Saturday, December 26, 2015

Barton 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon

The large print numbers "1792" have seemingly stared at me from the shelves for years. The bottle provides little information on the front label--no backstory, no age-statement, not even the name of the distiller. Although that is, in some respects, a bit refreshing (marketing only what's inside the bottle for the most part), I nonetheless put off trying this one until now.

After having finally found my way to the bottom of this bottle, I wish I had picked it up sooner. Upon first opening the bottle, I knew I had a good bourbon here. I was hit with caramel and vanilla, along with the distinct scent of orange peel, a blend that made my mouth water. There was also a slight pipe-tobacco scent that was subtle, yet very inviting.

The flavor was a bit softer than its nose. It's a relatively simple, somewhat watery bourbon. The most prominent flavors were burnt sugar and vanilla, set against a cereal backdrop. Surprisingly I was hit with a hint of black pepper spice towards the end.

Although I considered this a simple bourbon, it increased in complexity after being open for a bit, the flavor eventually catching up to the nose.

That pepper spice developed into a richer, more familiar rye spice that presented throughout, from the beginning of each sip to the finish. Also, the flavors seemed to hang around a bit longer than they did initially.  Most noticeably, a butterscotch flavor seemed to hang at the back of my throat, making this very enjoyable.

This was an interesting bottle. The nose promised more than I initially got from the bourbon. However, after leaving it open for a bit, the flavor profile changed considerably for the better. It was a lot like Old Grand-Dad 114 in this respect.

I'm not going to tell you that this is a great bourbon and you need to run out and get a bottle. However, my verdict is that 1792 is certainly near the top of my rankings for bourbons in the $25 and under price range, and one I would buy again.

Grade: B+

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