The Details

Rating 94
Style
American Whiskey
Whiskey
Produced In United States
ABV 63%
Availability Limited
Price $77.99 
Reviewed By
Review Updated 2024-07-12

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Review

Over the past decade, Buffalo Trace’s E.H. Taylor, Jr. brand has climbed toward the top ranks of American whiskey, at least among spirits aficionados. In addition to the hallmark Bottled-in-Bond Small Batch expression, the brand has also built a strong reputation on Single Barrel bourbon and Small Batch Rye — again, both bottled-in-bond — as well as an annually released Barrel Proof Bourbon. The brand has also churned out numerous other limited offerings, ranging from the well-aged (18 Year Marriage) to the downright esoteric (Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon).

Over two years ago, rumors (confirmed by TTB label filings) surfaced about an upcoming 13th expression in the E.H. Taylor line: Barrel Proof Rye. As of summer 2024, after a multi-year wait, we finally have our hands on the liquid to try.

This first batch of E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye is a limited release, bottled at 126 proof, with an MSRP of $77.99. (More on that down below.) It’s also non-age stated. According to a brand press release, the whiskey was “[a]ged at Buffalo Trace Distillery,” though info is scarce on whether the liquid was actually distilled there; Sazerac-owned sister distillery Barton 1792 could also be a potential source. Parent company Sazerac has said they won’t be disclosing more specifics on the distillation site for this whiskey. We don’t have much info on the exact mash bill used, either, other than the fact it’s a high-rye mash bill rumored to omit corn entirely. (Buffalo Trace’s low-rye rye mash is used for Sazerac Rye and other products.)

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof rye is the first time consumers have gotten the chance to taste this particular rye mash and brand at cask strength. Let’s dive in and see how it is!

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey: Stats and Availability

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey is a new, limited release from Buffalo Trace. (Its Barrel Proof Bourbon is a limited annual release, so perhaps we’ll see this rye each year moving forward.) It carries an MSRP of $77.99. However, in recent years, E.H. Taylor products have begun to command significant retail and secondary markups; as an example, the Barrel Proof Bourbon is often listed for hundreds of dollars above the suggested retail price. I wouldn’t be surprised for this rye to receive similar treatment. If you’re able to find a bottle close to MSRP, consider yourself fortunate.

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Sweet and tangy early on the nose, the whiskey features some classic rye aromas in noteworthy balance. Cracked white, pink, and black peppercorns bring a hefty — but not overpowering — element of spice. There’s more than a touch of herbaceousness, with medium components of dill, sawgrass, rosemary, and a tiny touch of spring ramps. Light orange oil brings tart citrus, elevated to a main scent via a generally oily characteristic, the scent hanging heavy within the glass. Treacle and honey wrap up the main elements here, providing a spicy (as opposed to particularly oak-forward) sweetness.

Threaded deeper among those aromas are pumpernickel bread (again, spicy/sweet) and fresh lilies (floral, but not heavily so). So far on the nose, E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Rye walks a fine line between what one might expect between a high-rye mash bill and a Kentucky-style rye. And at least here, it strikes that balance well, casting a pretty wide net when it comes to rye aromas and catching most of them with aplomb.

It’s still early, but we’re hitting a lot of good marks so far!

Taste

Tarter and oakier than the nose, those first sips hit quickly and with pronounced impact. The whiskey immediately hits the taste buds with spiced peach cobbler, red apple skins, black tea, and orange rind. It’s heavily oaky — leaning tannic — and fruit-forward here, those herbal and floral notes taking at least a temporary backseat to more potent flavors.

While spice is dialed back compared to the nose, it’s not completely absent, coming though in this phase as red pepper jelly, with both capsaicin and additional layers of sweetness. Things get significantly sweeter at and just beyond the mid-palate, and there’s an elegant handoff from tannic oak to honeycomb and cherry candy.

Given the whiskey’s proof (and pedigree), I half expected a slightly thicker mouthfeel. It’s got plenty of “legs,” though they take time to build across sips — the first two carrying more force than viscosity. That’s a small hiccup overall, as flavors still develop in a nice progression and build across the tongue. By the fourth sip, I stopped thinking it felt at all thin.

Finish

Honey builds and builds through the end, leading to a syrupy (there’s that viscosity!) finish with small pops of barrel char and a bit of minerality/salinity. There’s also a slight lean toward savory and smokey, reminiscent of maple-glazed bacon in the very final act.

It’s worth trying this with a bit of dilution as well, but I’d suggest that only after sipping neat. It’s mighty composed as is.

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Rating

94/100

Recap

The modern E.H. Taylor brand has built its reputation on consistently great whiskey. Its first barrel proof rye is no exception, and there’s a whole lot to love in this pour. As with the Barrel Proof Bourbon, it will be interesting to see any variation from batch to batch. (That is, assuming this does become an annual release.) Be on the lookout for bottles hovering toward reasonable prices — I know I certainly will.

