By Debbie Shocair
I do love happy surprises, and I’m happy to share this one with you!
A product of the Barton Distillery (whose parent company, Sazerac, also owns Buffalo Trace), the 1792 Small Batch Bourbon appeared on the shelf of my favorite happy-juice store, with an “Exclusive” exclamation and a price tag that, well, sort of called to me.
I figured if I didn’t love it, it would make a nice accoutrement to my coffee. The only reason any of it ended up in coffee is because I was curious, but more about that later.
First, the nose on this delightful creature is deep with caramel, slight grassy hints and cinnamon. There was another thing there that I had trouble identifying at first, but I liked it. A lot.
Break it with about a half-teaspoon of water and the caramel morphs into milk chocolate. It was here that I began to realize there were notes of cherry, like candied cherry. That, along with the milk chocolate, gave me every impression of chocolate-covered cherries (which I happen to adore).
Now, let me be clear: this is every bit a whiskey, bourbon whiskey. But, it is a) interesting, and b) delightful
I mentioned the chocolate covered cherry thing, right? Good.
In the mouth, 1792 SMB is gentle, the mouthfeel only at the tip and along the top of the tongue. One of the things I really enjoy about this one is that mouthfeel. It’s creamy, coats the tongue, and lingers. I don’t often come across this sort of creaminess, and I took note. Very nice.
In the long finish you’ll find milk chocolate, cinnamon, pepper (it is a high-rye bourbon, after all), and a slight oakiness at the end. And, yes, it leaves you with the distinct memory of chocolate-covered cherries.
Yes, I enjoyed it in my coffee. But mostly, I just enjoyed it. The bit that did find it’s way into my coffee, along with a bit of cream (real dairy), was outstanding.
This 1792 SMB exclusive is a burly 93.7 proof, but even with the mashbill running high in rye, it covers its kick with a caress.
I love interesting whiskies, and I don’t often come across ones as interesting as this. In all sincerity, I recommend this one, which was an exclusive bottling for The Green Jug in Woodland Hills, California. Go buy a bottle from there, if you can. If you don’t, try the normal 1792 Small Batch.
The Green Jug private bottling was $25, which was a nice bargain. Prices for the regular release float between $30 and $35.
* This particular 1792 Small Batch is a private barrel version, thus a de facto single barrel, chosen by The Green Jug in Woodland Hills, California.