The newest expression from Barton 1792 Distillery is a port barrel finished bourbon. Port-finished bourbon isn’t new, as the excellent Angel’s Envy is available on most shelves across the country, but this is the distillery’s first port finish. 1792 Port Finish Bourbon was aged for six years in new white oak barrels, then transferred to used port wine barrels for an additional two years and bottled at 88.9 proof. It’s the distillery’s only batch, which makes it a limited release. However, they are considering future batches. Retail price is a suggested $39.99.
The nose starts off a little fruity (baked pear with cinnamon), with a touch of vanilla and caramel. Underneath that I get a bit of wine-tinged oak – yep, that’s the port barrel. The official tasting notes describe the taste as “soft, yet balanced. Filled with toasted caramel, jam-like fruit, and a touch of licorice.” The entry IS soft, and I do get caramel and really sweet fruit notes. The licorice/anise note does follow, along with vanilla. It ends with a slight minty, long finish.
I’m a fan of barrel finishes in American whiskey. In the case of port finishes, Angel’s Envy is still tops for me. Although still quite tasty, 1792 Port Finished Bourbon comes across a little too sweet for my palate. It’s lower proof make it an easy drinker. If you like your whiskey a little on the sweet side, this might be for you.