Buffalo Trace’s newest release, at the time of the writing of this post, is 17 year old Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr Cured Oak bourbon whiskey. Like the rest of the line, this is a bottled-in-bond, 100 proof whiskey. What makes it different is an extended barrel stave seasoning. According to the press release:
The barrel staves used for this special release were allowed to dry outside in the open air for 13 months, more than twice as long as standard barrel staves. Most white oak barrel staves used for Buffalo Trace’s bourbons are placed outside for 6 months before being fashioned into whiskey barrels. Collaborating with barrel manufacturer Independent Stave Company back in 1998, this extra aging curing process allowed the wood to dry even longer, eventually allowing the whiskey to extract more rich and complex flavors deep within the oak.
Buffalo Trace Distillery sent me a small review sample. This is one of the few times I’ve mostly agreed with the distiller’s tasting notes.
…this bourbon whiskey delivers an aroma rich with inviting tobacco and dried fruit. A complex flavor meets the mouth with well-rounded notes of vanilla, toffee, and figs, followed by undertones of dry oak. The body is medium with a long, dry finish.
In addition to tobacco and dried fruit, I get aromas of oak, vanilla and caramel. Flavor-wise there’s lots of vanilla and toffee here. I don’t get figs as much as I do dried fruit. There’s also a small amount of rye spice. The finish is long and dry. The body is syrupy, but not too thick – just like other whiskies in the E. H. Taylor line.
Col. E. H. Taylor Cured Oak bourbon whiskey carries a price tag of $69.99. This one-time release be available late March in limited supply – no surprise there. By the way, the wooden box you see in the picture is how each six-bottle case will be shipped to retailers. Nice touch. Bottom line: this is an outstanding bourbon.