View Full Version : Early Beam-era Old Taylor

08-22-2007, 19:54
A quick question for those of you with immense knowledge/tasting experience:

I found a dusty ND Old Taylor from the mid-80's which is absolutely one of my favorite bourbons I've ever tasted (and almost as old as me!). I'm crazy about the caramel nose and flavor. I've been hunting for more without much luck, but I've run across some early Beam-era Old Taylors with the same basic yellow label but marked Frankfort/Clermont for around $12-13 a fifth. Have any of you guys and gals tasted these? I'd guess they're from the early '90's. Worth picking up? Any advice would be much appreciated.


08-22-2007, 20:50
I know _exactly_ what you mean about that great caramel/butterscotch of the '80s Taylors. They didn't have it before, and they didn't have it after.

Early Beam-era Taylors seem to taper off of that character. I would guess that Beam started to blend in larger and larger quantities of their product over these years.

If the bottle bottom indicates, up to maybe 1993 or so, I'd give it a try if you're Jonesing for some Taylor.


08-22-2007, 21:29
Sweet, thanks a lot, Roger. I realized after posting that I had a pint of that era with a bottle date of '90 and figured now was the time to break it out. It's still good...definitely better than anything I could find now for five bucks a pint or so...but it doesn't have that huge caramel/butterscotch character my older bottle from like 1984 does. It's also 80 proof, 6 y.o. as opposed to 86 of my older fifth of 6 y.o.

I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts.

08-22-2007, 21:30
Try any of the National Distillers products from that time. They seem to share some similar qualities. Maybe not identical but usually fairly inexpensive. Bourbon de Luxe, Taylor, Crow, OGD, Hill and Hill are just a few. Also look for 86259 as a upc.
Jeff Mo.

08-22-2007, 21:43
Thanks for the suggestion, Jeff. I've got one of the strip-sealed mammoth-necked 1.75's of OGD 86 here waiting to be opened, but I have not found any of the others, although I'm looking around for some Crow. I'll keep my eyes open.

08-23-2007, 00:24
In my experience, the 86's from this era had a more intense butterscotch-like palate than the 80's. The 80's have it too, but the 86's more so. Anything purely ND or even "transition" will usually be very good. This is fortunate since, again in my experience, these are also perhaps the most commonly available bourbons (relatively) from the era, i.e., some stores still carry them to this day, at least in some States or areas. I think the profile given the 86 was probably more intense in flavor than the 80 proof, i.e., it is not just the proof difference which accounts for the difference in flavor. They are both excellent, though.


11-21-2007, 19:21
Sorry to bring up an old thread but I came across a 1980 and 1981 Old Taylor 86 1.75 a day or so ago and just noticed from 1980 no UPC code 1981 has the afore mentioned 86259. From what I'm reading this is going to be a treat.

I also noticed on the 1980 bottle it states ND on the lable on the 1981 just states old Taylor Distillery Company.