E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

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E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

Unread postby bourbonv » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:10 pm

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the party at Buffalo Trace celebrating the return of E H Taylor, Jr. to the distillery he founded in 1870. As alaways, Buffalo Trace put together an excellent event. I arrived at about 3:45 and immediately ran into Jo Kitzmiller, who I have not seen for several years. Her husband Greg was still in the car on a conference call (yet another reason why I do not want a cell phone!) JD Knaebel and his wife Kirsten were waiting by the gift shop and Elmer T Lee was walking towards the building as I did (of course Elmer had a better parking spot next to the gift shop). Soon they were all talking about the artifacts Taylor Hay Jr. had brought and were on display inside. Taylor Hay Jr. is one of the people who donated the Taylor-Hay papers to the Filson, but I had only had dealing with his brother John Hay, so it was great to meet him. His cousins Richard Taylor and Crit Lewellen were also in attendence.

The display of artifacts was indeed impressive. E H Taylor, Jr.'s eyeglasses, top hat, several of his canes and several suits of clothing added perspective to the many photographs in the display. I soon ran into Mark Brown and I showed him I had brought an appropriate bottle of 1979 Old Taylor bottled-in-bond (Thanks Mike (Scratchline))! There was food and drink being served and we talked until the start time of 4:15. That is when we ventured outside and Mark introduced the speakers - Richard Taylor and Harlan Wheatly. Then in a horse drawn carriage, E H Taylor, Jr. himself joined the party. Everyone returned inside for a while with the promise that Fred and E H Taylor, Jr. would lead a tour of the distillery at 5:00.

At 5:00 the tour started and there was a very entertaining exchange between our two tour guides. The crowd enjoyed the exchange and the rain held off until the tour was over. Everyone then continued to enjoy the food and drink and a great time was had by all.

Now the things that were most intersting to started with Mark Brown discussing the fact that 7 years ago, while discussing the introduction of Stagg, they had invited some old timers (Elmer was one of the younger ones at the meeting) and they discussed thing done at the distillery in the old days, including many things that were attributed to the time Taylor owned the distillery. Mark then took those ideas and had Harlan make 20 barrels of whiskey. Mark assure me that there will be an E H Taylor 8 years old Bottled-inBond product coming from those barrels. I hope he also does a regular Old Taylor 8yo bonded as well.

I also poured from my bottle and Mark was very impressed with the whiskey from 30 years ago. He also seemed impressed when I mentioned a lot of that great flavor in a young whiskey (by today's standard) comes from the fact that 110 was the maximum barrel proof when it was made.

Finally, I was impressed that not only Mazrk Brown, but all of the employees of the distillery, were very happy that some of their heritage was coming home. Mark, in his speach made no secret that Taylor and Stagg parted on unfriendly terms and he did not try to sugar coat it in any way. In fact, I had to point out to him that even though they parted on unfriendly business terms, their children were at least friendly on the social level, so Taylor and Stagg probably were as well. In any case the company realises what a historical treasure they have and I look for many great things to happen because they do appreciate that fact.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

Unread postby gillmang » Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:48 pm

Great news, Mike, and well-reported.

That bonded E.H.Taylor 8 years old sounds like it will be an interesting whiskey. Whether it will be similar or not to Old Taylor from the ND era, I'm sure it will be a very good traditional whiskey.

As it happens, recently I bought some Old Taylor from the early 1980's on a quick visit to San Francisco - it is surprising how much of it is still available in older, smaller stores in the city - and was again reminded how good it was. This was 86 proof, 10-12 years old despite the standard 6 year age statement (Michael Jackson said in his 1987 World Guide to Whiskey that Old Taylor was being bottled at that age range. He did not say, but I infer, that the Old Taylor bottled by ND in the 1980's was last distilled in about 1975, either in the famous "Castle" or perhaps down the road at DSP-14 (Gran-dad) after the Castle closed).

The rich, perfumed caramel notes - rich yet lightish in profile - denote a top-quality bourbon. Hopefully the restored Old Taylor will live up to this quality, if not in exact taste, then on its own merits as a fine whiskey.

Gary
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Re: E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

Unread postby DeanSheen » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:59 am

Great article Mike, thanks for the report.

I agree with Mozilla, current bourbon enthusiasts need more lower priced quality options to keep us going and bring in new fans. I hope we don't get squeezed again on the price-point of this new bottle but just because it's on the shelf doesn't mean I have to buy.
--- Robert in meatspace. (NE OH)
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Re: E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

Unread postby BostonEnthusiast » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:26 am

From the description, I wouldn't be surprised to see EH Taylor 8yo BIB join the next Antique Collection. $50/750 ml it is (if I'm right.)
Kevin

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Re: E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:29 pm

I can not speak for Mark Brown, But I do know he plans to keep an Old Taylor brand and re-do the label. He thinks that Beam really screwed it up when they designed the present label and I agree. I know he really likes the old pre-prohibition label which had wings on either side and a more matt colored gold label. I know he was also very impressed with the old bottle of bonded Old Taylor I brought along and that is more of the flavor profile he would like to see. To quote him in reference to the present Beam version: "We can do better."

Now as far as the 20 barrels of old stuff - I would say that you can expect that to be a product for the Antique Collection. I know he was talking of doing an E H Taylor, Jr. bottling and I expect it to placed along side of Geo. T Stagg, William LaRue Weller and Thomas Handy. I also expect it to be something different to make it stand out from these others as well. In any case I expect the brand to do well with several different price points.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

Unread postby BostonEnthusiast » Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:01 pm

bourbonv wrote:Now as far as the 20 barrels of old stuff - I would say that you can expect that to be a product for the Antique Collection. I know he was talking of doing an E H Taylor, Jr. bottling and I expect it to placed along side of Geo. T Stagg, William LaRue Weller and Thomas Handy. I also expect it to be something different to make it stand out from these others as well. In any case I expect the brand to do well with several different price points.


Mike--

This is what I was thinking. From your description, it already stands out from the rest of the Antique Collection -- a medium-aged bond (not currently represented in the BTAC), possibly without enzymes and at a lower barrel proof as in the "old days"?

I'm a huge fan of the butterscotch profile of Old Taylor produced at the Castle -- I'd love it if BT found a way to get that back at any age or proof (And I'd love it if they lose the "updated" Beam label!)
Kevin

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Re: E H Taylor, Jr. Returns to Buffalo Trace

Unread postby cowdery » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:49 pm

mozilla wrote:Mike,
what Taylor label was produced at BT back when Stagg and Taylor were fighting it out? Was it Colonel Taylor Bourbon(DSP-113) and EH Taylor Bourbon(DSP-19)?


I'm not Mike but the answer is E.H. Taylor, definitely, Colonel Taylor probably. In Taylor's day there were two distilleries on the site of present day Buffalo Trace, O.F.C. and Carlisle. Carlisle was #113, and that's the number Schenley used when they built the current plant after Prohibition. I know some of the O.F.C. warehouses are still in use and I think some of the buildings of both distilleries were incorporated into the much larger Schenley facility.

I don't have anything offhand about Colonel Taylor, but E. H. was a Kentucky Colonel and was sometimes referred to as Colonel, as were Jim Beam and many of the other distillers. They were all Colonels.
- Chuck Cowdery

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