Tasted: Neat, in a Glencairn glass. Sample provided by Barton 1792 distillery.
In 1876, John D. Willett — one of Kentucky’s original bourbon aristocrats — transferred his interest in the Willett & Frenke Distillery to his son-in-laws, Benjamin Mattingly and Thomas Moore. Mattingly and Moore continued to operate the Willett & Frenke Distillery together until 1881, when Mattingly finally sold his stake in the company to a group of investors. Within a few years, Thomas Moore acquired complete control over the distillery and renamed it. Moore would continue to operate the distillery for another five decades, until he was ultimately forced to close his doors at the onset of Prohibition.
Today, the Barton 1792 Distillery operates on the same site as the historic Tom Moore Distillery, and continues to use the same methods that Moore used over a century ago when distilling his own bourbon.
1792 Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey is made of a high rye mashbill. After distillation, the bourbon is aged in new, American oak casks for a minimum of eight years in Warehouse Z on the distillery’s estate in Bardstown, Kentucky. Warehouse Z is situated on the edge of a bluff and as a result, enjoys the intense heat and humidity that are ideal for maturing whiskey.
Once the bourbon has matured for a minimum of eight years, it is brought to proof with water drawn from the Tom Moore spring. The iron-free, Kentucky limestone water — the same water used by Moore over a century ago when crafting his own whiskey — adds a subtle touch of complexity and depth to the bourbon.
Nose: Typical caramel and vanilla you smell in bourbon. Ginger beard. Orange. Spice. Brown sugar.
Palate: Pretty hot for a 93 proof bourbon. Caramel. Banana. Oak. Black pepper. Palate is for sure dry. Medium mouth feel.
Finish: Dry. Oak. Vanilla. Medium finish.
Grade: 80 – 84 (B-) = Not-too-bad, No major flaws, worth tasting
1792 Small Batch is a dry bourbon that actually has a good kick to it for only being 93 proof. Interestingly, for a high rye mashbill I didn’t get much rye spice. This might be a great bourbon for mixed drinks like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. Some bourbon gets washed out by the ingredients in mixed drinks. I think this 1792 Small Batch would stand up nicely. I also like the new look of the 1792 bottles. I’m sure many readers will think this is ridiculous, but the bottle produces a nice sound of your classic whiskey uncorking, and the gargling when being poured. Starting to see less and less of this in today’s bottlings and use of synthetic cork. Cheers!