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  1. #1
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    Old Taylor - how old?

    Currently in NYC and picked up a litre of Old Taylor. This has the fluted neck. It is the older bottling where the colour is dark yellow and the top portion of the front label is cut on either side stating 6 years old. The bottom of the bottle (stamped in the glass) has numbers I can't deciper, in the centre of the base is a 30 with a circle around it, at the edge of the base it says, "2089 614". On the label there is reference to Frankfort and Clermont.

    Its cap is hard plastic, the rigid kind that came in in the 70's and 80's (today's are similar but the plastic is softer unless it was always the same but hardens with age).

    Does anyone think it may have been bottled at Clermont (or Frankfort presumably) but made at the National Distiller's facility where Taylor was made before the sale?

    I have a pint at home of indubitably 70's Old Taylor that Tim gave me and can't at the moment do a side by side but the litre seems very similar to it, i.e., mild, slightly fruity and smoky and well-balanced. I know the current Old Taylor (in the more modern, lighter-colored label which does not state 6 years old) and that one is quite different and in my opinion not nearly as good.

    I'd like to think the litre is from 1987 or an earlier distillation, whether it is or isn't, it is very good and does not have the Beam-type profile. If it was made by Beam, maybe it was made when they were still following the Taylor recipe closely.

    Can anyone shed light on this, Doug or maybe Tim for example?

    Gary

    P.S. This is a very drinkable bourbon despite being only 80 proof. Whoever approved it for release must have enjoyed drinking it neat because it has a very good balance for that purpose.

  2. #2
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    Re: Old Taylor - how old?

    Gary,
    Does it resemble the rightmost of these?

    I believe the ages (l-r) are: 78, 82, 84, 85, 89

    The second 2 seem to be redundant in the lineup, and only distinguished from #4 by the different printing on the strip seal.

    I believe ND used 2 faux-tax stamps. If correct, from end of Tax Stamp to 1984 would say "Purchase only if this seal is unbroken" and from 1985 to start of Beam Era (bottling) would say the same on either side of an ND logo. They seemed to go back and forth on whether to use a faux-stamp on bottles that had a plastic tamper-proof cap.

    The bottle that I believe is 1989 sounds like yours. It has an aroma and flavor that are akin to bona fide ND Taylors, and I surmise that Beam got the Frankfort and Clermont label approved shortly after the sale in 1987, but were still using Castle Distillery stocks into the '90s.

    I don't think Clermont has ever bottled, but rather the Grand Dad plant in Frankfort did and still does the bottling for Clermont (and the Taylor and Crow bottling in the latter days of ND, I would guess).

    I hope this helps,
    Roger
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  3. #3

    Re: Old Taylor - how old?

    Gary, I concur with Roger, though I have no hard info to back it up. My belief is that anything with the old-style label on it (picturing the Castle as well as Col. Taylor and the upswept signature) contains ND whiskey, even if bottled by Beam (e.g. -- '87-'93). Good find.

  4. #4
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    Re: Old Taylor - how old?

    Hi Roger, many thanks! Mine is the same as the bottle on the far right, the fact that "89" is part of the code stamped on the base would support this. So loooks like I got the real thing. I'm going back to get another one.

    Gary

  5. #5
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    Re: Old Taylor - how old?

    Many thakns Tim, it does have those indicia.

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Notes on some ND trades from Tim at Sampler just passed: I got a pint of Old Taylor 80 proof, and a litre of Old Taylor 86 proof. The pint is very good, rainwater soft with a deep smooth flavor showing the trademark "butterscotch" identifed recently by Roger Hodges. It is satisfying neat at this proof - not a trait of many modern whiskeys. The 86 is firmer and as one would expect shows more bite. It has the same fruity butterscotch-like taste (or say, maple taffee) but more intensely than the other. These bottles are marked Clermont and Frankfort, the transitional ones. I can't be 100% sure but am almost certain both are 100% castle whiskey. The 86 proof is stamped 86 on the base (embossed in the glass). This means it was bottled before but labelled after the sale, in which case all-Castle whiskey was used, or bottled after the sale and therefore likely containing castle distillate in view of the 6 year age statement. The 80 is stamped in the glass on the underside, 92, which would mean bottled after the sale in '87 but again likely using Castle whiskey in view of the 6 year age expression. One can't rule out that at least some (and theoretically all) of both bottles were distilled at Clermont, but I doubt it. There seems a house flavour to ND products from the 70's and 80's that shows up strongly in these transition bottlings so I think they are 100% ND. At Sampler there was a yet older Old Taylor that I tried, which I am quite sure was bonded. Frankly, it tasted rather different from this transitional pair. That might put my theory in doubt, but maybe the bonding aspect (the particular flavor of that season's production) explains it. Also, current OT is quite different (not as good in my view) from the transition pair, so all in all I would guess they are all-castle production. Of the ND brands (or apparent ND brands) I've tried, the OT is my favorite although I know some people are less enthusiastic.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 05-02-2006 at 10:31.

  7. #7
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    Taylor Bond on the Gazebo table

    Gary

    You are correct, there was an Old Taylor Bond on the table, the bottle was a 500ml and the dates were not legible when I found the bottle. The bottle did have ATF tax strip. I would place the bottling date circa 1980-82, making the whiskey in the bottle distilled in the mid 70's. (Most Taylor bond was usually in the 5-8 years old range) My experience with the Taylor products is similar to yours although both you and Roger have probably had more experience tasting the 80 and 86 proof versions.

    I have had the privilege to taste quite a few different bonded versions of Taylor, dating as far back as the mid 60's, and I can state generally that they seem to have more variations from bottle to bottle and year to year and season to season that those of the 80 and 86 proof versions.

    I will speculate here and say that this might be partially from the fact that bond was a product that was more "small batch" in nature and maybe not "accessible" to use for blending stock. The whiskies that were mingled for the 80-86 proof versions could/might have been chosen from a larger inventory of stock that was not held in bond, therefore giving the blenders more control in selecting barrels for the flavor profile consistency you speak of. I would be glad to be corrected if others had more definite knowledge.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Doug and I suspect you are right especially in view of your broader tasting experience with the Taylor bonds. Maybe they achieved that butterscotch-like taste through careful mingling of large batches. As you said, bonded is a batch unto itself (the first small batch!) and maybe at Old Taylor (as opposed to other companies) the degree of variance to the regular bottlings were notable. Even today a single barrel will often taste quite different from the regular issue, I have found this true for example of Buffalo Trace. It is also true sometimes for Jack Daniels as the discussion here recently on Silver Select showed. I don't know though exactly how they got that butterscotch but it is a unique and distinctive taste.

    Currently now I have three bottles of OT:

    i) The 86 proof traded from Tim, a nearly full litre that is a little austere but shows the ND Taylor house style to perfection

    ii) The 80 proof pint also from Tim which is probably the best Taylor I ever had: soft as silk, flowery of maple and lightly smoky, lightly floral too, just lovely

    iii) A nearly full 80 litre that mingles an earlier 80 pint from Tim, contents from 2 litres of ND 80 proof OT I bought in a small store in New York last year and small amounts from the 80 pint and 86 litre just obatined from Tim mentioned above. My goal is to try to get a palate as good as Tim's second 80 pint. I've gotten pretty close but it doesn't quite have the "unity" of the 80. Still, it is very good and the longer it stays in the bottle the better it will get I think. Also, I find it better than everything in it on its own except that 80 pint.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 05-10-2006 at 11:06.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Doug and I suspect you are right especially in view of your broader tasting experience with the Taylor bonds. Maybe they achieved that butterscotch-like taste through careful mingling of large batches. As you said, bonded is a batch unto itself (the first small batch!) and maybe at Old Taylor the degree of variance was (or could be) notable. Even today a single barrel will often taste quite different from the regular issue, I have found this true for example of Buffalo Trace. It is also true often for Jack Daniels as the discussion here recently on Silver Select showed. I don't know though exactly how they got that butterscotch but it is a unique and distinctive taste. Currently now I have three bottles of OT:

    i) The 86 proof traded from Tim, a nearly full litre that is a little austere but shows the ND Taylor house style very well

    ii) The 80 proof pint also from Tim which is probably the best Taylor I ever had: soft as silk, redolent of maple toffee and with a lightly smoky taste, lightly floral too, just lovely

    iii) A nearly full litre that mingles an earlier 80 pint from Tim, contents from 2 litres of ND 80 OT I bought in a small store in New York last year and small amounts of the 80 pint and 86 litre first mentioned above. My goal is to try to get a palate as good as Tim's second 80 pint. I've gotten pretty close but it doesn't have the "unity" of the 80. Still, it is very good and the longer it stays in the bottle the better it will get I think.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 05-10-2006 at 11:27.

  10. #10
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    Re: Old Taylor - how old?

    Howdy All...

    I've recently received this bottle of Old Taylor and i cannot figure out how old it might be...

    Anybody have any ideas?


    Peace
    SJ3
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