My Christmas Day drink this year was a sample of Colonel EH Taylor Barrel Proof 2015.
Having previously only ever tried the EH Taylor Small Batch, which left me distinctly unimpressed (as well as mightily glad I didn’t fork out £95 for a bottle), I was hoping for much more from this big hitter. And it didn’t let me down.
Now this stuff ain’t for the faint of heart. Bottled directly from selected barrels, uncut and unfiltered, this 2015 release weighs in at a whopping 127.2 proof (63.6% ABV).
NOSE: Oak and vanilla to the fore, with notes of baked goods and potpourri. This blends with a honey sweetness and rich dark fruits. There is a hint of spice in there, but it’s not in your face considering the high proof.
PALATE: That hint of spice on the nose leaves you with no expectation of the assault it will have in your mouth.
Wow, it packs a punch! There is an initial burst of fruity and dry vanilla heat. Eye-watering goodness if you’re into that kinda thing! The initial burn settles to a lingering full flavoured burn with nutmeg, dried dark fruits and butterscotch added to the mix.
OVERALL: This is not for the faint of heart, or a Bourbon newbie whose palate hasn’t quite developed up through the range of proofs. As this lovely liquid marauds over your tongue towards your throat, it cuts a fiery, fruity trail that leaves a wake of dry vanilla numbness.
I like it hot and this one kinda even took me by surprise. That said, I do love it. It’s full of heat and flavour and not one to pass by if you get a chance to try it.
PC RATING: 90 (A-)
OFFICIAL TASTING NOTES from Buffalo Trace:
The aroma of cooked berries meets the nose, followed by a rich caramel and slightly floral smell. The taste is bold and full of spice that fills the mouth with a distinct flavor of toasty vanilla, dried oak and pepper. The finish is long and satisfying with a powerful rye character and lingering hints of fruit.