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One of the first bourbons that I was truly wowed by was E. H. Taylor small batch. Taylor barrel proof comes from the same stock as the small batch, but is wholly different. I never expected the barrel proof to be so much bigger, bolder, deeper, and incomparably better than the small batch.
Nose: Strong and powerful, surprisingly lacking in alcohol punch. Heavy wood, baking spices and vanilla. Clear notes of chocolate,orange, and strawberry jam. The best nose I have ever found on a bourbon.
Taste: Without water the taste is overwhelming. Alcohol punches your tongue and sets a wood and spice fire. In the embers you find a collection of berry fruit and tobacco. It takes more water than you'd expect to bring this powerful juice under control. Patience and experimentation is needed, but I find that once strawberry takes over the nose that the bourbon is ready. The flavor changes dramatically. Again one of my all time favorites. The scents present in the original nose melt and form a smooth flavor profile that builds and multiplies with every sip.
Finish: Long and sweet. Wood and caramel seem to stay forever. The coals from the spice fire can still be felt 15 to 20 minutes later. The finish is good, but it is the weakest part of my experience with this amazing bourbon.
Balance: What more could you want? It is barrel proof, full of flavor that can be adjusted with water, and the finish lasts all night. Final Remarks: Aside from "bottled in bond" Taylor has another motto, "Let the label tell the truth". The truth is that E. H. Taylor Barrel Proof is one of the best bourbons in the world. It easily competes with other big bourbons like George T.Stagg. This bourbon sells for less than $80, buy a bottle if you can find one.