94
POINTS
E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey
Over the past decade, Buffalo Trace’s E.H. Taylor, Jr. brand has climbed toward the top ranks of American whiskey, at least among spirits aficionados. In addition to the hallmark Bottled-in-Bond Small Batch expression, the brand has also built a strong reputation on Single Barrel bourbon and Small Batch Rye — again, both bottled-in-bond — as well as an annually released Barrel Proof Bourbon. The brand has also churned out numerous other limited offerings, ranging from the well-aged (18 Year Marriage) to the downright esoteric (Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon). Over two years ago, rumors (confirmed by TTB label filings) surfaced about an upcoming 13th expression in the E.H. Taylor line: Barrel Proof Rye. As of summer 2024, after a multi-year wait, we finally have our hands on the liquid to try. This first batch of E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye is a limited release, bottled at 126 proof, with an MSRP of $77.99. (More on that down below.) It’s also non-age stated. According to a brand press release, the whiskey was “[a]ged at Buffalo Trace Distillery,” though info is scarce on whether the liquid was actually distilled there; Sazerac-owned sister distillery Barton 1792 could also be a potential source. Parent company Sazerac has said they won’t be disclosing more specifics on the distillation site for this whiskey. We don’t have much info on the exact mash bill used, either, other than the fact it’s a high-rye mash bill rumored to omit corn entirely. (Buffalo Trace’s low-rye rye mash is used for Sazerac Rye and other products.) E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof rye is the first time consumers have gotten the chance to taste this particular rye mash and brand at cask strength. Let’s dive in and see how it is!

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey: Stats and Availability

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey is a new, limited release from Buffalo Trace. (Its Barrel Proof Bourbon is a limited annual release, so perhaps we’ll see this rye each year moving forward.) It carries an MSRP of $77.99. However, in recent years, E.H. Taylor products have begun to command significant retail and secondary markups; as an example, the Barrel Proof Bourbon is often listed for hundreds of dollars above the suggested retail price. I wouldn’t be surprised for this rye to receive similar treatment. If you’re able to find a bottle close to MSRP, consider yourself fortunate.

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Sweet and tangy early on the nose, the whiskey features some classic rye aromas in noteworthy balance. Cracked white, pink, and black peppercorns bring a hefty — but not overpowering — element of spice. There’s more than a touch of herbaceousness, with medium components of dill, sawgrass, rosemary, and a tiny touch of spring ramps. Light orange oil brings tart citrus, elevated to a main scent via a generally oily characteristic, the scent hanging heavy within the glass. Treacle and honey wrap up the main elements here, providing a spicy (as opposed to particularly oak-forward) sweetness. Threaded deeper among those aromas are pumpernickel bread (again, spicy/sweet) and fresh lilies (floral, but not heavily so). So far on the nose, E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Rye walks a fine line between what one might expect between a high-rye mash bill and a Kentucky-style rye. And at least here, it strikes that balance well, casting a pretty wide net when it comes to rye aromas and catching most of them with aplomb. It’s still early, but we’re hitting a lot of good marks so far!

Taste

Tarter and oakier than the nose, those first sips hit quickly and with pronounced impact. The whiskey immediately hits the taste buds with spiced peach cobbler, red apple skins, black tea, and orange rind. It’s heavily oaky — leaning tannic — and fruit-forward here, those herbal and floral notes taking at least a temporary backseat to more potent flavors. While spice is dialed back compared to the nose, it’s not completely absent, coming though in this phase as red pepper jelly, with both capsaicin and additional layers of sweetness. Things get significantly sweeter at and just beyond the mid-palate, and there’s an elegant handoff from tannic oak to honeycomb and cherry candy. Given the whiskey’s proof (and pedigree), I half expected a slightly thicker mouthfeel. It’s got plenty of “legs,” though they take time to build across sips — the first two carrying more force than viscosity. That’s a small hiccup overall, as flavors still develop in a nice progression and build across the tongue. By the fourth sip, I stopped thinking it felt at all thin.

Finish

Honey builds and builds through the end, leading to a syrupy (there’s that viscosity!) finish with small pops of barrel char and a bit of minerality/salinity. There’s also a slight lean toward savory and smokey, reminiscent of maple-glazed bacon in the very final act. It’s worth trying this with a bit of dilution as well, but I’d suggest that only after sipping neat. It’s mighty composed as is.

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Rating

94/100

Recap

The modern E.H. Taylor brand has built its reputation on consistently great whiskey. Its first barrel proof rye is no exception, and there’s a whole lot to love in this pour. As with the Barrel Proof Bourbon, it will be interesting to see any variation from batch to batch. (That is, assuming this does become an annual release.) Be on the lookout for bottles hovering toward reasonable prices — I know I certainly will.

