E.H. Taylor Straight Rye

Colonel E. H. Taylor Straight Rye


100 Proof Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

Back with another one of those block-rockin’ Buffalo Trace product reviews.  They are behind so many of my favorite releases, I do love them so.  In other reviews I’ve already talked enough about the distillery and what’s up with Col. E.H. Taylor himself, so let’s just jump right to the tasting on this one and see how it lives up.

On the nose I’m getting a medicinal, Hall’s lemon-echinacea cough drop, green wood, a bit of cherry (but again it’s medicinal, like a Sucret’s lozenge).  Also present are vanilla and caramel from the barrel, thankfully.  No age statement here, but it’s aged enough to have enough of the barrel notes come through which really help balance out what could be a crazy menthol and medicine overpowered nose.  Taking a sip I’m hit with lemon peel, brown sugar, white pepper, and then red chilis, a little bit of a Hot Tamales (the candy) finish that lingers medium length.  Hmmm…this rye is…interesting.  I wouldn’t call it delicious, but I don’t hate it or anything.  As much as I like funky, weird ryes, the E.H. Taylor expression isn’t quite doing it for me like I wanted it to…it’s a bit too minty and medicinal, and it’s certainly not smooth.  Points for not being boring though.  It should be noted that this is a no-corn mash bill, just rye and malted barley.  Malted barley is typically added to a bourbon or rye bill in small doses, mostly as a means of extracting a lot of easily fermentable sugars for those hungry yeast.  It’s probably a 95% rye / 5% barley bill, and I can’t help thinking a little corn in here would have rounded this out a little with some needed sweetness.

I’m definitely going to revisit this one since I’ve got a whole bottle, but at $70-80 a pop I can’t imagine buying this again  If I want a funky rye I’ll go 13th Colony or Smooth Ambler/Old Scout, for LDI/earthy/grassy/dill I’ll go Willett or High West, and for my easy drinking delicious rye I’ll go Sazerac or Jefferson’s 10 Year.  And for any mixed drink that calls for rye I’m almost certainly going to Rittenhouse, though Wild Turkey 101 Rye is another great one when I can find it.  This bottle is by no means a miss, there’s just so many ryes out there that I enjoy more, and they happen to be cheaper!

Rating: 7.1 / 10

Bought somewhere in Atlanta, Georgia for around $75




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