EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel: A Detailed Comparison

eh taylor small batch vs single barrel

When it comes to the world of fine bourbon, connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike often find themselves pondering the merits of EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel options. In our journey to disclose the finest details of these sought-after whiskeys, we turn to the esteemed Buffalo Trace Distillery, the birthplace of the best EH Taylor bourbon. Our exploration will reveal not just the taste profiles and production differences, but also the storied craftsmanship that underpins the EH Taylor comparison. Whether you’re a seasoned sipper or a newcomer to bourbon’s complexities, our analysis will aid in discerning the nuanced distinction of small batch vs single barrel bourbon, shaping an informed palette and a deeper appreciation for each bottle’s unique character.

Key Takeaways

  • Unearth the subtleties between EH Taylor Small Batch and Single Barrel bourbons.
  • Decode the flavor profiles and discern what makes EH Taylor a standout bourbon.
  • Understand the Buffalo Trace Distillery’s commitment to quality in the bourbon-making process.
  • Learn the significance of the “Bottled in Bond” distinction and its impact on your whiskey experience.
  • Gain the necessary insights to make an educated bourbon choice in any liquor establishment.

Introduction to EH Taylor’s Bourbon Legacy

As we delve into the revered corridors of bourbon history, it is impossible to overlook the monumental influence of Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., a pioneering figure whose tireless pursuit of distilling excellence laid the bedrock for what we know today as premium American whiskey. It’s a legacy steeped in the rich soil of Kentucky, spawning some of the most coveted bottles in the bourbon canvas, with the esteemed Buffalo Trace Distillery standing as a testament to Taylor’s enduring vision.

Colonel E.H. Taylor, often regarded as a founding father of the bourbon industry, manifested a philosophy that resonates through each bottle of EH Taylor bourbons. His innovative techniques—be it the introduction of climate-controlled aging warehouses or the insistence on copper fermentation tanks—were revolutionary at the time and continue to be integral to the high-quality standards maintained by the distillery today. Indeed, the very essence of the much-coveted EH Taylor Small Batch and Single Barrel bourbons is rooted in Colonel Taylor’s uncompromising dedication to the craft.

The story of Taylor’s contributions is not just about the distillation process but also about a commitment to legal and ethical standards, epitomized in the “Bottled in Bond” act of 1897—a standard he championed. This act ensured that every EH Taylor bourbon adhered to stringent criteria: it had to be the product of one distillation season, one distiller, and from one distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years, and bottled at 100 proof. This dedication to quality control and consumer transparency is why each sip of an EH Taylor bourbon doesn’t just tell a story of taste but also one of trustworthiness and tradition.

We, as enthusiasts, owe it to ourselves to understand and appreciate these roots. The legacy of Colonel E.H. Taylor and his undying influence on the Buffalo Trace Distillery‘s ethos serves not merely as a historical footnote but as a living, breathing foundation that continues to shape and define the world of bourbon whiskey. In our upcoming sections, we’ll explore the nuances of his namesakes—EH Taylor Small Batch and Single Barrel—and how they reflect the Colonel’s storied past.

The Appeal of EH Taylor Small Batch

Few expressions of bourbon craftsmanship capture the imagination of enthusiasts like small batch bourbon, especially when it comes from a distillery as storied as Buffalo Trace. The EH Taylor Small Batch is a beacon of quality in this category, offering a harmonious combination of selected barrels that creates an extraordinary drinking experience. Here’s how this premium bourbon distinguishes itself as a forerunner in the market.

What Defines a Small Batch Bourbon

The term ‘small batch’ indicates a level of selective craftsmanship, where a limited number of barrels are chosen based on their superior quality and flavor profile. While the industry does not have a strict definition for the term, small batch bourbons like the Taylor Small Batch typically come from fewer than two dozen barrels, ensuring a consistent, high-quality product with each release. What sets these bourbons apart is not just the careful selection process, but also the masterful blending that creates a complex, well-rounded spirit.

EH Taylor Small Batch Review and Tasting Notes

When conducting an EH Taylor Small Batch review, it’s evident that the mashbill plays a vital role in shaping its exquisite taste. Upon tasting, a rich palate of caramel sweetness greets the senses, followed by a dance of spices and an infusion of oak that leads to a satisfyingly long finish. It’s these notes that bourbon lovers cherish, making the EH Taylor Small Batch a standout choice for connoisseurs seeking a sippable, complex bourbon that truly tells a story in each glass.

Bottled in Bond – A Mark of Quality

The EH Taylor Small Batch Bourbon proudly bears the ‘Bottled in Bond’ label, a testament to its adherence to early American standards of whiskey production. This historic designation guarantees the liquid is the product of a single distillation season by one distiller at a single distillery, aged for a minimum of four years in a government-bonded warehouse, and bottled at 100 proof. This level of regulation is not just a nod to the past; it’s an assurance that what you’re enjoying is truly a high-caliber, small batch bourbon, crafted with exceptional expertise and integrity.

EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel Bourbon

As we explore the fascinating world of bourbon, the EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel comparison is a journey of discovery that highlights the nuances and subtleties bourbon enthusiasts adore. Let’s dive into the intricacies that distinguish these two premium offerings and understand the differences between EH Taylor Small Batch and Single Barrel in terms of production, taste, and the aging process.

Big Differences in Production and Taste

The production process sets the stage for these bourbons’ unique characteristics. EH Taylor Small Batch is a curated blend of carefully selected barrels, chosen to create a consistent and harmonious flavor profile with each batch. In contrast, the Single Barrel is the epitome of uniqueness; each bottle comes from an individual barrel, showcasing its own distinct taste notes. This means that the Small Batch offers reliability and balance, while the Single Barrel promises a personalized experience with slight variations from bottle to bottle.

Flavor Profiles Head to Head

The flavor profiles of each bourbon are where the magic truly happens. EH Taylor Small Batch brings a collective symphony of tastes, well-orchestrated with notes of vanilla, toffee, and subtle oak, creating a cohesive and smooth sipping experience. On the other hand, the Single Barrel often presents a bolder flavor journey with a wider range of tasting notes varying from rich caramel to a robust and spicier oak finish, influenced by the individual barrel’s character.

Comparison of Aging Process and Effects

Another critical component in our comparison is the aging process. While both styles age in charred oak barrels for a minimum of four years, in adherence to the ‘Bottled in Bond’ commitment, the interaction between the bourbon and the barrel is where divergence occurs. Environmental factors like warehouse placement and climate affect each barrel differently, thus affecting the final product’s flavor and complexity. The Single Barrel’s unique exposure can lead to a deeper, more pronounced set of aging effects than what’s typically found in the blended Small Batch.

AspectEH Taylor Small BatchEH Taylor Single Barrel
ProductionBlend of select barrels for flavor consistencySingle barrel selection for unique character
Flavor ProfileVanilla, toffee, balanced oakVariable, can include richer caramel and spicer oak
Aging ProcessMinimum 4 years, blended for consistencyMinimum 4 years, individual barrel influences
Taste ExperienceHarmonious, smooth, and reliablePersonalized, bolder, with unique variations

In the EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel comparison, we find that the decision between these two is less about quality and more about preference. Do you seek the reliability and balance of a Small Batch, or does the allure of a unique and personal whiskey experience from a Single Barrel call to you? Each has its own story, influenced by its production, flavor profile, and aging process, and either choice promises to deliver a remarkable bourbon adventure.

Experiencing EH Taylor Single Barrel’s Uniqueness

Within the pantheon of premium bourbons, EH Taylor Single Barrel stands out as an embodiment of individuality. Each single barrel offering is a testament to the ingenuity of Buffalo Trace Distillery, a liquid narrative that provides a singular experience unhindered by blending. For us, a taste of EH Taylor Single Barrel is akin to a personal introduction to its unique history, from grain to bottle.

The advent of single barrel bourbon is a craft that prioritizes the distinctive qualities inherent in each barrel. An EH Taylor Single Barrel review often enlightens us to the sublime variations that can occur, with connoisseurs sharing their encounters of rich vanilla, deep cherry, or even hints of toasted almond, attributed to a barrel’s idiosyncratic life cycle.

Every sip of EH Taylor Single Barrel bourbon reveals a different chapter of its maturation story, one that intrigues and invites further exploration.

Our own reviews of this exceptional bourbon echo the appreciation for its nuanced complexity. When we unravel the factors contributing to this character, such as the positioning in Warehouse H with its legendary temperature fluctuations, or the particular char level of the oak cask used, it’s clear why each bottle is an exclusive affair.

  1. The position within the warehouse can significantly influence the flavors, with more central locations yielding a unique warmth to the bourbon.
  2. A cask’s individual char level curates the interaction with the bourbon, extracting variant levels of sweetness and smokiness that fascinate our palates.

We appreciate the essence of what makes the EH Taylor Single Barrel so special. This unblended excellence provides us—whether the seasoned aficionados or curious newcomers—an adventurous narrative through each nuanced sip.

Bourbon Enthusiasts’ Take: Small Batch vs Single Barrel

In the spirited debate of which one is better: EH Taylor Small Batch or Single Barrel, we’ve tapped into the vibrant bourbon enthusiast community for their collective wisdom. It’s a topic that always sparks passionate discussions across forums and bourbon clubs alike. What’s fascinating to us is the diversity of opinions that mirrors the complexity of the bourbons themselves. As we navigate through myriad reviews and conversations, a pattern has emerged that we find quite telling of the current bourbon zeitgeist.

The EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel tastes prove to be a matter of personal preference, each with its loyal following. Some aficionados express a fondness for the consistency and the blended finesse of the Small Batch. The balanced profile, they argue, offers a reliability that is perfect for both an intro to bourbon and a familiar pour for a veteran sipper. On the flip side, Single Barrel enthusiasts are often in pursuit of something distinct—each bottle’s potential for a unique flavor profile is like an exciting exploration into the unknown.

Gauging the bourbon community opinion, it’s clear that both expressions hold their ground, with preferences often split down the middle. Popular opinion seems to swing like a pendulum based on the allure of the Single Barrel’s exclusivity against Small Batch’s accessibility. The Single Barrel expression, a craft of chance and singularity, is often sought after by collectors and those looking for a truly unique tasting experience. In contrast, the Small Batch garners respect for its crafted consistency and approachable complexity—a trait not overlooked by the community.

From a practical standpoint, shelf presence and price do play a role in informing the small batch bourbon opinion. Small Batch scores points for being more widely available and usually at a more approachable price point than its Single Barrel counterpart. This accessibility factor undoubtedly adds weight to its popularity, making it a staple choice for many bourbon lovers.

Let’s distill these opinions into a table reflecting the perspectives:

CriteriaEH Taylor Small BatchEH Taylor Single Barrel
Taste ConsistencyHighly valued for consistent qualityVaries from barrel to barrel
Community PreferenceDependable choice for regular enjoymentPreferred by those seeking individuality
AvailabilityMore readily accessible on store shelvesLess available, often sought by collectors
PricingGenerally more affordableTends to be pricier, reflecting its exclusivity

In conclusion, whether enthusiasts champion the Small Batch for its price and consistency, or advocate for the Single Barrel’s unique profile and rarity, it’s evident that both have earned their esteemed spots in the bourbon community. These insights, drawn from bourbon lovers themselves, don’t just guide our palates—they enrich our understanding of bourbon’s fluid narrative in a glass.

Delving Deeper into the Cask: Barrel Strength and Cask Influence

The merits of bourbon aren’t solely defined by the grain and aging process. Indeed, the very vessel that houses this esteemed spirit—the cask—plays a pivotal role in developing the delectable depths we savor. In this section, we explore the formidable impact of barrel strength and cask characteristics, zeroing in on how rye vs bourbon casks distinctly influence EH Taylor’s lineup, with each imparting their trademark essence.

The Impact of Barrel Strength on Taste and Complexity

When we talk about barrel strength, we refer to bourbons that are bottled at the same proof they reach at maturity, without the dilution that typically brings the alcohol content down to a standard level. This undiluted potency encapsulates the authentic, full-fledged profile of the spirit, bolstering flavor and complexity with an unbridled intensity that is often appreciated by purists.

Barrel strength EH Taylor offerings exemplify this raw elegance. Tasting a cask strength EH Taylor reveals a robust panorama of flavors, from the deep, caramelized sugars to the fiery spice that grips the palate—an experience we find not just invigorating but also revealing of the liquor’s true character.

Cask Characteristics and Their Contribution

Every cask imparts its own signature to the bourbon it nurtures. At EH Taylor, where meticulous cask selection is paramount, the influence of these containers is discernible in each sip. The wood’s char level, the type of oak, and even the cask’s previous contents can deliver anything from intense vanilla and toasted oak notes to subtler hints of fruit and nuts.

These cask characteristics orchestrate a symphony of flavors and aromas, bestowing the bourbon with its nuanced personality—an interplay of elements we find both alluring and essential in cultivating a superior bourbon profile.

Rye vs Bourbon Casks: How Each Influences EH Taylor

The debate of rye vs bourbon casks centers around the nuances each type of barrel imparts. A rye cask, having previously housed the spicier, edgier grain, might bequeath its zesty characteristics, adding layers of complexity and heat. Conversely, traditional bourbon casks often lend a sweeter, more rounded depth to the maturing spirit.

The cask’s history, the span spent cradling the whiskey, greatly shapes an EH Taylor bottle’s final constitution. We revel in the thought that the very decision between using a rye or a bourbon cask can alter the trajectory of an EH Taylor expression, endowing it with either a bolder or a more mellow personality, each appealing to different facets of our bourbon-loving hearts.

As we delve into the details of barrel strength and cask influence on EH Taylor bourbons, our appreciation deepens for the art and science behind these prized spirits. The alchemy of aging in rye versus bourbon casks, the decision to present a bourbon at barrel strength—all of these factors coalesce to craft a distinct experience awaiting within each glass of EH Taylor, defining moments that are both unique and telling of their storied origins.


As we wrap up our exploration into the EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel comparison, it’s clear that both expressions showcase the craft and legacy of EH Taylor bourbons with their remarkable qualities. In this journey, we’ve tasted the harmony of the Small Batch and relished the individuality of the Single Barrel—each presenting a distinct passport to Colonel Taylor’s timeless distilling artistry. Through our detailed taylor small batch vs single barrel comparison, it’s evident that personal preference plays a pivotal role in choosing between these two well-crafted spirits.

Our final thoughts on EH Taylor bourbons reaffirm that whether you gravitate towards the consistency of the Small Batch or indulge in the distinct profile of a Single Barrel, your palate will be rewarded. The EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel differences invite a discussion that serves not just as a testament to the brand’s versatility but also highlights the aficionado’s quest for character and depth in their bourbon experience. EH Taylor’s commitment to excellence ensures that each bottle, regardless of your preference, is a commendable choice for collectors and casual drinkers alike.

We trust our EH Taylor Small Batch vs Single Barrel review will serve as a guide for both newcomers and veterans in navigating the nuanced world of bourbon. Here’s to the next pour, where the enduring legacy of EH Taylor continues to unfold in each carefully-crafted bottle, and the story of American whiskey is celebrated—one distinguished sip at a time.


What are the main differences between EH Taylor Small Batch and Single Barrel?

The main differences lie in their production process and flavor profiles. EH Taylor Small Batch combines select barrels to create a consistent taste profile, while the Single Barrel comes from one individually chosen barrel, leading to unique, varied nuances in flavor. The Small Batch tends to have a balanced blend of sweetness and oak, whereas the Single Barrel can offer a wider range of taste based on the particularities of the chosen cask.

How do bourbon enthusiasts decide which one is better: EH Taylor Small Batch or Single Barrel?

Bourbon enthusiasts often look for consistency or uniqueness when choosing between Small Batch and Single Barrel. Many appreciate the reliable quality of Small Batch, while others prefer the distinct and sometimes rare characteristics of Single Barrel expressions. Personal preference, reviews, and recommendations within the bourbon community heavily influence this decision.

What does “Bottled in Bond” mean for EH Taylor bourbons?

“Bottled in Bond” is a legal standard that ensures the bourbon is produced in one distillation season by one distiller at a single distillery. It must be aged for at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse and bottled at 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume). Both EH Taylor Small Batch and Single Barrel carry this designation, guaranteeing a high-quality bourbon experience.

Can you compare the aging process of EH Taylor Small Batch and Single Barrel?

Both are aged in accordance with the Bottled in Bond Act, ensuring a minimum of four years in aging. However, the Single Barrel’s aging can exhibit more diversity depending on its position within the warehouse and the characteristics of the specific barrel, potentially creating a more complex flavor profile in the final product as compared to the Small Batch.

How does the mashbill influence EH Taylor bourbons?

The mashbill, which is a recipe of grains used in the distillation process, plays a vital role in shaping the flavor profile of the bourbon. Both Small Batch and Single Barrel of EH Taylor are made using the same mashbill from Buffalo Trace Distillery, which consists of corn, rye, and malted barley, contributing to the bourbons’ signature taste of caramel sweetness with hints of spice and oak.

What unique qualities does EH Taylor Single Barrel offer?

EH Taylor Single Barrel offers a unique tasting experience with every bottle due to the nuances from the individual barrel it was aged in. Each barrel imparts its own distinctive characteristics, such as notes of vanilla, caramel, spices, and oak. The specific location of the barrel within Warehouse H at Buffalo Trace and the level of char on the cask can significantly influence these flavors, creating a singular bourbon with each bottling.

What does the term “small batch” mean in the context of bourbon?

“Small batch” refers to a select number of barrels chosen by the master distiller, which are then mixed to create a batch of bourbon. While there is no strict legal definition of the size of a “small batch,” it generally denotes a more intimate, controlled production process, aiming for a specifically targeted flavor profile that the distillery believes represents their best quality.

How do cask characteristics contribute to the flavor of EH Taylor bourbons?

The type and treatment of the cask play an essential role in the bourbon’s final flavor. Casks provide color, tannins, and various flavor compounds to the whiskey. In the case of EH Taylor bourbons, the use of new, charred American oak casks imparts vanilla, caramel, and toasty wood flavors, while the level of char can also influence the presence of richer notes like chocolate or coffee.

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