Father John Rayls
Barton Distillery is the oldest fully functioning distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. Founded in 1879, it continues as a major force in the American whiskey industry and serves as an icon and museum for spirits distilling. It is often over looked and under appreciated. It is owned by Sazerac and is currently producing some very interesting bourbon while also supplying some sourced whiskey for other distilleries not producing their own stock. I find their whiskey very drinkable, affordable and just plain fun. However, their 1792 Full Proof Straight Kentucky Boubon is, by far, my favorite. On a recent trip to Bardstown, the Barton Distillery was my favorite tour. It wasn’t my favorite because it was slick looking. It wasn’t. The Welcome Center was attractive, but fairly small and housed in an old building. Actually, all of the buildings are old. That was the draw. I love history and everywhere you turned history was crying out for recognition. I was immersed in it. It draws fewer crowds and yet it was and still is the real deal.
Their recent release of 1792 Full Proof Bourbon at 125 proof is the real deal as well. It’s a non-age statement bourbon that is in the neighborhood of 8.5 years old. It has a darker coloring looking like dark copper in both the bottle and the glass. It has a beautiful appearance and catches your eye sitting on the shelf. (The price grabs your attention, too!) The legs are readily seen and appear almost immediately raising the prospect of an inviting mouthfeel. The nose is readily detectable. The aromas are not aggressive, but very available. If you inhale deeply enough, there is a slight alcohol burn. You notice the normal bourbon aromas of caramel and vanilla with some nice baking spices. It is very inviting and hard to resist.
I almost always drink my whiskey neat, but be prepared for your first taste. Even after this bourbon making it as a regular for me, the first taste is always a punch in the face. The nose is so good that I often jump in forgetting it packs a punch on the palate. There is an interesting mouthfeel that is not oily or syrupy, but provides a very smooth feel. Caramel and spice (some slight vanilla underneath) drive the flavor profile with most of the action happening at the back of the tongue with action also at the roof of the mouth and all the way to the back of it. The finish is medium to long and very satisfying with notes of sweet mint. I even find my lips tingling long after the finish. In case you hadn’t noticed, I really enjoy Barton’s 1792 Full Proof Bourbon.
This is not a bottom shelf bourbon. However, the price definitely grabs your attention. I can buy this bourbon at $39.99 all day long here in San Antonio (thank you, Daniel!) This is a bourbon you can drink regularly without breaking the bank. It also is stout enough, at 125 proof, to be consumed with ice or water. It does drink slightly hot, but can be consumed neat as well. This is a somewhat limited release, but may be available in releases over the next few years.