Thomas S. Moore’s Port Cask-Finished Bourbon Hits The Sweet-Spice Goldilock’s Zone
Barton 1792 Distilling goes all the way back to Thomas S. Moore founding the distillery in 1879. Today, the distillery is part of the famed Sazerac Company that also operates key bourbon stills at places like Buffalo Trace, among many others. This is all to say that there’s a lot of heritage at play with these stills and warehouses and it’s all run by a company that cares deeply about Kentucky’s bourbon heritage.
That leads us to a new flight of releases that dropped at the beginning of the year from Barton 1792. The Thomas S. Moore line is a collection of three bourbons with “Extended Cask Finishes.” There’s a Cognac and a Chardonnay cask finish that we’ll get to in due time, but today we’re talking about their “Finished in in Port Casks” bourbon.
With cask finishing becoming all the rage in the bourbon scene lately (it’s been a trend off-and-on for decades), this new expression from Barton feels fresh-yet-familiar. Let’s dive in and see what’s in the bottle.
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Thomas S. Moore Finished In Port Casks
Average Price: $80
Barton 1792 doesn’t release their mash bills to the public. Though it’s very likely this is a low-rye bourbon mash. The barrels are pulled from various, undisclosed age ranges and vatted. That juice then goes into ex-port casks for an additional maturation of one to three years. That whiskey is then married, slightly proofed, and bottled.
The nose is beautiful — rich with hints of red berries, sweet and dry dates, a touch of vanilla tobacco, and a whisper of soft leather. The palate has a jammy presence with a plum compote spiked with cloves and allspice next to a touch of port-soaked cedar planks, vanilla cream, sultanas, and … I want to say … mulled wine cinnamon sticks. That spice does start to build towards the medium-length finish but doesn’t overheat. The fade is nice and mellow with more dried and red fruit leading towards a creamy veneer of spicy vanilla custard with a very distant tobacco vibe on the end of the tail.
The design of the bottles is long and angular and pretty unique for bourbon. It definitely has an art-deco vibe with bespoke edges and length. The label is subtle with an embossed horse, drawing your eye. Overall, this is a classy bottle that deserves a prime spot on your bar cart.
This was such a pleasant surprise. It’s subtle and pairs sweet and spice beautifully while still packing smooth flavors that really hit the nail on the head. There are no rough edges and it delivers what it promises on the label. It’s also very sippable neat.
90/100 — This is a damn fine bourbon. It’s rewarding while being very easy to drink. I’ll definitely be pouring another dram of this soon.
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