Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel and Four Roses SiB Barrel Strength OBSQ Head to Head Reviews
What am I doing? A day ahead again? It's not Taylor Tuesday yet... Hey, I go for what I feel like and these two bottles called my name tonight! I haven't had an OBSQ yet, so let's dive in and put it up against what I have been trying to find a replacement bottle for forever. I gave away my last 3 Taylor Single Barrels and unfortunately haven't found another since then. I may or may not regret this decision still today. Now let's get into the reviews.
Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel
Company on Label: Old Fashioned Copper (Buffalo Trace / Sazerac)
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 (Low Rye < 10%)
Further identification: Laser code L200910115:33K (2020 release)
Four Roses Single Barrel Barrel Strength - OBSQ
Company on Label: Four Roses
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Barley
Age: 10 years
Further identification: This is a pick from Liquor Junction in MA; Warehouse RS, Barrel 24-5Q
Colonel E.H. Taylor Single Barrel Review
Nose: Sweet candy nose. Cherry forward with candied apple behind it. Slightly metallic caramel. Very slight clove in the background, which is a surprising note for this pour. Hints of allspice and sweet, syrupy stewed herbs. A bit more malt forward than I remember. Slight pine note on a deep inhale that showed up sharply. Playground wood chips. Soft and tart, I am really excited to take my first sip of this one! There's a very faint Pinesol note, which if you've ever ready any of my reviews of Willett distillate, you'll know I'm crazy for! Turning a bit funky now, I'm ready to rush into a taste. Coming back to this pour is a nice reprieve from some of the heavier flavors of the Four Roses; there's sweet tarts, crusty blueberry muffin, and a slight meatiness. Light smoke in the glass now. Level, consistent and delicious - this pour hasn't wavered a bit in the hour I've been sitting with it. Undoubtedly one of my favorite pours I've returned to and savored every glass of. There's a wonderful smooth vanilla now late in the glass. The empty glass smells of honey, wood chips and dry raisin.
Palate: Instant syrupy mouth feel with a dark cherry sweetness that lingers on the top of my tongue. Just liquid candy in a glass on this one. The palate surpasses the nose almost instantly on this one. There's baking spices up in the gums while plum and hints of coconut dance all around in my mouth. A tiny bit of mint makes this have some effervescence that cools the tongue as you breath over it. Always a fun mouth feel to this. Pinot noir and oak bark. There's just a hint of dryness that I think comes across as just enough oak influence. The linger is quite long with raisin and stewed plums. Coming back to this pour reveals more of the perpetual fruit sweetness this glass has to offer. If you've got a sweet tooth - this is the pour for you! The intensity of the barrel strength offering this is up against has certainly detracted from my ability to pick up subtle nuances at 100 proof, but it hasn't taken my heart away from enjoying the incredible sweetness this provides. My last sip is all cherry syrup with a linger of honey and wheat bread.
Four Roses Single Barrel Barrel Strength - OBSQ Review
Nose: Spicy, slightly nutty, creamy. and amazing dark fruit on the first nose. Dusty oak. Intense barrel char influences presents mostly vanilla forward. Sweet plum, dates and apricot. Dusty flower petals. Red licorice. Oak and molasses. Dusty, big heavy hitter of a Four Roses release. I'm normally used to a lot of these recipes presenting very delicately but this one is bold. Intense baking spice pops out of the glass on a swirl. Light lemon citrus is laced well into the herbal tones. After my first sip there is turmeric, cloves and more citrus. Dusty milk chocolate now too. This glass is turning really minty later on. The mint has subdued after some time and is replaced with a fair bit of caramel. The exceptional vanilla from the barrel char is back now as well. The empty glass smells of chocolate, dusty oak, sharp vanilla bean and smoky bergamot.
Palate: Oh my - vanilla zing at the start! Amazing allspice, cardamom and nutmeg. The first sips finish is surprisingly short to begin with, but then comes roaring back with a finish of tart dates. Much more spicy stone fruit on my next sip with raisin and plum leading the charge. Oddly after taking a sip and giving a deep inhale it tastes slightly minty. A long swig and swish reveals heavy vanilla, wet flowers and moody oaky mint. There's a very unique spice to this - it reminds me of some kind of medley of saffron, coriander and mustard seeds. Heavy molasses. This builds really heavily with every sip and almost feels overpowering as I get towards the bottom of the glass. My last sip is molasses forward with fennel, tarragon, lemon zest and chicory. What an incredibly unique spice experience this presented!
Final Ranking: E.H. Taylor Single Barrel > Four Roses OBSQ
Boy, these were quite different releases... Both really had me on the edge of my seat as I tasted and smelled along with some light help and entertainment from @amongstthefernsco. I hope you've got something good in your glass tonight! Cheers.