Leave it to the fine folks at Buffalo Trace to continue to release unique and experimental bourbons to make our mouths water. E.H. Taylor Cured Oak is the latest, and it's nothing short of special, and rare. For the seventh release in the Taylor line, the barrel staves spent twice as much time outside drying in the open air than normal, which eventually allowed the whiskey to extract even more complex flavors that lie deep within the white oak. It aged for 17 years in the famous brick and limestone Taylor warehouse, which was built back in 1881. It's 100 proof and undoubtedly unique, but after 17 years in the barrel, there won't be nearly enough to go around.
For bourbon lovers who are looking to step up their game when it comes to tasting and being able to distinguish the nuances from different barrels, Single Oak Project Bourbon from Buffalo Trace is an incredible education. The project began in 1999 when Buffalo Trace picked 96 trees with different wood grains and divided them up, yielding 192 unique selections. Since 2011, a handful of the bourbon from those barrels has been released every three months, ending early this year. Get your hands on a few and see if you notice the variations that range from different recipes, varying stave seasoning, or just what warehouse they were stored in.
The fourth release in Diageo's Orphan Barrel line of premium bourbons is ready to hit store shelves, and might be the best of the bunch. Lost Prophet is a 22-year-old bourbon that was distilled in 1991 and bottled at 90 proof. This one-time release is an easy drinker and unlike other extra-aged releases, is not over-oaked. The beautiful packaging matches the contents of the bottle, making this one difficult to resist.
It might sound harsh, but cask strength bourbon is actually some of the most flavorful stuff you can get your hands on. Few Spirits know that, and have recently released a Cask Strength expression of their high-rye mashbill bourbon, clocking in at 117 proof. It's a complex dram with loads of taste and is surprisingly smooth considering the weight. Packaged in another beautiful Few bottle, it should rise to the top of your whiskey shopping list.