The Barton Distillery is a very old distillery. It started life as the Tom Moore Distillery in Bardstown. It suffered a major fire and was rebuilt after prohibition by the firm of Joseph and Joseph, the same architects that designed the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Shively. During World War II it was purchased by Oscar Getz and re-named the Barton Distillery. No one is really sure why he named it that as he never said publicly. His children thought it might have been named for Harry S. Barton, but that does not make much sense. Barton was James Thompson’s brother-in-law and distiller at Glenmore distillery in Owensboro. Glenmore was a major distillery in the 40s and it does not seem right that he would name the distillery after one of his competitor’s distillers.
Oscar Getz sold the distillery after he retired in the 70s and it was owned by Constellation Brands in the 90s when the Bourbon rebirth began. The 1792 brand started life in 2002 as Ridgewood Reserve 1792 but after a lawsuit by Brown-Forman it changed its name to Ridgemont Reserve 1792. It was the distillery’s first entry into the super-premium category of Bourbon. In 2009 the distillery and its brands were sold to Sazerac and became known as simply 1792. Sazerac expanded the line with other flavor profiles that included wheated and full proof versions. The Full Proof version is bottled at 125 proof because that is the entry proof of the Bourbon. The bottle I am tasting today was a single barrel version picked by The Bourbon Society.
1792 Full Proof
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Caramel and apricots with a bit of old leather and spice. There is a bit of oak hiding in the background.
Taste: Rich caramel and backing spices – particularly cinnamon and nutmeg. A bit of tobacco and leather followed by some oak and hazelnuts. No burn but a pleasant warmth as it goes down. Tasted with a dried cranberry will bring out the vanilla and spice as well as giving it a creamy mouth feel. Tasted with a pecan and the Bourbon becomes more caramel forward with a hint of chocolate but takes the spice out of the Bourbon.
Finish: Long. It starts sweet and fruity but dries out nicely with some oak and spice. The cranberry makes the finish sweeter and less oak. The pecan makes the finish long and dry with oak and the spice comes back toward the end.
Notes: I always liked Bourbons from Barton Distillery and this is no exception. It is a nice full bodied Bourbon with flavor the holds up well even when mixed in a cocktail or used in cooking. It also goes well with a cigar. Today I am pairing it with a Fuente “Eye of the Shark” cigar. The smoke brings a citrus note out in the Bourbon whereas the Bourbon gives the cigar a hint of chocolate. A very good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach