In February, we brought you a review of the recently released 1792 Bottled in Bond and the 1792 Small Batch, as they compare to Barton’s other lower shelf Bottled in Bond and 80 proof bourbons. If you didn’t catch that one, we included a history of Barton and the development of the 1792 product line.
Today, we continue our series on 1792 Bourbon with a review of the 1792 Single Barrel, and a revisit of the Single Barrel’s closest (yet slightly lower proof) relative, the 1792 Small Batch.
Prior to the introduction of the 1792 Single Barrel line, 1792 Small Batch offered limited “store-pick” single barrels. Many (if not all) of those were from a famous Warehouse Z on Barton’s campus. Presumably, the popularity of those picks caught on, and in 2016, 1792 began the Single Barrel line. According to 1792, “the finest barrels are selected and tasted from the best aging warehouses,” meaning single barrel is no longer a Warehouse Z exclusive. It is believed that the mash bill (75% corn, 15% rye, 10% barley) and aging is otherwise identical to the 1792 Small Batch bourbons.
1792 Single Barrel (98.6 proof)
Nose: Complex but well married. Caramel; toffee; almond syrup; vanilla; apple; sweet lemon peel; seasoned oak; baking spice; honey; brown sugar; rye grain; ginger. (3.5/5)
Palate: Brown sugar; baking spice; butterscotch, caramel; seasoned oak; light apple juice; candied cinnamon spice; a bit of tannic oak. A bit thinner than I’d like. (2.5/5)
Finish: Rich brown sugar and cinnamon; dry seasoned oak; vanilla; lingering hard candy sweetness followed by (and leaving) some dry oak tannic dryness (3/5)
Overall: Obviously, all single barrels are not created equal. For this barrel, while the nose wins out versus the small batch offering, the palate and finish just don’t quite match up. Something is just missing. Certainly a bit thinner than I’d like, but there is just a blandness to this Single Barrel that makes it not quite shine. (3/5)
Value: At about $10 higher than a Small Batch (here, around the $32-$37 mark), this one just doesn’t offer additional benefit warranting the cost. However, there are nuanced flavors and a bit of complexity to the nose that would probably cause me to pick up another single barrel (especially a barrel-pick offering). (2/5)
“…there is just a blandness to this Single Barrel that makes it not quite shine.”
1792 Small Batch (93.7 proof)
Nose: Butterscotch; oak; rye spice; vanilla; creamed corn but lighter in impact than on the Very Old Barton; baking spice; toffee. (3/5)
Palate: Rye spice; developing heat and cinnamon spice; vanilla; caramel; corn; white pepper (3/5)
Finish: No surprises here as it is identical to the palate; some residual drying oak; Red Hots. (2.5/5)
Overall: As compared to the Single Barrel, while there is more creamed corn with this lower proof blend, this feels a bit more complete from start to finish. Rye is certainly the dominate characteristic here, whereas the tannic oak is a bit more pronounced in the the Single Barrel. (3/5)
Value: At $24, we continue to be satisfied with this bottle. (3/5)
“…this feels a bit more complete from start to finish.”
Scott is a co-founder of Flight Club and a frequent writer and reviewer on the Club’s blog.