Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Kentucky Rye Whiskey
What the Distillery Says:
Straight Rye Whiskey has experienced a strong resurgence in the American whiskey landscape, yet Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was making this style more than 100 years ago. This small batch, Bottled-in-Bond 100 proof straight rye whiskey pays tribute to the former Distillery owner with a unique rye whiskey reminiscent of days long past.
An altogether different recipe and profile than Sazerac Rye, this recipe contains just rye and malted barley, no corn. The result is an aroma full of dried fruit, black pepper, and touch of fresh dill. A small sip brings an array of flavors both sweet and savory with a terrific balance of dark spices and subtle caramel overtones. The finish is especially pleasing with an oaky dryness that lingers just long enough.
What Gary Says:
Nose: Oaky, citrus rye spice, bit of crushed mint & burnt toast; not particularly sweet.
Palate: Bright & sharp – more of a herbal/savory spice than sweetness, hints of caramel crèmes; mouthfeel is a bit thin.
Finish: Dries as it lingers, but not unpleasant.
Comments: Unlike some “barely legal” ryes (like Pikesville or Rittenhouse BIB) which are just over 50% rye in the mash, this has no corn in the mashbill. That isn’t necessarily uncommon (many MGP distilled rye are a mashbill of only rye & barley), but it does explain the sharp/spiciness that comes through without as much of the sweet (which corn is well known to deliver). I like it well enough, and while not age-stated (BIB means at least four years old), I would guess this to be 6-10 yrs old. It just doesn’t have anything unique/special about it for me that would justify the price. In fact, had I laid out my own dough for a bottle – I would be disappointed. Thankfully, I’ve got very generous friends. And, the whiskey itself is nice (just that there are a LOT of nice ryes out there for way less money).
What Richard Says:
Nose: This one is like an Old Fashioned all by itself. Minty, peppery rye spice with muddled oranges and candied fruit sweetness.
Palate: A big fat miss on the mouthfeel. I would expect an older bottled in bond whiskey to have a creamier mouthfeel. It seems like they chill filtered the shit out of this one. It is kind of soft and caramel sweet with a bitter and peppery bite.
Finish: Dry and woody.
Comments: I want to like this. I really do. Especially since it is my $70 that went out for this bottle. But as much as I want to really like it I find it a little blah. In fact, for $70 I find it really blah. I’ve heard rumors that this new rye recipe may be a blending component in Buffalo Trace’s distilled replacement for Van Winkle Rye. I hope that if that is true then it is either much better around 13 years or the blend components are more than the sum of their parts.