Bourbon Reviews:




Bottling NameOld Taylor
Bottled ByOld Taylor/E.H. Taylor and Sons Frankfort,Ky
TypeKentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Alcohol content86 Proof
Availability US: No Longer Available Japan: Not Available Duty Free: Not Available Europe: Not Available
Age6
Views (since 20080612) 13160
Bottling Info



Review from whiskeybreath (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1932, Created:20110226155646, Updated:20110504002408)
Purchased at:Lillie's Package liquors
Purchased for:$11
Info on this bottle:1960 or 70s-No barcode,no warning, faded red tax stamp
Nose:Like fresh out of the oven bread!
Taste:Butterscotch! Then a little char. Then, you want another shot.
Finish:Amazingly long for an 80 proofer.
Overall:OT was my first bourbon EVER back in the 70s, so I am biased to it. Someone said:"Nobody else ever got so much out of 80 proof" and I concur.

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Review from Dump Bucket (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1482, Created:20090210170020, Updated:20090515231831)
Purchased at:DC Somewhere
Purchased for:$3.99 for 200 ml
Info on this bottle:Bottle date is 1988
Nose:Light corn and some caramel sweetness like the 80 proof with extra depth.
Taste:sweet right up front like the 80 proof, with a very faint bite from the alc.... Has a candy corn type apeal with some faint butterscotch and cream
Finish:Like a butterscotch livesaver.... same touch and flavor. There is a very lite touch of alc in this, but it is just perfect with this juice
Overall:I picked up a few 750s and 200s of these based on how much I liked the 80 proof. It has more than met expectations.

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Review from gillmang (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1414, Created:20090108223701, Updated:20090108223807) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:The Bowery, NYC in a small store with the cash behind glass
Purchased for:$17.00 for a litre
Info on this bottle:National Distillers stamped 93 underside
Proof Of this Bottle:80
Nose:Flowery and sweetish, perfumed, inviting
Taste:Sweetish again with nice oak flavours, some charred elements well-integrated
Finish:Tangy and long
Overall:Another classic ND Old Taylor. Bought in a store that whiskey connoisseurs don't visit very often (a story unto itself). Never was more flavour and bourbon class pulled out of 80 proof.

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Review from ShowMe (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1333, Created:20081029200059)
Purchased at:Found in gandpa's attic in MT circa 1993
Purchased for:Free
Info on this bottle:Glass decanter - Old Taylor Distillery Company, Frankfort KY
Nose:Apple, apricot(?) with a hint of something perfumy I can't place.
Taste:Smooth - was expecting a hard alcohol hit, but didn't get it. Definitely can taste the corn.
Finish:I got a nice impression of maple afterwards. Really enjoy this bottle - I'll be sad to see it go.
Overall:Exellent! According to the tax stamps, it was distilled and casked in 1947, bottled in 1951 and sold in 1952. I opened it in early 2006. Cork was mushy, but the bourbon does not appear to have suffered.

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Review from bunghole (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1240, Created:20080818155034) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Kentucky
Purchased for:Gift from bourbonv
Info on this bottle:Distilled Spring 1917 Bottled Spring 1927
Nose:HUGE! Complex with sharp perfumey roses and cinnamon topnotes. Fruity apple midsection. Caramel and sweet char in the background. There are some other things going on deep in the mix, but they are too subtile for me to name. I nosed this bourbon for a good quarter hour or so before I took the first sip, and the nose really opened up during that time.
Taste:The tongue tingles at the tip and sides with a malty sweetness, and a hint of tart black cherries. Oak and tobacco with some leather. It just tastes old! The sweetness of the nose takes a backseat to the barrel tones.
Finish:Subdued cinnamon and drying oak. Leather is polished and shines in a long slow finish that builds slightly before the fadeout. A smokey tobacco from a nice maduro wrapper arrives at the end. Very pleasent finish that starts moody but mellows out.
Overall:My overall opinion is that I surely would like to have some more of this very fine bourbon, but there isn't any more. These pre-prohibition bourbons surely are very different tasting than the bourbons of today. Ten years in the barrel and 81 years in the bottle.

The Pure Glass was used for this review.

