Nose: What I think a bourbon should smell like…..clean and sweet. There is no “medicinal” smell that I now realize is prevalent in so many younger/cheaper bourbons. There is also a slight “bready” or “doughy” smell and I think the “sweet” that I’m getting has a hint of vanilla. Palate: I’m not gonna lie, I was looking forward to this one even before I took the first sip. Did that bias me? Well, maybe, but who really knows for sure. And, God bless the Colonel, but he did not disappoint. The first thing you get is that “this is a better bourbon” mouthfeel. Not watery and a joy to swirl around in your mouth. My first impression is nuttiness, followed by a dry, toasty taste. At 100 proof, it is only slightly warm and I don’t think you’d guess the proof in a blind taste test. At first, I thought the finish was kinda short, but then I realized that it is actually pretty long, but doesn’t seem that way because it isn’t “warm” long. What I mean is, you keep getting flavor in the back of your throat, but it isn’t warming its way down your gullet too much. Even after a minute or two, you can still kinda taste it at the back of your throat, but is isn’t that you are feeling residual heat. Flavor memory maybe? A couple of sips in, I also started picking up what tastes like rye spiciness and some pepper that wasn’t readily apparent on the first few sips. Comment: I like it. A lot. I think this is somewhat under-rated because it tends to fly under the radar. Compared to other selections in the Buffalo Trace line, I’d say it is one of their best products. As a Bottled-in-Bond selection, it is 100 proof and, again, by law, the product of one distillation session and one distiller at a single distillery (and aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. Govt. supervision for at least 4 years). If you think about it, that would seem to me to make it hard for it to be consistent, because you can’t blend it with a lot of other stuff. But, they seem to do a good job keeping it consistently good, because I always seem to like it. You can usually get this for under $40 a bottle and my assessment is that it would be a “should buy” at your liquor store’s "dollar day sale” (if you are lucky enough to have a store that does that), if not at other times. I’ve had the good fortune to either try or buy several other varieties of E.H. Taylor and, so far, I’ve like all of them.
[NOTE: A short time after this review was written, E.H. Taylor started getting very hard to find on the shelf and there are now several stores that do their own “allocation” of it. If you live somewhere where this is NOT the case, you may wish to stock up…..just a thought.]