Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof Review

Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof Review

Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof bourbon hails from Buffalo trace and is made from their low rye Mashbill #1 (<10% rye). It’s supposedly a 6-8 year bourbon and basically makes it a barrel proof Buffalo Trace which is supposedly made from barrels around the same age. It also makes it only a small step down, age wise, from the Stagg Jr. which is another Mash #1 barrel proof bourbon from BT, but is made from barrels aged 8-9 years. Comparing the two side-by-side is rather interesting and I wish I had some big daddy Stagg to complete the lineage comparison, but until market conditions change that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

Stagg relationship aside, the Colonel EH Taylor Jr name is pretty interesting. Back in 1869 Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. bought the Old Fire Copper (OFC) distillery to make his bourbon and 9 years later George T. Stagg bought that same distillery. Talyor went on to be a key figure in the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, but that wasn’t his only legacy. The Old Taylor brand had been around for a long time and has been owned by National Distillers, Jim Beam and in 2009 was purchased by Sazerac which was a sort of homecoming for the whiskey to be made from whiskey distilled at the former OFC, former George T. Stagg, and now Buffalo Trace, distillery.

Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Mashbill: Buffalo Trace Mashbill #1 (low rye ~ <10% rye)
Cask: New charred oak
Age: NAS (~6 years)
ABV: 64.5%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Batch: 3

Price: $75

Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof Review

Caramel dipped orange

A little light for being a barrel proof bourbon, but has nice notes of caramel, wood, blood oranges, grains, toasted corn bread, rosemary and savory herbs. The Rosemary and savory herbs become a bit bolder when water is added, but not much else changes.

Wood, caramel, spice, chocolate licorice, grain, fruit leather and vanilla all meander across the palate accompanied by light notes of Necco Wafers and grilled corn. Adding water brings light notes of savory herbs, biscuits and baking flour which replace the wafers and corn. Interesting.

Long dusty trail of grain, wood, toffee and spice.

Decent balance across the palate medium body and a warm manageable burn at full proof.

Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof is a good bourbon, there’s no denying that, though I couldn’t help but be a little surprised at how light this Batch 3 is. The nose on the Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof comes in a bit light and even after several rounds of adding water no additional layers of complexity were revealed. The Same could not be said for the palate though as water helped open and deepen flavors a bit more there.

Tasting the Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof and Stagg Jr. side by side was interesting and while both were good bourbons neither really came close to the 2015 George T Stagg which if I had to pin a solid score on would be a 92. All 3 are barrel proof and all 3 are from Buffalo Trace’s low rye Mash #1 but the Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof being the youngest comes in a few years under SJ and around 1/2 the age of GTS. All-in-all I really enjoyed batch 3 and I’d love to try the other batches and see how they compare.

SCORE: 87/100

Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 86
  • Palate - 88
  • Finish - 87
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 87


Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof is a few bucks less, and significantly easier to find, than GTS and all things considered not a terrible buy. Not one I’d stockpile, but definitely worth picking up.

Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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8 Responses to Colonel EH Taylor Jr Barrel Proof Review

  1. Thanks for these reviews, Josh. I really enjoy reading about the diversity and provenance of these whiskeys even if I can’t reach into my liquor cabinet and taste every one of them. I’ve tasted enough of them and read enough of your reviews to get a real sense of what you are describing. Now I will go ahead and pour the last drop from my bottle of Wild Turkey 101.

  2. Josh, would you say you are a tougher grader than you used to be? Based on reading a lot of your older bourbon reviews, I would have expected you to give bourbons like this and Stagg Jr (and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and Knob Creek Single Barrel) grades in the low to mid-90’s, rather than the mid to high 80’s. Where’s the guy who gave a Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon a 97?:)

    • I’ve definitely tightened up things over the last few months and even readjusted the score ranges a bit. I actually finished all but 2 ounces of that RR SiB at the end of 2015 and while it’s not keeping the 97 it is keeping it’s A rating, it’s just an incredible barrel, I haven’t had a RR SiB like it since, it hits me just right.

      FYI the reason for 2 ounces is that 1 ounce got put into a 1 ounce sample bottle to do the last glass re-review and 1 ounce was left in the bottle to start a bourbon solera.

    • Hey Keith,

      Great question, but no. Barrel proof just means that the whiskey hasn’t been cut with any water. Single barrel it self explanatory. Many single barrel offerings are bottled at barrel proof (aka cask stength), but not always.


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