Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon

Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon

EH Taylor Tornado Surviving Warehouse C Bourbon

On April 2, 2006, a storm ripped through Kentucky, tearing apart two of Buffalo Trace’s warehouses. One was empty. One, Warehouse C, was full of 24,000 barrels of then-young, far-from-release E.H. Taylor Bourbon.

The walls and roof were ripped open, but the whiskey survived. But this did expose the barrels inside to the elements (see photo at right), which stayed there for months while repairs were made.

In 2011, the whiskey from the top two rows of this warehouse was bottled as a special release with an unusual name: Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon. The whiskey inside is a rye-heavy mash. The barrels were aged between 9 years, 8 months and 11 years, 11 months. The Bourbon was bottled in bond at 100 proof.

(If this idea sounds familiar, see also Glenfiddich’s Snow Phoenix bottling.)

Sadly, I’ve no original Taylor to compare this release to, but it’s a powerful whiskey in its own right: Fragrant from the moment it’s poured with deep citrus and pure, spicy rye character. The body is full, the color deep amber. The palate is amazingly enjoyable for a Bourbon this old and roughly-treated. Plenty of citrus atop a creme brulee body, the rye less powerful here than on the nose. Superb balance. The finish is warm (as you’d expect from a 100 proof whiskey), but easier than you’d think. Lovely wood tones and flamed orange peel round it out. Probably the best Taylor of the three bottlings released so far.

100 proof.

A / $70 /

Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Chris on March 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Sipping on my second bottle (purchased both Feb 24th) as I decided to see if others think this is as good as I do. Wonderful spices and coats the tongue well. Good weight on the tongue, also. Warm, as you would expect with 100 proof, but way more balanced than other small batch bourbons in the 90+ proof category. Love Rowan’s Creek, but this is a whole different level.

    I’ll still keep my only bottle of Pappy 23 that I got this year hidden away, but I’m checking tomorrow to see if I score a case of this!

  2. Nathan on July 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I tried this at the Jack Rose in DC, and was pretty blown away. As described here, warm but eminently drinkable. Great on the nose and balanced all the way down.

    I’ve never seen even a bottle for sale — more’s the pity.

  3. Dan on March 10, 2014 at 8:06 am

    This is a great whiskey. I own 9 unopened bottles and would be willing to part with some.

  4. Collin on March 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    ^DAN – I would be willing to pay top dollar for as much of the Tornado Survivor as you are willing to part with… I would also be able to possibly trade Sazerac 18yr, Antique Weller, George T. Stagg, Four Rose’s 125 or Booker’s 25 Anniversary… whatever floats your boat! Let me know if you are interested, please and we can figure out how to make this happen.

    • Dan Hall on March 11, 2014 at 6:25 am

      Collin, you can Email me at [email protected] or you can call 309-212-0847.

      Dan Hall

  5. Andrew Listmayer on July 20, 2018 at 10:05 am

    How could it be bottled in bond? Anyone could have climbed up there and tampered with it!

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