Tom Moore was a distiller active in the late 19th century. He was involved in several Nelson County, Kentucky distilleries, including at least one with Ben Mattingly at the Mattingly and Moore Distillery. Tom Moore’s most lasting distillery was the Tom Moore Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. The distillery was closed during Prohibition but re-opened after repeal. In the 1940s, Oscar Getz purchased the distillery and re-named the distillery to Barton Distillery. Very Old Barton was their flagship brand, but one of their other brands produced at the Barton Distillery was Tom Moore Bourbon.

This bottle is a half pint with a red tax stamp. There is no back label and no indication as to when the whiskey was bottled, but the style of the label indicates a 1960s or 70s bottling. I have given it a ca. 1970 date indicating that I think it is within five years of that date one way or the other. The whiskey is still in good shape but the fill level is getting low, so Matt and I decided to taste this one for Flashback Friday before it starts to go bad with too much evaporation. We were both glad we did, as we found it to be an excellent whiskey with a lot of candy-like caramel and butterscotch notes. Because of the whiskey glut starting in the period I suspect the bottle dates to, I suspect that this whiskey is older than four years and may have whiskey that is as much as seven or eight years old in the mix. Declining sales of whiskey led to this glut of barrels in the warehouses of all distilleries, not just Barton.

Tom Moore Bourbon ca. 1970

Proof: 90

Age: No Age Statement


  • Mike: Old leather, caramel, floral notes of some sort, with a hint of baking spices and oak wood.
  • Matt: Leather, caramel and honeysuckle flowers. Not complex, but very nice.
  • Both: As it opens up, the whiskey becomes more rich-caramel with butterscotch notes in the nose.


  • Mike: Caramel, leather and oak, black pepper and sweet cherries. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the fruit becomes ripe strawberries and the pepper and oak are reduced, but still present. Tasted with a pecan and the caramel / butterscotch notes are enhanced and the pepper becomes more of a nutmeg or some other baking spice.
  • Matt: Caramel, sweet cherries, black pepper, leather and oak. The dried cranberry made it very fruity with strawberries and sweet cherries with only a hint of leather and oak. The pecan gave it a strong leather note with caramel and nutmeg spice instead of black pepper.


  • Mike: Medium long and dry with oak and black pepper. The dried cranberry shortened the finish and tamed some of the pepper notes. The pecan made the finish a nutmeg and oak with some lingering notes of caramel.
  • Matt: Medium long with lots of black pepper and oak, with some lingering notes of leather. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter and sweeter with hints of oak and leather. The pecan made the finish longer with notes of fine leather, oak and a hint of cayenne pepper. 

I would pair this Bourbon with a cigar that has smoke that is rich in vanilla and spice. My first thought was a nice Padron 1926 Serie Maduro. The rich vanilla with hints of chocolate and cedar spice should bring out the candy-like flavors of this Bourbon. 

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller