Bourbon week draws to a close. I began with the 2021 George Dickel Bottled in Bond and then checked in with a 2019 store pick Elijah Craig Small Batch; and now I end with a single barrel of 1792 Bourbon that was bottled for Total Wine in 2020. I have very little experience with 1792 (made by the Barton 1792 distillery in Bardstown in Kentucky). I don’t what the cask number was. The mash bill for 1792 is 74% corn, 18% rye and 8% barley, which I believe means this has higher rye content than either the Dickel or the Elijah Craig. Will that give it more character? Let’s see.
1792 Single Barrel for Total Wine (49.3%; from a bottle split)
Nose: The most restrained nose of the three: some light caramel, some herbal notes and some nail polish remover. The nail polish remover thankfully burns off quickly but there’s not a whole lot of development after that. Nothing interesting happens with a few drops of water at first either but then there’s some apricot and honey to go with the caramel.
Palate: Comes in as indicated by the nose, picking up some (indistinct) sweetness as I swallow. Decent drinking strength and texture. More oak on the second sip, a little dusty, a little prickly. With time the oak and the caramel (darker now) both expand; a bit of citrus now as well. With a few drops of water the citrus expands and the oak recedes. Some toffee too now. At the end the oak returns in a tannic avatar.
Finish: Long. The sweetness lingers here for a bit before yielding to peppery oak. Develops as on the palate with time and water.
Comments: At first—and for a while—this was pretty nondescript. Not bad but no real character—and I couldn’t say the rye was very much in evidence. But it improved as it sat, and especially with a few drops of water. Still doesn’t add up to a bourbon I’d want a bottle of but it’s drinkable enough.
Rating: 80 points.