Nose: Cinnamon, rye spices, oak, fruit dipped in caramel, wisps of peppery smoke, vanilla.
Taste: Rye spices, cinnamon, caramel, pepper.
Finish: Long and tingly.
In 1682, René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, claimed for France the whole Mississippi and surrounding territories which included an area to become Kentucky. Perhaps he should have used the internationally acknowledged “double stamp no erasies” rule because on June 1, 1792, Kentucky gained official statehood and joined the Union as the 15th state.
Now, Kentucky’s nickname is “The Bluegrass State”. Of course, it’s also referred to as “The Bourbon State” as 95% of the bourbon made in the U.S. comes from Kentucky. And that, thirsty reader leads us from 1792 the historical date to 1792 the bourbon. Now, if you’re getting that “You know, you look familiar. Have we met before?” feeling, you wouldn’t be wrong. Originally, Barton 1792 release Ridgewood Reserve. Well, Woodford Reserve wasn’t too keen on that so after a legal spat, Ridgewood Reserve became Ridgemont Reserve which is now known as 1792 Small Batch.
A brief side note on the term “small batch”. There is no specific number per se as the distillery can make that call; however, a good ball-park yardstick would be between 10 and 50 barrels for a small batch release. Back to our review already in progress.
Rich, tawny-tinted sunshine gets poured into my glass. With an abv of 46.5%, the notes get a little added boost to climb up to my nose. This is a rye forward bourbon, so the rye spice notes are certainly there. Cinnamon? Yes. Vanilla? Yes, to that as well. What my nose enjoyed was the caramel-dipped fruits that joined in along with soft, swirly wisps of peppery smoke. The rye notes get their edges sanded off a bit after sitting in the glass for a while which brings a rounder, more polished delivery. On the palate, the rye forwardness is still forward in its introduction. Again, the peppery-tinged smoke makes its way along with the caramel. This time though, things get heated up trigeminally speaking. The tongue and throat most certainly notice this small batch making its way over and by each, respectively. It’s almost like a liquid version of Pop Rocks.
Overall, 1792 Small Batch is more than a utilitarian or “go-to” bourbon. I enjoyed how the rye spices told me what they had to say without getting all in my grill about it. There may be – ok, there are some whiskies that I haven’t opened yet and am waiting for that special occasion to enjoy open. Then again, “wanting to enjoy a bourbon” is a pretty good reason on its to pour a glass of 1792 Small Batch.