Review: E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood

We continue Bourbonr “Wheated Week” with a review of Buffalo Traces E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood. Going into this review, I thought “I better tread lightly.” Without tasting, one side bourbonr’s will curse Buffalo Trace’s name for this new release. They’ll claim it’s overhyped garbage from a greedy distillery. Sure, they’ll probably try a sample at a bar or from a friend but be prepared for some fireworks in their tasting notes. Now to the other side. This is the guy that can’t wait to spend whatever dollar amount it takes to get this new bottle. If he doesn’t turn around and flip it for a profit expect tasting notes in ALL CAPS. Words like “phenomenal” and “best ever” will flow freely. Where do I fall into these two camps? I’m not exactly sure. But, I wanted to try it first before voicing too much of an opinion.

Enough dialogue. Onto to the review.

EH Taylor Seasoned Wood Review

E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood Review

The initial notes are brown sugar, caramelized sugar and dried cherries. There’s a little bit of orange peel on the taste. It’s much sweeter than I would expect. The oak and dry notes are saved for the finish. There’s a little bit of spice but not a lot. It’s well balanced on the sweeter and dark fruit side.


This is a good bourbon. I would pay the $70 retail for this bottle. However, that’s not really the standards we can judge these kinds of special releases by. I’m sure the secondary will be in the hundreds of dollars. In that case, it’s not worth it. It reminds me of an excellent Old Weller Antique store pick mixed with Weller 12.

Back to the dialogue.

Buffalo Trace should have released the age. That’s a swing and a miss in my opinion. No one cares what kind of weird concoction the barrel was dipped in before aging. We want BTAC like details: Age, barrel numbers, barrel evaporation and warehouse locations.

With a little detective work, we can make an educated guess at the age. Buffalo Trace claims it’s aged “well over a decade.” I would assume that’s somewhere between eleven and nineteen years. If it were more than that, they probably would’ve said over “two decades.” Now that I have a range I looked to see if Buffalo Trace had ever done anything similar to Seasoned Wood. Wouldn’t you know, in 2006 Buffalo Trace released in their experimental “Fire Pot Barrel.” Below are the details about the Fire Pot Barrel release:

Bourbon was aged in a barrel that was heated to 102 degrees Fahrenheit for 23 minutes. This extra heat dried the wood of the barrel to an extraordinary degree to examine how that might affect bourbon flavor. The whiskey has a smoky nose, and hints of fruit and tobacco on the pallet.

Fire Pot Barrel

Fire Pot was a rye bourbon but it would make sense that Buffalo Trace also tested this barrels on a wheated mash bill. A distillation date in 1996 puts it right around 19 years old. Or, “well over a decade”. I could be wrong but this timeline and circumstantial evidence lines up in my mind. Seasoned Wood didn’t taste like a 19-year-old bourbon to me. Maybe it was tanked. This would explain why BT didn’t give an age because they didn’t want people to know it was tanked? The mystery continues.

There’s been talk over brand confusion with a wheated E.H. Taylor. Here’s how I see it. Buffalo Trace has a wheated experimental bourbon. They could throw it in a Pappy Van Winkle bottle and charge $250. I imagine that creates a lot of problems with whatever agreement Buffalo Trace has with the Van Winkles and their brand. Weller is the next best alternative. Again, the only match here is the mash bill. We would be asking “is a one time release?” “is seasoned wood joining the antique collection?” However, with the Taylor line they’ve already introduced “experimental” releases to us. We compare it to Cured Oak and Tornado. While the mash bill doesn’t fit the price point and one-off release does. It seems that Sazerac is trying to pitch the Taylor line and limited releases on the high end with 1792 following the same formula at a lower price point.

This is probably the most I’ve ever written on a single review. What do you think? Will you buy a bottle?


    Thanks Blake! If I can find a bottle at retail (laughing) I will grab one, and if not will pass and try it in a bar. I base most Wheats off of the BTEC Floor 5, I so wish they would come out with more of it. Got 3/4 of a bottle left and give Pappy away over it.

    Thanks again

    I have ordered from three different outlets, just Because I like wheated bourbons and am a Taylor fan. We’ll see if any of those vendors can actually get it in! When Cured Oak hit the shelves, I made the big mistake of not buying all they had!

    Yes. I will.

    I wont pay “whale” prices, but I am a wheater fan, and this sounds interesting.

    I like unique items and this fits the bill.

    Just like everyone else – I certainly would by a bottle if I found it on the shelf. Your tasting notes are positive for me. I like the sweetness of wheaters, and I like the notion of a transition to dry and oakey in the finish. All that sounds like something I’d like to swirl in my mouth.

    But I’m guessing the odds are against a simple buyer like me, and I certainly won’t pay a few hundred in the secondary market, or > $20 for a 1 oz pour. So I may just live through the reviews, and continue to drink what I can find on the shelves.

    Thanks for your review. I’m looking forward to this, and won’t pass over it if I happen to see it. At retail. On a shelf. I haven’t had much luck with the other releases, so I won’t hold my breath. Hopefully these less than stellar reviews will deter people from spending $70. LOL.

    I’m guessing the age is much lower than your guess for two reasons. 1) I have become a cynical bastard and “more than a decade” to me means 11 or 12 yrs. If it was 19 (or even 15) they would have stated the age in the marketing materials like they did with Cured Oak or at least said “almost two decades”. And 2) I doubt BT was making wheated in 1996. They had no wheated product line until they aquired W.L Weller in 1999. They may have made some wheated on contract but not likely any to play with in experiments. But as stated above I’m only guessing here too.

