Very rich and balanced. Has the right amount of alcohol heft to really carry the flavor.
The aroma is a bit muted.
Bardstown’s Barton Distillery has released a flurry of new bourbons under their 1792 label, with the Bottled in Bond becoming the newest release when it debuted in the Fall of 2017. Along with it’s standard Small Batch and Single Barrel, the 1792 label now has “High Rye”, “Sweet Wheat”, “Port Finish” and “Full Proof” editions, alongside this new bottled in bond bourbon which is slated to be an annual Fall release going forward. Barton also released a one-time 225th Anniversary Bourbon last year to commemorate the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s 225th anniversary.
The Barton Distillery was established in 1879 and is currently owned by Sazerac – the New Orleans based, family owned company that most notably also owns the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Despite playing second fiddle to Buffalo Trace in modern day notoriety and picturesque-ity, Barton is no small operation. The distillery site contains an impressive 29 multi-story barrel aging rickhouses alongside a slew of other buildings. The distilling building itself is tall and brooding, with its weather-worn brick exterior reminding one more of a 19th century industrial factory than anything else.
Alongside the 1792 brand, Barton also produces bourbon for the the Very Old Barton, Kentucky Tavern, Chestnut Farms and Tom Moore brands, and contract distills for at least a handful of non-distilling producers (allegedly of course, due to nondisclosure agreements). While the standard bourbon mash bill that Barton uses is only officially advertised as being higher in rye content, reputable sources put the mash at 15% rye for the standard bourbon. There’s no reason to believe the Bottled in Bond is any different, but I’ll leave the mash bill numbers out of the notes for the sake of things (is it that hard to just fall in line with the majority of the industry and publicly state your mash bill?).
- The product of one distillation season, per bottled in bond regulations
- No age statement (at least 4 years old)
- Undisclosed mash bill likely around 75% corn and 15% rye
- Bottled at 50% ABV (100 proof)
Nose: Fairly subdued and sleepy, at least initially. After a good 15-20 minutes in the glass it’s woken up a bit to reveal a balanced display of rich caramel and toasted oak that’s verging towards wood varnish. Falling in line behind these are rye spices (clove, allspice), pipe tobacco, and hints of praline and leather.
Palate: The arrival is silky and medium-bodied with vanilla and rye spice leading the way, before a bold barrage of allspice, hazelnuts, caramel cream, and oak take over. The flavors and rich and mature, and the proof carries them well with only a moderate amount of alcohol warmth.
Finish: Equal parts sweet and dry, with the rye spice and oak being most prominent alongside a touch of sweet caramel. The medium-length finish puts a cap on a very uniform profile from start to finish.
Buying Recommendation: Must Try! 1792 Bottled in Bond is balanced and rich with the perfect about of heft to deliver the flavor. This bourbon has a much bolder spice presence than what I recall from the 1792’s small batch or single barrel, and competes more naturally with the likes of Four Roses Single Barrel or Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit – both great higher proof AND higher spice bourbons in their own right for around the same price. I’d be happy having any of those three on my shelf at any given time for when I get the itch for a nice savory sipping bourbon. For what it’s worth, these 100(ish) proof spice-laden bourbons also make tremendous Old Fashioned’s.