Buffalo Trace distillery is releasing a rare, once-in-a-lifetime bourbon next month: a 10-year small batch made entirely in barrels taken from its famous Warehouse C built in the 1880s. Colonel E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Bourbon is 10 years old, and will be released bottled in bond at 100 proof. For fans of the brand, this is a welcome surprise—and another great tip of the hat to a bourbon legend.
Buffalo Trace’s legacy is sewn together by a lot of threads that originated with Col. Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr., the namesake of one Buffalo Trace brand. Taylor built O.F.C. Distillery, which would later be purchased by George T. Stagg and eventually Sazerac—at which point it became the Buffalo Trace distillery. He was also a major proponent and activist for the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, which is rightfully credited as one of American whiskey’s most important historic milestones.
Why E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Bourbon Is So Special
Taylor is less famous for having built the famous Warehouse C in 1885, but that historic building has seen some serious action over the years. The most significant event, in our opinion, was a tornado that damaged the building in April of 2006, knocking down some segments of wall and stripping off about half of the ceiling.
The barrels that were inside the warehouse aged nearly six months in the exposed structure, gaining extra flavor from the heat of the direct summer sun. Buffalo Trace made a small batch using just those barrels, which became E.H. Taylor Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon. A bottle of that whiskey is so in demand today that it runs in the thousands (we’ve tasted it; it’s worth the price).
This whiskey is the next chapter in that saga. The whiskey in Warehouse C Bourbon is 10 years old, and most of it comes from the much-sought-after center of the warehouse (center barrels tend to drink the best between seven and 10 years of age) on floors two and five.
According to the distillery, floor 2 “is an outstanding aging floor for older barrels. The ricks are tight, making it slow and difficult to put in new barrels. The floor is very dry, making it ideal for 10- to 15-year-old products. The fifth floor of Warehouse C is a well-rounded aging floor with windows all the way around, providing excellent air flow throughout the floor. There’s ample sunlight through these windows, which helps heat up the warehouse and the aging process.”
“We know Col. Taylor had a lot of pride and affection for Warehouse C, as evidenced by his attention to detail, especially on the exterior with the architectural features,” says master distiller Harlen Wheatley. “Fortunately, it’s a really good aging warehouse for bourbon too, so not only does the warehouse look good, it produces some of our best whiskies. This year’s release of the Warehouse C bourbon is no exception.”
Tasting notes from the distillery mention a “wonderful flavor combination, with a nose of cherry cobbler with rum sauce and a hint of oak; a palate of cherry cola, vanilla bean and toasted oak; and a finish that is long and lingering with a hint of spearmint, coffee, raisin bread and anise.”
This is a one-time bottling, which means that even if we do get a second one, it’ll likely be a decade before we see it again. Our guess is that this is meant to clear out some space for other projects, which means this may be one of the last Warehouse C bourbons for some time.
For retail purposes, this whiskey is set to be priced at $70, and sold in a special commemorative box. Everything that comes out of this warehouse is a piece of history—this is just one you might want to drink.