Never heard that about the cherries, but that might explain a few things. I'll waste no time bumping it up to five.
I think the whiskey is transitional since the bottle is bottom stamped '93 and the label is both Frankfort and Clermont. I'm thinking bottled by Beam, but maybe older stock that they acquired with the brand. I suppose it's possible that it's the first Beam-distilled Taylor, but I'd bet otherwise. I'll pull out an older 86 proof bottle that I have for comparison.
Regardless, this whiskey makes a very fine Manhattan when paired with the Noilly.