: 4/5

(Really good; I want one of these on my shelf.)


Overall this definitely lacks the wow factor that batch 10 had. It's still a solid bourbon I'm certainly glad is on my shelf, but I don't think I am going to be hunting a backup of it any time soon (given the difficulty). Maybe we finally found where the canceled George T Stagg barrels ended up? Hope this review helped you out today. If it did, consider buying me a coffee! Cheers!

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