Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Anti-Booker's: 1792 Full Proof

As far as I recall, the new 1792 Full Proof is the highest proof offering from Sazerac's Barton distillery in Bardstown. It's non-age stated, but Sazerac says it is 8 1/2 years old.

1792 Full Proof, 62.5% abv ($40)

The nose has light bourbon notes with some banana. On the palate it opens sweet with caramel notes, then develops some red wine like savory notes and some nice oak. It fades into a pleasing roasted marshmallow finish which is followed by dry oak notes. Water adds complexity, bringing out earthy, hay and grass notes as well as additional oak.

This is nice stuff. It's well balanced, has some complexity of flavor, and is fantastic for the price. Kudos to Sazerac for giving us a good, high proof bourbon that doesn't break the bank.

Ed. Note: In an earlier version of this post, I incorrectly stated that this bottling was cask strength, which it's not. "Full proof," as defined on the label is the proof that it went into the barrel (not the proof it came out of the barrel). 

Thanks to FussyChicken for the sample.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I queried that "full proof" designation on the Whisky Advocate blog and got a marketing-speak response that you could sift through to understand as "Yes, we dilute the mature whisky back down to its original barreling strength as a fun little gimmick."

Nothing wrong with that gimmick, I suppose, but the spin around it seems designed to convey the idea of it being cask strength while actually allowing them to water it down a bit.

-Ol' Jas

Unknown said...

Is it comparable to Bookers profile or closer Elijah Craig or McKenna?

sku said...

Tim, I would say in between. I like it better than Booker's but not nearly as much as Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. It's a bit lighter and a bit sweeter than EC but has some earthy notes too. If you've had regular 1792 or Very Old Barton, you will recognize the flavor profile.

Steve said...

I find it to be quite thin, sweet, and oaked. Not bad but not great for the dollar.

CLT said...

I passed on this one because of the whole "Sazerac says it is 8 1/2 years old" nonsense. Just like I should take their word that Saz is six years old, right?

I think Four Roses store selections—and Booker's too—have proven people are OK with variable age statements as long as the product is good. Maybe it's a pain for distillers, but that's not really my problem.

Sam Komlenic said...

Thanks Sku! Your review is right in line with most others Ive seen, so I'm looking forward to my bottle arriving via the PLCB today from its online store.

Personally, I'm happy to be able to even get a bottle of something interesting considering that the PLCB had over 10,000 entries for their lottery of 366 bottles total of Four Roses' Elliott's Select, the latest Willett release, two BTAC selections, and E.H. Talor Seasoned Wood.

And why are we suddenly against any limited release that doesn't have an age statement? Why is Sazerac so untrustworthy when it comes to their press releases? Man, the cynicism of the modern day mindset amazes me.

Relax, sit back and enjoy a good bourbon while visions of sugarplums dance in your head!

CLT said...

I wasn't under the impression this was a limited release Sam. I thought it was a line extension and would be a regular release.

Sam Komlenic said...

I've seen it mentioned as such by,, and, among others, so I took them at face value.

Not sure otherwise.

Gary A. Turner said...

I see the "full proof" rather than "barrel proof" as a simple logistics thing. They age 1792 near or at the top of the rickhouses, so the proof coming out of the barrel is always north of 125 - saving them from having to manage the proof by batch (like Bookers). The lack of an age statement doesn't bug me much either (although I would prefer if Saz gave a range of age so people don't get hung up on that, first report of a barrel under 8.5 years will have people in a twist).

If you're not sure you'll like it - I'd recommend investing a couple bucks in a pour at a bar. Not a lot of high proof bourbons at that price point out there. I'm a fan - finding it rich, robust, sweet, and viscous. Is it the absolute best bourbon I've tasted for $40-ish? I don't know - but I'd easily put it in the top quartile (and to Skus point on the price - when's the last time a new bourbon has impressed "for the money"?)

Unknown said...

Tim, lots of vanilla and oak. Some ice opens wine/sherry like notes with earthiness. Nice semi long finish. 125 proof with some complexity for 40 bucks is a great deal I find. Worth a pick up.