Review: 1792 High Rye Bourbon

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Sazerac/Buffalo Trace’s 1792 Distillery is on a tear, now hitting the market with its 5th special edition in a little over a year, High Rye Bourbon. Some details:

Barton 1792 Distillery releases another expression in its line-up of 1792 whiskeys, 1792 High Rye Bourbon. The flagship product of the collection, 1792 Small Batch, is well known for using a higher percentage of rye than most bourbons, but this special edition High Rye Bourbon brings an even more intense amount of rye to the mash bill. Although very limited, expect to see annual releases of this robust bourbon after its initial release this fall. 1792 High Rye Bourbon was distilled in May of 2008, and aged for a little more than eight years on the second floor of Warehouse K at the historic Barton 1792 Distillery before it was bottled at 94.3 proof.

You can smell the rye influence foremost here, which hits the nostrils with a racy punch of cloves, allspice, and red pepper. The impression of spice is a bit misleading, though, for the palate balances this out with a gentler body that pumps up the vanilla- and caramel-led sweetness, at least on the initial attack. With a bit of time, the rye spices make a triumphant return, muscling their way back to the fore and layering on a bit of heat. The finish is lengthy and offers some drying licorice notes, plus ginger and tea leaf. All told, it comes together with remarkable balance and finds a unique place in bourbondom, riding the line between a traditional bourbon and a straight rye.

A lovely addition to the 1792 lineup. Get it while you can!

94.3 proof.

A / $36 / 1792bourbon.com

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6 Responses

  1. dan November 4, 2016 / 6:39 am

    Thanks for the review.
    What is the mash bill for this bourbon?
    Dan

  2. Christopher Null November 4, 2016 / 10:33 am

    Buffalo Trace’s (which owns 1792) mashbills are confidential — so all you get is “higher rye than usual.” Many have speculated as to BT’s high rye mashbill online, however…

  3. Dan November 4, 2016 / 10:49 am

    Thanks, Christopher.
    Since they will not divulge the mash bill there is no way to know what’s in the bottle.
    There is also no way to determine what the difference is, if any, between Very Old Barton and 1792. While I am a fan of BT, I will not buy 1792 which could well be nothing more than VOB in fancier packaging. In my view, lack of disclosure is a marketing failure and a dismissal of folks who care about what they drink. This is a bizarre approach from Buffalo Trace, a great distillery that usually gets it right but not in this instance.
    Best,
    Dan

  4. Christopher Null November 4, 2016 / 11:02 am

    Fair enough, but even if the mashbill was disclosed and it was the same as VOB how would you determine they were the same? (Short of blind tasting, I mean.) There aren’t that many different mashbills out there… and BT really only has two that use rye (plus one with wheat). Consider: George Stagg and Old Charter (reportedly) have the same mashbill, but these are very different whiskeys…

  5. dan November 4, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    If there is no age statement on either the VOB or the 1792 and no details provider by the distillery as to what differentiates the 1792 from the VOB I have to assume that they are the same juice and the same product just packaged differently. Therefore, I’d get the VOB which is less expensive. As my bourboning continues I left VOB behind long ago and have no interest in going back. I only wish BT and all producer/distillers and npd/rebottlers would provide key information on their labels so that the consumer can make an informed decision as to which bottle to grab.

  6. David November 7, 2016 / 7:30 am

    Why not base what you buy on your palate? After all, it is about taste.

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