EH Taylor Seasoned Wood

EH Taylor Seasoned Wood is our 1st edition of Quick Sips. Quick Sips is meant to provide you with immediate impressions of whiskies we encounter during our daily wanderings. No notepads or lengthy revisits – just our honest, un-cut opinion on the whiskey we drink.

Quick Sip #1:

E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood

Paid: $20 (1.5oz)

Color: Dark Straw

Nose: Abundant alcohol with a citrus/medicinal astringency

Palate: The palate mimics the nose with alcohol burn and a sharp, unpleasant astringency on the entry and mid-palate. The finish delivers dry, fresh cut lumber with hints of burnt sugar and spice.

Conclusion: I’m a fan of everything E.H. Taylor, but this fell well short of previous special releases. While I applaud Buffalo Trace’s willingness to experiment, their sense of adventure did not pay off here. In the end, Seasoned Wood is an unremarkable and somewhat confusing bourbon that drinks much younger than the reported age (over 10 years). In relation to the standard Taylor offerings, Seasoned Wood falls behind both the Single Barrel and Barrel Proof releases for me. Certainly not a bad pour, but I expect more from the E.H. Taylor line.

Rating: 3.0

What is a State Liquor Store?

State Liquor Store - ABC State
State Liquor Store / ABC State Liquor Store
State Liquor Store (ABC State Liquor Store)

A state liquor store is a store in an Alcoholic Beverage Control State (ABC State), which means the state determines where and when alcohol can be sold. If you don’t know how to feel about this, you should know that the unanimous consensus from the whiskey community is that this structure is awful.

State liquor stores suck and they’re Anti-American.

I know this is a bold statement, but hear us out. When the state controls the relationships and sales of liquor, the Capitalism component that is responsible for economic evolution stops. The state has a monopoly on all of the liquor sales which means there’s no competition or opportunity for anyone else to find success in the space.

The US has a Mixed Economy which means (in theory) that it’s a balance of Capitalistic elements and Socialistic elements. People and businesses can work harder to change their current situation while the government enforces certain regulations for the benefit of those who can’t look after themselves and the greater good.

Competition is a key ingredient to a successful economy. The concept that a business can innovate to gain a bigger piece of the market is crucial for growth.

What if every player on your favorite College Football team got equal playing time regardless of skill-level? Meanwhile, you still compete with Alabama and Clemson who choose to play the best players since they give the team the highest chance of winning… You would no longer believe that winning was the goal of your team. Sure you could win a few games here and there, but you’ll never be the best. Great players wouldn’t bother coming to your school anymore and the fans would hate it.

Currently, when you walk into a state liquor store, the selections are usually very limited. ABC States have an incredibly challenging time getting Private Barrels from the well-known distilleries and are largely disconnected from the desire to do so. The barrier to entry in these markets is harder than it should be, so Craft Distilleries are dissuaded from pursuing these markets.

A State Liquor Store has very little incentive to do anything out of the ordinary to succeed, it’s a massive blob that maintains its trajectory with limited vision or risk. Whereas your typical liquor store is run like a startup business – innovate or die. They stay on top of market trends and what new whiskeys their customers are asking for. They know that if they have a good understanding of the supply (available whiskey) and demand (what people are looking for), they can make decisions that change the outlook of their business. A state liquor store competes with itself and has no fear of being put out of business, so there’s no need to change.

ABC State Everything?

Most of us are somewhat used to State Liquor Stores where you get a handful of the most popular bottom/mid-shelf brands, but rarely anything new and exciting… But what if this expanded to other industries?

  • What if we had State Restaurants?
    • No Mom & Pop establishments, only chains.
  • What if we had State Home Builders?
    • No Custom Homes, only a certain set of builders and designs.
  • What if we had State Clothiers?
    • No fashion designs that the state doesn’t carry, only those it has agreements with.

If you live in an ABC State, get your local whiskey group together and contact your state representatives.

ABC States are a joke and it’s time they change.

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