E.H. Taylor, Jr. was a visionary in the whiskey world with a mind for distilling that was years ahead of its time. He founded a world class Distillery, made advancements to the industry, and fought for the purity and legitimacy of bourbon gaining him the title of the “Father of the Modern Bourbon Industry.”
Taylor is celebrated for the countless innovations he contributed to the bourbon industry in his time. His first involvement in the industry came as a banker, aiding in the organization and financing of several distilleries. Through his experience as a banker, Taylor became personally acquainted with several prominent whiskey makers. Taylor's 1869 purchase of a small Leestown distillery that he christened O.F.C. was his first foray into distilling, making an immediate mark on the industry by modernizing, expanding and upgrading the plant. Among his innovations were copper fermentation tanks, state-of-the-art grain equipment, column stills, modernized buildings, a more efficient sour mash technique and a first-of-its-kind steam heating system still used in the barrel warehouses today.
A skilled politician, Taylor was instrumental in fighting for higher standards in the bourbon industry, pushing for the passage of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897. As if his involvement in the bourbon industry wasn't enough, Taylor served as mayor of Frankfort for sixteen years.
The O.F.C. Distillery was purchased by George T. Stagg in 1879 and remains an integral part of Buffalo Trace's history. Taylor is remembered as the last of a breed, a true bourbon aristocrat who was responsible for linking the classic and modern eras of bourbon making.