Score: 9.7 / 10
Distillery: Buffalo Trace Distillery
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Released every year unlike some of the harder to find limited E.H. releases, it is still a very hard allocated whiskey to find a reasonable price. Part of Buffalo Trace's Mashbill #1 (low rye, less than 10%) and bottled HOT at 130.3 proof. It is believed to be 8-10 years old, but if you contact BT you will be left with the response that it's ready when it's ready. That's a subtle detail for such a super well known and followed whiskey brand.
Earlier this year in August my local shop let me know that they were getting some EHT Barrel Proof in and asked if I wanted a bottle. The owner told me that it would be $199. I showed up to the store later that week and they said that they got their allocation cut and only got a couple of bottles which were now $299. A tough break in a year (2020) that definitely had a few. Fortunately through some fierce haggling at another store in Kentucky we were able to grab this at $185. A huge victory!
If you want to listen in for the rest of the E.H Taylor lineup and live discussion check out the Po It Up whiskey podcast episode 11 here.
Spoiler: Give this the crown and throw it in the hall of fame. One of the best damn whiskies I've ever had!
Nose: Fudge (whoa - so much fudge. This review was written neat, but a bit of ice opens up a ton of bakery fresh fudge). Chocolate, caramel and vanilla - call it a liquid Milky Way. Cherry cola notes bubble up with a hint of oak.
Palate: The first sip is oily at first but instantly starts to bubble turning effervescent and bringing forth a wave of cinnamon pepper spice that puts your palate into a choke-hold then unleashes intense dark cherry and vanilla. The second sip is malty, creamy and chalked full of vanilla, plum and raisin before ramping up the heat. The third sip is bliss combining all the flavors above as the palate adapts to 130.3 proof. A quick but delicious luge of lemon citrus quickly appears then fades right at the end of the drinking experience.
Finish: Moderate in length and tannic. Big notes of dark chocolate, smoked oak and orange rind linger for a while before fading out leaving dried cinnamon and cacao. The finish leaves me salivating and craving more.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Availability? Rare. Usually overpriced and hard to find, however it's nothing like the actual limited releases of E.H. Taylor. Generally known as the hardest of the core lineup to locate in the wild. Get working on those connections!