The 1792 Small Batch review
Company: Barton 1792 distillery
Age: No Age Statement (reported to be around 8 years of age)
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Breakdown: 75% corn, 15% rye, 10% malted barley
Price: c. £45-50
This bourbon was originally called 1792 Ridgewood Reserve. 1792 comes from the year in which the state of Kentucky joined the United States. In 2004 Brown Forman successfully sued Barton’s to change the name as they argued customers would confuse it with Woodford Reserve. It was then changed to 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, and sometime in 2015, the words Ridgemont Reserve were dropped and replaced with Small Batch! There are 4 other limited release bed fellows to the 1792 collection. They are Single Barrel, Full Proof, Sweet Wheat, and Port Finish. The Barton 1792 distillery has been around since 1879 and is the oldest fully operating distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky.
For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass
What we got - Sweet, caramel, fudge, like being in a sweet/candy shop, marshmallow (Mav), gentle and smooth.
What they say we should get - A palate of sweet honey and vanilla tones is balanced with orange and spice, hinting at the relatively high rye content. A few minutes in the glass lets the nose open up nicely. A distinct woodiness sits in the background
What we got - Spice & peppery, that's all we get! We tried, honestly we did
What they say we should get - Quite tannic and fairly peppery, with a heavily woody flavour profile. A hint of maple is noticeable, but more than anything, what stands out is the dry, tongue-coating mouthfeel
What we got – A hint of the sweet/candy comes back, leaves a dry woody taste in the mouth, very warm
What they say we should get - Oak predominates on a long, but drying, nearly hot finish. Some vanilla also peeks through
Palate loses the sweet candyness of the nose. Both Gents longed this one to taste as good as it smelt. On the nose it’s a sweet shop in a glass but all of that vanishes on tongue and is replaced by a hot peppery spice. In Jim Murray’s whisky bible 2010 he writes that if this bourbon was in a herd of 30 bourbons it would stand out by the nose alone! He’s not wrong, although we're not sure that a herd is the collective term for a gathering of bourbons? Feel free to hit us up on twitter or in the comments if you have a better suggestion.
We also found it very dry and you can tell this spent a lot of time in the barrel. We added a splash of water (after the scoring) to see if we could get any of the creaminess that the experts got, but personally we still didn’t experience that, if anything the water kills the taste completely.
5 out of 10 - Mav
5 out of 10 – Mr. Pie