Buffalo Trace Distillery just announced the eighth addition to the Col. E.H. Taylor line – Seasoned Wood. Just like its brethren, Seasoned Wood is bottled-in-bond, which means it’s bottled at 100 proof and is at least four years old (among other things). According to press materials, this release is “aged well over a decade”. This the first wheated bourbon in the Taylor lineup. Seasoned Wood is a one-time, limited release.
What is seasoned wood exactly? According to Buffalo Trace:
The barrels in this release underwent a variety of special seasoning processes, including barrels made from staves that were immersed in an enzyme rich bath with water heated to 100 degrees. After spending time in this proprietary solution, these staves were then placed into kilns and dried until they reached an ideal humidity level for crafting into barrels. Other staves were seasoned outdoors for six months, and still others were left outdoors for a full 12 months before being made into barrels and sent to Buffalo Trace Distillery to be filled and aged. All barrel staves were seasoned, dried, and crafted at Independent Stave Company, who consulted on this project with the premiere expert on oak maturation, Dr. James Swan.
Onto my tasting notes:
The aromatic nose leads with a strong honey note. Dried cherries, fresh orange peel, and a floral note follow. In an odd way, it sort of smells like an Old Fashioned cocktail. There is little to no alcohol vapor to speak of, considering this is a 100 proof bourbon. The entry is soft, with spiced honey starting things off. That citrus note and dried fruit from the nose also finds its way to the palate, cutting right through the creamy mouthfeel. Some oak is present providing a touch of astringency in the back-palate. The finish is long and warm, leaving citrus, baking spice and honey behind to slowly fade away. It leaves your mouth watering for more.
You can guess I’m a fan of this one. Seasoned Wood is a very welcome addition to the good-to-excellent range of Col. E.H. Taylor whiskies. It’s overall softer but richer profile stands out among others in the lineup. This is a very well executed bourbon from Buffalo Trace that receives a high recommendation. Seasoned Wood will be available starting late March for a suggested retail priced of $69.99. The fact that it is limited won’t help your chances of finding a bottle. In the rare instance you do see one, pick it up.