Reviewed On: 07-11-2024
94
POINTS
E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey
Over the past decade, Buffalo Trace’s E.H. Taylor, Jr. brand has climbed toward the top ranks of American whiskey, at least among spirits aficionados. In addition to the hallmark Bottled-in-Bond Small Batch expression, the brand has also built a strong reputation on Single Barrel bourbon and Small Batch Rye — again, both bottled-in-bond — as well as an annually released Barrel Proof Bourbon. The brand has also churned out numerous other limited offerings, ranging from the well-aged (18 Year Marriage) to the downright esoteric (Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon). Over two years ago, rumors (confirmed by TTB label filings) surfaced about an upcoming 13th expression in the E.H. Taylor line: Barrel Proof Rye. As of summer 2024, after a multi-year wait, we finally have our hands on the liquid to try. This first batch of E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye is a limited release, bottled at 126 proof, with an MSRP of $77.99. (More on that down below.) It’s also non-age stated. According to a brand press release, the whiskey was “[a]ged at Buffalo Trace Distillery,” though info is scarce on whether the liquid was actually distilled there; Sazerac-owned sister distillery Barton 1792 could also be a potential source. Parent company Sazerac has said they won’t be disclosing more specifics on the distillation site for this whiskey. We don’t have much info on the exact mash bill used, either, other than the fact it’s a high-rye mash bill rumored to omit corn entirely. (Buffalo Trace’s low-rye rye mash is used for Sazerac Rye and other products.) E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof rye is the first time consumers have gotten the chance to taste this particular rye mash and brand at cask strength. Let’s dive in and see how it is!

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey: Stats and Availability

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey is a new, limited release from Buffalo Trace. (Its Barrel Proof Bourbon is a limited annual release, so perhaps we’ll see this rye each year moving forward.) It carries an MSRP of $77.99. However, in recent years, E.H. Taylor products have begun to command significant retail and secondary markups; as an example, the Barrel Proof Bourbon is often listed for hundreds of dollars above the suggested retail price. I wouldn’t be surprised for this rye to receive similar treatment. If you’re able to find a bottle close to MSRP, consider yourself fortunate.

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Sweet and tangy early on the nose, the whiskey features some classic rye aromas in noteworthy balance. Cracked white, pink, and black peppercorns bring a hefty — but not overpowering — element of spice. There’s more than a touch of herbaceousness, with medium components of dill, sawgrass, rosemary, and a tiny touch of spring ramps. Light orange oil brings tart citrus, elevated to a main scent via a generally oily characteristic, the scent hanging heavy within the glass. Treacle and honey wrap up the main elements here, providing a spicy (as opposed to particularly oak-forward) sweetness. Threaded deeper among those aromas are pumpernickel bread (again, spicy/sweet) and fresh lilies (floral, but not heavily so). So far on the nose, E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Rye walks a fine line between what one might expect between a high-rye mash bill and a Kentucky-style rye. And at least here, it strikes that balance well, casting a pretty wide net when it comes to rye aromas and catching most of them with aplomb. It’s still early, but we’re hitting a lot of good marks so far!

Taste

Tarter and oakier than the nose, those first sips hit quickly and with pronounced impact. The whiskey immediately hits the taste buds with spiced peach cobbler, red apple skins, black tea, and orange rind. It’s heavily oaky — leaning tannic — and fruit-forward here, those herbal and floral notes taking at least a temporary backseat to more potent flavors. While spice is dialed back compared to the nose, it’s not completely absent, coming though in this phase as red pepper jelly, with both capsaicin and additional layers of sweetness. Things get significantly sweeter at and just beyond the mid-palate, and there’s an elegant handoff from tannic oak to honeycomb and cherry candy. Given the whiskey’s proof (and pedigree), I half expected a slightly thicker mouthfeel. It’s got plenty of “legs,” though they take time to build across sips — the first two carrying more force than viscosity. That’s a small hiccup overall, as flavors still develop in a nice progression and build across the tongue. By the fourth sip, I stopped thinking it felt at all thin.

Finish

Honey builds and builds through the end, leading to a syrupy (there’s that viscosity!) finish with small pops of barrel char and a bit of minerality/salinity. There’s also a slight lean toward savory and smokey, reminiscent of maple-glazed bacon in the very final act. It’s worth trying this with a bit of dilution as well, but I’d suggest that only after sipping neat. It’s mighty composed as is.

E.H. Taylor, Jr. Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Rating

94/100

Recap

The modern E.H. Taylor brand has built its reputation on consistently great whiskey. Its first barrel proof rye is no exception, and there’s a whole lot to love in this pour. As with the Barrel Proof Bourbon, it will be interesting to see any variation from batch to batch. (That is, assuming this does become an annual release.) Be on the lookout for bottles hovering toward reasonable prices — I know I certainly will.

Reviewed On: 07-11-2024