For Americans, finding an amazing bourbon is as easy as popping down to the grocery store and grabbing a bottle for $30. For Canadians, your most basic bottle is gonna set you back a cool $50 — and that’s just for the basics. Outside of Bulleit, Woodford Reserve and Basil Haydens, there’s not a lot you’re guaranteed to find. And in the case of the Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch, a reputable and sought-after whiskey, you have to enter a bloody lottery just for a chance to buy it.

Thanks to a lucky (and lets face it, generous) father, my birthday present last year was a bottle of the E.H. Taylor Small Batch. And while I still lament the fact that it’s a roll of the dice for us Canadians to get our hands on decent bourbons, I will admit I have a better insight into the hype surrounding this particular dram. Here’s what I thought:

Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon Review

Weighing in at a hefty 50% ABV, I was expecting a real kick in the head from E.H. Taylor. Which isn’t a bad thing (for me) honestly, as I enjoy higher ABV bourbons generally. But what surprised me most about E.H. Taylor wasn’t its brashness — it was its subtlety.

On the nose, E.H. Taylor smells like caramel corn and apples. The alcohol fumes are remarkably subdued, and allow for less-obvious notes of baking spices. All in all, it smells pretty sweet and lovely, but nothing leaps out as particularly different or challenging.

In your mouth, E.H. Taylor really begins to shine. First, I have to remark on the texture of this whisky. It’s thick and viscous, almost “chewy”. There is a beautiful oiliness to it which makes it absolutely sumptuous to sip. As for flavour, it is one of the more corn-forward bourbons I’ve sipped. It’s sweet but not cloying, with butterscotch corn and more corn, with just enough black pepper rye kick to keep things interesting. The finish is long and fades into a woody-vanilla sweetness that lingers.


Final Verdict

Colonel E.H. Taylor is a rich, lovely bourbon that's extremely accessible even at it's relatively robust 50% ABV. It's not challenging but extremely well assembled and is definitely a whiskey worth sipping slow.