Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Bourbon Review
This sample comes to me from the absolutely epic shelf of my good friend @ra1nmannn. I thank him for providing it to me for review! This is another one of those crazy rare releases that few will try. You might be wondering if it's worth chasing this down... or dare I say... opening one of your own? This stuff is meant to be shared & Eric knows and exercises that adage better than most I know. So... What's the deal with Warehouse C? The mythos is built and described well on Buffalo Trace's website. They state:
This ten-year-old Bottled in Bond bourbon was aged in Warehouse C, built by Col. Taylor in 1885, and the barrel warehouse he was most proud of – the final piece in his “model distillery.” Like some of the previous releases, this one-time-only bottling of E.H. Taylor, Jr Warehouse C Bourbon is very limited.
The barrels in the E.H. Taylor Jr. Warehouse C release were all aged for ten years in the center of Warehouse C, with half of them coming from the 2nd floor and the other half from the 5th floor. The second floor is an outstanding aging floor for older barrels. The ricks are very tight, making it slow and difficult to put in new barrels. The floor is very dry, making it ideal for 10 to 15-year-old products. The fifth floor of Warehouse C is a well-rounded aging floor with windows all the way around, providing excellent air flow throughout the floor. There is ample sunlight through these windows which helps heat up the warehouse and the aging process.
The ideal aging locations for these barrels led to a wonderful flavor combination, with a nose of cherry cobbler with rum sauce and a hint of oak; a palate of cherry cola, vanilla bean and toasted oak; and a finish that is long and lingering with a hint of spearmint, coffee, raisin bread and anise.
Okay, so. if I'm allowed to paraphrase a little..
The barrels used were all from a single rack house called Warehouse C
A particular well-aged profile was targeted
All this sounds like a recipe for something great, but does it live up to the hype when you actually find it, open it and drink it? Let's dive into a review & find out.
Company on Label: Old Fashioned Copper Distillery (Buffalo Trace)
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #1 (Low Rye < 10%)
Age: 10 years
Further identification: Warehouse C is a one time release (alongside the Tornado Surviving modifier) that came around in 2021
Nose: Up front there is thick cherry pie filling, apple dump cobbler and and oodles of sweet cinnamon mixed with brown sugar. The sweetness of the glass can be smelled from several feet away and exudes the feeling of being in a dessert bakery. Hefty oak comes across like a charcuterie board platter loaded with plums, blackberries, dark raspberries and assorted chocolates. Hints of smooth black pepper slide through the nostrils like a wisp of smoke from a freshly extinguished candle. Clay, leather and crushed stone give this a dry, slightly earthy backbone. After a swirl of the glass distinct barrel funk comes across heavy, dark and brooding. I long for it to settle back into the sweet profile this glass started with. Let's get into a sip.
Coming back from a sip I begin to find classic well-aged bourbon notes of funky oak, caramel and tobacco. As the glass settles again it begins to form a cooling sensation in the nose. Vanilla bean becomes bright and creamy like a thin coating of frosting on angel food cake. The proximity of the sponge cake aroma returns me to the bakery with strawberries and cream notes proliferating in the glass. What a treat. I find myself stalling another sip as the nose here makes me close my eyes and dream. I let the dream take me somewhere. Deep inhales bring me to a warm, sun-filled storefront by the sea; moisturizers and lotions line the tables. As I snap back to reality - I am still quite impressed by the nose here. It's got a surprising depth and elegance unlike anything else I have tried. Everything that I smell is such a treat & the nose feel is one of the softest out there while still delivering strong aromas. There's something for everyone to love here. The empty glass smells of cherry skins, raspberry scones, grape jelly and ladyfingers covered in confectioner's sugar. Later in the empty glass I also find dark amaretto, delectable scones and rich cappuccino aromas.
Palate: Hefty for 100 proof at first, this almost instantly soothes into beautiful cherry pie with a side of strawberry shortcake. It's short, simple and sweet on first taste, but the quality of the cherry and strawberry flavor is distinct & elegant. Another small sip reveals subtle layers of lemon peel, prevalent oak and a creamy nutmeg-loaded cappuccino. After a long hiatus with my nose nestled in the glass, I come back to find tannic plum has joined the nutmeg jamboree. There's an interesting layer of confectioners sugar throughout this that gives the sip a funky, one-of-a-kind mouthfeel texture. The linger is medium with very soft notes of tarragon and botanicals like rose & lavender. What this does differently than most Taylor releases is that it layers in much more fun baking spices and floral tones to the traditional sweet factory that Taylor fans know and love. It's distinctly less like the pure skittles candy that some can be and layers in a distinct extra layer of age most Taylor doesn't exhibit. My last sip is a satisfying medley of fruit salad and herbal tea.
(Really good; I want one of these on my shelf.)
That nose was just something else... Even the empty glass was the gift that kept on giving. Overall I'd say this tastes like a really unique riff on Taylor Single Barrel. While this is a blend, I don't think the concept strays too far from reality. It's really quite delicious as most of the Taylor lineup is. I'd definitely drink this regularly if I could. If you made me rank them, I'd put this just a tiny notch above Single Barrel. This release is at the point where you get pretty far out to the right on the cost / quality curve before you fall off the collectable cliff. Though everyone's cost scale is different, and quality is also subjective to the individual palate... we can definitely still make informed decisions. Check out this awesome plot of the phenomenon I am describing below from commadot.com.
There are many other accessible alternatives at this score, so if you can't find this one - don't fret. Sipping on this surely won't change your life, though it is damn fun to explore! Thanks for reading & thanks again to Eric for being such a generous soul. Cheers!