While I really enjoy the E.H. Taylor line-up, I've come to absolutely love the Barrel Proof Taylor. I'm not sure why it hits me differently, perhaps it's just the great combination of high proof and lack of filtering, leaving all the goodness in the bottle. Whatever it is, while I like the single barrel, these Barrel Proofs have always been amazing to me.
And apparently I'm not the only one that has taken notice. Of course scarcity and the fact that it's a Buffalo Trace product have something to do with it, but the secondary pricing on these bottles is just nuts, hovering in the $600-800 range. Though I'd never bring myself to pay that much for something I'm just going to end up drinking, it tells me I should consider myself blessed to enjoy these when I do stumble across a bottle.
On the nose I got a lot of cinnamon and chocolate. It was a spicy cinnamon, though, and it reminded me of Mexican chocolate. That chocolate note was actually quite strong and really dominated the aroma. There were also some cherry notes buried in there as well, which, mixed with that cinnamon, gave of a sort of cloves aroma.
Right as the first sip hit my tongue, I was hit with a blast of flavor, full of caramel and cherry. It even had a sort of tangy amaretto note to it as well. It was certainly sweet, but had a rich fruitiness to it and even a bit of an earthy note to keep it grounded.
It also filled my mouth with a nice, warm cinnamon spice. it wasn't biting, but rather just there to be enjoyed. That warm cinnamon spice stuck around long through the finish as well. And it wasn't just heat from the high ABV. In fact, this wasn't overheated at all, regardless of its proof, making it very drinkable.
The finish, as mentioned, was full of that delicious cinnamon note, but there was also some sweet butterscotch on the finish. Almost as though someone took that caramel note from the front end and melted some butter right into it. There was also a bit of nutmeg as well, which again kept the sweetness from going too far.
Everything about this bottle was right down my wheelhouse. I hesitate to give an A+ grade too freely, but the fact of the matter is that as far as my ideal bourbons go, this bottle was it! This was absolutely superb and more than deserving of the grade.