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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

1792 Full Proof

Oh, the things you do for love! Not long ago, our local grocery store conducted an allocated bourbon raffle. The sign-up was on a weekday and I was booked in meetings for work. My lovely wife was so wonderful to go over and get in line (#4!) to put her name in for me. She did pretty good, as we had the opportunity to purchase a bottle of 1792 Full Proof.

Honoring the Statehood of the Commonwealth

The 1792 Bourbon is produced by the Barton Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky, and is named in honor of the year Kentucky gained statehood. The brand itself was created as a premium brand to compete with the likes of Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve.

The Barton Distillery dates to 1879 and traces its roots back to the Willett and Moore families, including Thomas "Tom" Moore (whose name is on a premium whiskey brand from Barton). Moore grew up in the Bardstown area, working in several distilleries before building what has become the modern Barton/1792 Distillery. In 2009, Buffalo Trace's parent - Sazerac - purchased the distillery.

Barton has been beset with some bad luck in recent years. During the Summer of 2018, a rickhouse containing over 18,000 barrels of aging spirits collapsed. The following Spring, a beer well collapsed, spilling 120,000 gallons of whiskey mash to spill, with 10,000 gallons flowing into a nearby storm drain.

The Tasting

1792 Full Proof is bottled at a stout 125 proof. The mash bill for the Sazerac bourbons remains elusive, though most feel it's in the neighborhood of 75% corn, 15% rye, 10% malted barley). The finished product is non-chill-filtered for a richer mouthfeel.

Eye: Dark amber.

Nose: A quick blast of ethanol. After allowing it to open up, there is vanilla, caramel, raisins, and orchard fruit present.

Palate: Thick and creamy, but hot-hot-hot! This is spicy like Hot Tamales fierce cinnamon candy, followed by vanilla. A splash of water definitely helps to tame the ethanol and spice notes.

Finish: Long, dry and astringent, with smokey oak char, and spice that over-powers the sweeter elements.

Overall: Priced in the $50-range, I have to say that this is probably one that might be in my cabinet for a while. The notes weren't completely unique and were really overwhelmed by the alcohol heat. To be honest, I enjoyed the lower-proof 1792 Small Batch expression better.

There are some other high-proof bourbons out there that are much smoother and less harsh that I enjoy more, including Old Forester 1920 and Whiskey Acres. As a result, this one might be sticking around in my cabinet a little longer.

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