husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

average Joes on a whisky journey...all views are our own

Friday, July 18, 2014

E.H. Taylor Single Barrel


Quick intro, as Joe had alluded to, a few friends will be taking over sharing the love of whiskey here at and I'm the sacrificial lamb!!!  

So Joe and I have been close friends for over 20 years, even spending one year as roommates, where I probably still owe him many rounds of dishwashing.  Needless to say, I share a love of whiskey the same as Joe.  My tastes are more Bourbon and Rye, rather than Scotch so much but I'll do my best to share some of my reviews of the bottles that I buy (or should say that my wife lets me buy) on this awesome blog.  

Just a little more background on me, much like Joe was, I'm a dude with a full time gig doing things that aren't whiskey related.  I've been married 4 years this October to a lovely Canadian girl who loves to help me with my tasting notes, most of the time she just says I taste/smell vanilla.  But I love her and I have to thank her for humoring me writing a blog about whiskey.  

One other key note going forward, I will be using a letter grading system.  After discussing it with Joe and whatnot, we both came to the conclusion that it is becoming increasingly difficult to pin down a numerical grade on these amazing whiskeys.  I hope to have a ‘Grading System’ tab updated on here in the near future to help clarify the difference between an A and a B in my eyes, but figure it will mimic what Joe has up here now, just with letters in lieu of the numbers.

So on to my first ‘official’ review!

I find myself in Phoenix, Arizona this week for work.  My company has a bunch of buildings out here in Arizona and I get lucky enough to stay at the beautiful JW Marriott Resort at Desert Ridge.  I've been here a few times, so I know there's a little bar where I can eat a slightly over priced burger and get a drink.  As I was walking up to the bar I spied a few bottles of Pappy (the 10 and the 12) and some of the other usual fair like Bookers, Blanton's, Basil Hayden, and a few Knob Creeks

So I ordered a big water, a burger with fries (which while overpriced, was actually really good but I won't foodie out on you) and told the bartender that I'll have a few whiskeys after I eat.  So I checked out the whiskey menu and spotted a few things I really wanted to try.  

The bar (Twenty6) had a signature Knob Creek, coming in at a whopping 120 proof and had been selected by the General Manger...but it was back ordered...bummer #1

Then I said let me get a Copper City, a local juice out of Tempe, AZ.  The bartender suggested I try it first, prior to getting a full pour which I of course agreed to!  Well, it was light, young and corny so I skipped it, bummer #2.

On the menu I saw an E.H. Taylor Single Barrel for $20 bucks for the glass.  

I knew the single barrel was a good drink so I said let me get one of those. 

Of course, they didn't have the single barrel, but they did have the barrel strength!!!  I have been looking for this bottle for a few months now and I still haven't found tonight is my lucky night!

So I got a beautiful pour, the bourbon looked like a nicely brewed ice tea, brown yet golden, let's sip this sucker.  This bourbon comes out of the bottle at 67.7% alcohol or 135.4 proof....wait what?  135.4, Proof!!! I think Doc Brown used this to power the DeLorean in Back to the Future 3!!!

Tasting Notes (Neat):

Nose:  Egg Nog, like straight out of the carton. Which also explains the nutmeg and clove-like spices I'm getting.  But even though it's 100 degrees out side, one sniff of this bourbon brings me to a week before Christmas and my dad drinking some pale yellow nog.  
Taste:  Kettle corn and some charred oak.  It's a sweet bourbon, even at 135.4

Finish:  Rye spicy, not a long linger but just delish in the mouth.
Tasting Notes (I added 1 large ice cube and revisited after the juice had time to mellow):

Nose:  Still Egg Nog, no other way to describe it

Taste:  A saltiness has appeared, but still sweet, the char was more apparent on the finish.  Damn good.

So I need to tell my wife, I need to find a bottle of this...wish me luck.

I give it an solid A- 

Talk to you all soon,