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Review from spun_cookie (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 1142, Created:20080614021654) View discussion on this review.
Purchased at:Greg Gilbert
Nose:Maple and brown sugar. Sugary sweet something like auntchamama
Taste:Wood... old wood. This may have turned. Like glue... aurgh
Finish:The finish is like a glue stick smells...
Overall:I think this one was far out of prime

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Review from gillmang (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 822, Created:20070821115416, Updated:20070821121114)
Purchased at:Small store in San Francisco
Purchased for:$13.00
Info on this bottle:Rare black label (pint) bottle, seems to be late 1960's distillate (i.e,, from the Castle)
Proof Of this Bottle:90
Nose:The nose is atypical of NDOT. It is rather chemical-like with only hints of the trademark butterscotch and maple.
Taste:It is like the nose, dryish and somewhat congeneric. Some typical NDOT character (i.e., 80 or 86 proof or bonded from the era) emerges but the taste seems different from the standard Taylor profile of the era.
Finish:Well, a little sandpapery and varsolish.
Overall:As much as I would like to like this, I have decided I can't, or at least, not as much as yellow label NDOT. It came from a row of about 10 bottles on the shelf. I have now tasted two. Both tasted the same. Unless I had off bottles, they all must taste similar. Here is my theory and I may be completely wrong. ND had a batch that diverged from the standard profile, so it gave people a little more proof (90 instead of 86 or 80) and put it in a handsome package with a black label. The other Taylors (i.e., the 80, 86, bonded) all had the well-known darkish yellow label. Possibly the black label 90 proof was something sold (presumably in small amounts) for decades but always had its own profile (whether judged lesser or not).

An interesting drink, and glad I have it, but I am not sorry I didn't buy the other 8. (They were later picked up by other enthusiasts to whom I mentioned the store).

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Review from gillmang (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 821, Created:20070821050150, Updated:20070821115022)
Purchased at:Mostly off the shelves of small liquor stores but some traded to me
Purchased for:not much
Info on this bottle:Second personal vatting of mostly 1970's and 1980's ND 80's with some contemporary ND 86 (two sources) added
Nose:Butterscotch and ham smoke, some orange, like the rind of ham coated in marmalade and whiskey.
Taste:Like the nose but even better with fine wood accents underpinning the rest. It has the typical combination NDOT had of lightness and richness. The taste is unified, as if bonded almost, and milky soft - a chocolate milk for adults made from a fine single estate variety! This really was America's VSOP or Napoleon cognac, but who knew? (Well many did but they weren't "tastemakers"). A whiskey which in an odd sense was ahead of its time (since there are people today who can appreciate it for what it really was and are not hobbled by the common instinct of taking for granted a national product of very high quality).
Finish:Echoing notes of burned wood, burnt sugar, ethanol woven tightly in and that indefinable bourbon taste.
Overall:Absolutely at the top of NDOT's game. In putting this together I was inspired by MikeK's review of what is evidently an awesome 1950's bonded Taylor. I wanted to get a taste that was similar to what he described including its purity and intensity. I think I came close although of course I didn't get the proof much over 83 or so. I think though the lower proof is off-set by what the vatting achieves: the one thing a bonded isn't is a vatting of multiple seasons and years. Anyway it is pretty good and is I think a worthy "younger brother" to the senior Taylor mentioned. It comes into its own when you take a big pull from a half-filled rocks glass. The bonded one no doubt should be enjoyed poured in a thin layer and then you take small sips. Either way, NDOT was a classic taste which against all odds you can still appreciate since this Champagne cognac of American whiskey, long out of production (by National Distillers that is), still lurks on the shelves of America here and there. And in some places (like San Francisco) it is relatively plentiful.

The current Old Taylor of Beam is not bad but does not approach the palate of the ND whiskey in my opinion. Maybe one day Beam will bring back the ND taste. If there is any whiskey in their portfolio it would make sense (and money, I think) to recreate, this is the one.

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Review from gillmang (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 655, Created:20061124062029, Updated:20061124113822)
Purchased at:New York; San Francisco; Tennessee
Info on this bottle:Personal vatting of ND Taylors from the 1980's/late70's
Proof Of this Bottle:80/86
Nose:Butterscotch, light smoke and corn
Taste:Soft on the palate and simple but in a good way. No burn, no rough edges. Appley and seasoned woods tastes back up the corn and butter
Finish:Not long but satisfying
Overall:A premium taste and a whiskey style no longer available. The butterscotch palate was a keynote of 70's Old Taylor and it sings in this vatting. At the time there was really no premium bourbon as such: certain brands had cachet and Taylor was one of them. It had a good distinctive flavor without being overly complex or hard to drink.

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Review from scratchline (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 649, Created:20061118154430)
Purchased at:Southern MA
Purchased for:12 dollars
Info on this bottle:Aged 6 years Frankfort/Clermont label Bottle bottom stamped '93
Proof Of this Bottle:80
Nose:Very sweet, alternately butterscotch and citrus, candied orange peel. Faintest whiff of leather. A lovely nose
Taste:Buttery, smooth. A moderate mouth feel, nothing booming here but very pleasant and drinkable. Some might find it too easy, but I think very good. Sweetness nicely balanced by just a touch of wood. Easy drinking.
Finish:Short and pleasant. No bitterness.
Overall:While more experienced drinkers would probably find this whiskey way too simple, I actually like it. It would undoubtedly be better at a higher proof but at 80 proof and 12 dollars, it's not bad. Having tasted a bottle of ND 86 proof, I suspect that this is ND stock that was bottled by Beam. I have an older 86 that I will open for comparison before this one is finished. It is an undemanding but enjoyable drink. The nose is simple but great, the taste not quite up to the nose, and the finish is fine but very short. It's a "diminuendo" whiskey, but a lovely delicate diminuendo.

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Review from gillmang (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 578, Created:20060825050751, Updated:20060825070112)
Purchased at:San Francisco
Purchased for:$15.00
Info on this bottle:Clermont and Frankfort reference but National Distillers whiskey. Has old yellow label. Also, an 88 is stamped on the glass base, so it was made by NT. 1988 was too early for Beam to issue its own distillate at 6 years of age and it would have used inventory acquired in the purchase (no doubt).
Proof Of this Bottle:86
Nose:Light smoke and butterscotch, also some rounded barrel tones
Taste:Soft, sweetish, balanced. All the elements of the nose combine in the palate. The bottling survived well, is very clean with appley notes as Mike reported for his sample. I had an earlier one, bought in New York, which was similar but slightly degraded.
Finish:The finish is short reflecting the relatively young age (6 years) and moderate palate
Overall:I rate this very high. This kind of style is not much in evidence today and the current OT seems rather lesser. The fruitiness, smoke and caramel tones seem in perfect synch. This is an elegant whiskey. At 100 proof it would have been even better but at 86 it was very good too. Whiskey makers should take inspiration from such bottles and use medium-age whiskey to create current bottlings along these lines.

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Review from bourbonv (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 344, Created:20060205100438)
Purchased at:Estate sale
Info on this bottle:Bottle from mid 1980's with Frankfort and Clermont listed. 6yo age statement
Proof Of this Bottle:80
Nose:Corn and Vanilla with some oak wood. Very light and simple
Taste:A little thin but pleasant. Corn and vanilla with some apple fruit. The 80 proof does not help this bourbon, but does not hurt it as much as it might.
Finish:Short and sweet with vanilla and oak in a fair balance.
Overall:This is probably National distillers whiskey bottled by Beam at a lower, 80 proof. Not a bad drink, but hot as good as the older 86 proof.

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Review from bourbonv (BourbonEnthusiast Review ID 343, Created:20060205095811)
Purchased at:Purchased from estate sale
Info on this bottle:National Distillers, Frankfort distillation
Proof Of this Bottle:86
Nose:Corn and vanilla with some oak wood and light fruits - apple. Not overly complex - just clean and simple.
Taste:Rich corn and vanilla with a little cinnamon spice and fine leather. Very nice, clean and crisp taste.
Finish:Very satisfying sweet corn and vanilla with only a hint of oak wood.
Overall:This is a very pleasant bourbon made by National in the late 70's. If you find an old bottle of this bourbon, get it and drink it. You will be glad you did.

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