    Is there a remote possibility that the Taylor is what’s become of the large batch of 12 yr. pappy that presumably failed a meet a Pappy “standard” at the distillery? Some of you may recall that a couple of Months ago I intended to ask what Brown was going to do with this batch.
    I did – and my contact at Weller clammed up totally. Appears I crossed a line and shouldn’t have asked.

    The Pappy 12 stuff – failed Pappy standard notwithstanding – would be awfully good and could be marketed
    under another flavor point and name (Taylor?)

    Just wondering- – –

    Great comment! BT has one of the best marketing schemes in the world. Take one mash bill and create as many products as you can! Age them as needed? and charge as accordingly for age. Name Them differently them to create a buzz within the market. Plead the 5th when the price goes to the moon.

    Shit, I did not want to reply to you, as you are the person( and the Master) that really understands the world of bourbon.The one that can make or break a new bourbon. (say Belle and Meade. One of the best bourbons on the market) Yes you got me! As a marketing angle you are correct. And I thank you for posting my comment at all! Who is the one bourbon producer that has shoveled themselves beyond BT and their mashbills?. The one that has multiple mash bills and different yeast formulas. The one that has now continually given us bourbons at a cask strength that are sooo smooth that they blow away most other regular BT strength bourbons. I will not say as most bourboner’s know who i am talking about.Boy I love the intrigue! Four Roses!

    Collecting bourbon is a hobby, and since I don’t have one I think $70 is reasonable for a collection.

    But frankly, I coul md pour 4 to 5 sub $30 bourbons to people, and the majority would prefer one of those over thus $70 bottle

    So it’s collection worthy, but overpriced

    After all: when you bottle a bourbon you have aged for 11+ years, you HAVE to charge premium price, right?

    We got a sample as well and I had the same conclusion as I did with Michter’s 10 Rye: There’s nothing *bad* about it, but nothing spectacular or especially unique about it. In the same vein as the M10 Rye, I don’t believe it’s worth the MSR and certainly not secondary. I do think most enthusiasts should try to get a sample so they can get past the hype and decide first hand without wasting hard earned $$, since if you are an honest taster who spends good money, you may be very much let down.

    ** 0 – ZERO – 0 ** interest in this one kids! Smoke & Mirrors – Don’t want my whiskey anywhere near an “Enzyme Bath”. Happy Hunting!

    So far, I’ve “secured” at least 2 bottles of this for my cabinet. Although, I will try and get a few more, but only at retail. This week in NYS, I picked up 2 “Col.E.H. Taylor small batch”, left 3 (msrp, $39.99). I must admit, I love the Col.’s stuff that I have been able to try….the single barrel, small batch and barrel proof, all G-U-D! I hear the “SOURMASH” was good, but “Tornado” was better…..can’t find them in the whiskey bars either…..***here’s an idea*** these distilleries could make an even BIGGER fortune by selling all of these bottles as a collector’s set together at one HUGE price (YIKES!)……..downside for many would be counting on the lotteries to pay for them! Anyways….I am highly anticipating this new one from the Colonel!

    ***NEWSFLASH*** Just saw this posted today on *bottle-spot” for $525.00 a bottle!!! DAMN!!! HAHAHAHAA!!! Hey @Lu Cifer….you were realllllly close with the asking price there my friend….hahahahahahaha!!!!

    Yup! I’m going to stick w/ my old trusty EWBIB, WT101, BT, EHTSB, & KNSB. Ya’ll can have the rare stuff. Put a fork in me.

    Just got a bottle at retail price here in NC. State only got 12 bottles though. Makes me not want to drink it for fear that I may love it and not be able to find it ever again.

    Wow!! Consider yourself extremely lucky! With a low allocation of 12 measly bottles for an entire state, seems you have “to know somebody” or be a licensee or bar to even be included “in the mix” for a bottle……Im with you tho….I wouldn’t drink it quite yet….*unless* you’re a diehard bourbon drinker and don’t have any intention of reselling it….might prove foolish to crack it open right now.

    I don’t own a bar or anything but I do know who to talk to. I feel honored just have the thing. My bourbon collection amounts to a bottle of blantons, EHT small batch, stagg jr, and the seasoned wood so I’m definitely not a die hard bourbon drinker. Hopefully this can be the start of a decent collection.

    Maybe I can scrounge a sample bottle or find it at a bar to try lol

    Cool! So far, you have a decent start to a bourbon collection! All of your bottles are allocated and some what hard to find bottles; with the exception of the Blanton (depending on which ones you have). You’re doing good! I saw on ** last week a bottle of the seasoned wood up for sale for $525.00! And the kicker was that the guy selling it didn’t even have the bottles in his possession yet….he was counting on bottles to sell he was “promised”, lol & smdh…..crazy! But seriously, with that kind of promising secondary price tag, it is tempting to flip it, especially if you only paid retail for it! With the good luck you’re having, you should try and score another bottle, lol.

    Hey!….I just saw a bottle of this on ** for a WHOPPING $650.00!!!!!! Someone is selling it out of NC!!!! WOW!!!

    Seasoned wood just got delivered in the DC area today. very limited. Most places only got one bottle, and some retailers are selling well above MSRP. reserved my bottle, picking it up this PM.

    Just got a call from the liquor store. They just got 2 bottles of Seasoned Wood, $70. My name is on one of them! 🙂

    Picking up a bottle tomorrow from my local shop here in NM. Had a pour of it at MOJO #4 and thought it was a great! The lack of an age statement could be a result of BT not allowed by VW to compete with Pappy 15. I am assuming the statement aged well over a decade would put it into the 14-16 year age range.

    Johnny Come Lately, but just opened mine and found it to be delightful! Definitely on the sweeter side so I’ll better know which friends to share it with. As for being worthy of secondary market prices? Not being independently wealthy, there’s not much that is, aside maybe from Blanton’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *