My closest friends and family know how I look forward to Pappy Van Winkle Day. It’s a movable feast, like Easter. It arrives in God’s Kairos time; when the Van Winkle and Buffalo Trace Antique Collections arrive and are available for purchase. Where I am, this is late November to early December.
But there is a summer day of equal import for me. When Col. E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof arrives. That was today, where last year it was in July. It is a great day when you can get one of these bottles.
I reviewed last year’s release, which was wonderful.
So, how does this year’s release stack up?
Luckily I have a little of last year’s release to compare with this year’s. Of course, the great part about this bourbon is that it is uncut and unfiltered. None of the flavor is lost.
This year’s release is a bruiser at 129.7 Proof. Color is a deep rich amber and slightly darker than last year. Nose is this wonderful fantasy of sweet corn, rye, baked apple, molasses, vanilla creme brûlée. That’s the nose. Such thick oily legs on this. On the palate, traditional bourbon flavors are so amped up but accented by apple pie with a vanilla and blackstrap rum sauce on top. But this year’s edition has this wonderful addition of slight oak compared to last year. The finish goes on forever with oak growing stronger and turning to cinnamon as it lingers.
This bourbon could be a part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection if Buffalo Trace decided to do that. It’s outstanding.
Following up with a dram from last year’s bottle, I think I have the differences correct. This year’s edition just has this little bit of oak that last year’s lacked. Harlan Wheatley hit the ball out of the park this year.