- 98.9 Proof
It seems like forever ago that Barton 1792 announced its new line of finished bourbons -- the Thomas S. Moore line. That line-up includes a Chardonnay finished bourbon, a Cabernet finished bourbon, and, of course, this Port cask finished bourbon. Admittedly, I wasn't all that jazzed or hyped about the Chardonnay or Cabernet finished bourbons. Perhaps the Cabernet is fine, and I'd still give it a go. The idea of the Chardonnay finish, though, does not appeal to me. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm not going to go out of my way to find out.
However, the Port finish had me intrigued. After all, the last time that Barton did a port finish, it was their 1792 Port Finish, and it was amazing!! In fact, it's one of my all-time favorite whiskeys, and it makes me sad whenever I see a bottle going for crazy amounts on the secondary market, because it just reminds me of how unlikely I am to get my hands on a bottle again. But then this Thomas S. Moore offering came along, and it gave me hope that I might find at lease a Costco version to scratch that itch.
Not unexpectedly, on the nose I got a lot of soft, rich fruit notes. It had a jammy aroma, full of raspberry and plum. There was a sort of milk chocolate layer underneath everything as well, adding to the richness of it all. It smelled sweet, but not cloyingly so, perhaps offset a bit by the light tannic note that I got.
On my first sip I knew immediately I had something delicious here. Perhaps not as good as the 1792 Port finish, but then again, perhaps it was given how much time has passed since I last had it. The flavors were soft and velvety, with currants and black raspberry leading the charge. Rather than chocolate, those rich fruit notes were layered over a delicious vanilla bean flavor. It was almost like a decadent dessert whiskey, yet it never got to be overly sweet.
The finish was where the chocolate from the nose really came through. This bourbon had a nice, oily texture that provided for a nice long finish that coated my mouth in milk chocolate, as well as notes of raspberry and even a bit of almond. It had just a touch of that amaretto liqueur note to it.
I even found myself comparing this to an Angel's Envy single barrel pick, and this stood out well above that bottle. This bourbon just had a softer, and yet more robust and flavorful palate, one which indicated that it was finished in those Port barrels for a fairly long time. Even as I write this I'm reminiscing on the rich, jammy flavor, almost still tasting it.
Admittedly, I did not take extensive notes on this one. That tends to happen when I find a bottle that I thoroughly enjoy. Those are the bottles I usually make it a point to bring out to share with friends, and in those circumstances, I find that I'm more simply enjoying the whiskey and the company than worrying about taking down notes. This was certainly that type of bottle, and it certainly scratched the aforementioned itch!