by Barton 1792
In today's bourbon culture, any beloved and sought after whiskey label will almost certainly be doubly so if/when released at "full proof", at or very near cask strength. The old days of praising a whiskey for it's "smoothness" or general affability are long gone. Now are the days of big character, robust flavor bombs, and sky high proofs. Barton 1792 distillery has long been praised for its good value bourbons with rich, high rye character, and in 2016 they finally released the 1792 Full Proof, giving fans a chance to try their bourbon in its fullest form. It had all of the sweet and spicy character fans had grown to love, but non-chill filtered and bottled at the barrel entry proof of 62.5% abv. A few years later, whiskey guru Jim Murray named it his "World Whiskey of the Year", igniting a firestorm of demand for it. While that has somewhat died down, it is still a cult favorite high proof bourbon, and sold out far more often than not. So we counted ourselves as lucky indeed when we were able to bring in a single barrel of it just for our store. While we still love the original batched version, we think this single barrel gives an even more unique and robust taste of Barton's distillery character.
On the nose there are cornflakes, pie crust, dates, chocolate covered maraschino cherries, nectarine, lovely gooey caramel, and herbs. The palate follows through with graham cracker, honey, milk chocolate, red delicious apple, toasted grain, burnt sugar, and nilla wafers. The finish is the real knockout star here. Honey sweet at first, it evolves with a long rye spice tingle on the tongue after a few seconds, some sage and lavender, then more of that toasty grain, even hinting at a dry vegetal grassiness that slowly comes forward as it keeps developing over a period of a couple minutes. It's really a quite long and delightfully complex finish.