In 1876, John D. Willett — one of Kentucky’s original bourbon aristocrats — transferred his interest in the Willett & Frenke Distillery to his son-in-laws, Benjamin Mattingly and Thomas Moore. Mattingly and Moore continued to operate the Willett & Frenke Distillery together until 1881, when Mattingly finally sold his stake in the company to a group of investors. Within a few years, Thomas Moore acquired complete control over the distillery and eponymously renamed it. Moore would continue to operate the distillery for another five decades, until he was ultimately forced to close his doors at the onset of Prohibition.
Today, the Barton 1792 Distillery operates on the same site as the historic Tom Moore Distillery, and continues to use the same methods that Moore used over a century ago when distilling his own bourbon. 1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made from a mash of corn, rye and malted barley. While the use of corn in the bourbon’s recipe adds classic notes of buttered bread, biscuits and roasted nuts, the heavy use of rye in the bourbon’s mashbill yields a more complex and full-bodied whiskey. After the grains are harvested, they are mashed and fermented before being distilled through a copper-pot still.
After distillation, the bourbon is aged in new, American oak casks for a minimum of eight years in Warehouse Z on the distillery’s estate in Bardstown, Kentucky. Warehouse Z is situated on the edge of a bluff and as a result, enjoys the intense heat and humidity that are ideal for maturing whiskey. “When it comes to barrel aging,” says Ken Pierce, Barton 1792’s master distiller, “it’s just like real estate — location, location, location. That’s why 1792 ages in Warehouse Z up there on the bluff.” In addition, during the maturation process, Pierce samples each cask of bourbon as it rests to determine when the bourbon has reached its peak of maturity. “Quality in, quality out,” says Pierce, who has over two decades of experience at the distillery.
1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, is named after the year that Kentucky achieved statehood in the United States. This full proof bourbon is bottled at its original 125 entry proof, just as it was years ago when the barrels were first filled. This exceptionally distinct full proof bourbon earned a Silver medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and 93 points at the 2018 Ultimate Spirits Challenge.