Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof - The Wonderfully Chaotic Bourbon

 Photo by Suresh Doss

Photo by Suresh Doss

Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof
Buffalo Trace Disitllery
Taste Score: 96
Category: American Straight Bourbon, Barrel Proof
Whisky Cabinet Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Barrel Proof, uncut, unfiltered. This is the sort of wonderfully chaotic whisky that grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go. It’s intensely loud from start to finish, and that’s no surprise—It’s over 64% ABV (ABV changes from release to release). When doing whisky tastings, the Colonel E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof is (using the baseball term) the “closer” whisky. At the end of the night, no matter what else that you’ve had, CEHT Barrel Proof will be the standout star (Unless, maybe, you’re drinking Stagg).

Each sip is going to give you something just a little different, and each bottle is likely to taste unique in its own right. I’ve had the pleasure of drinking five different bottles of Barrel Proof, and they all scored superbly. The earlier bottling, at over 67% ABV, probably hit a taste score of 97/100 but it’s been a few years since I’ve had it. Either way, this is an intense bourbon for the bourbon lover. 

If you can find it, and you love high-proof bourbon, get it. If you’re not into high-proof bourbons, this one still might surprise you, but it’ll be a challenge to drink.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆  Not recommended
★ ☆ ☆ ☆  Good whisky, but not a ‘must-have’
★ ★ ☆ ☆  Your great regular rotation whisky that'll come and go
★ ★ ★ ☆  Excellent, a near must-have
★ ★ ★ ★  Extraordinary, memorable, and original

Side-topic: Should you have this with water? 64%+ ABV can overpower the palate. Alcohol is a lot like spice; if you’re not used to it, it’ll burn your tongue before your senses get the flavours. However, because of the age and oaky notes of this whisky, give it a try without water. Just take a tiny sip. And please drink responsibly!