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Ridgemont Reserve 1792 8 Year Old

Average score from 9 reviews and 23 ratings 81

Ridgemont Reserve 1792 8 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Ridgemont
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 46.9%
  • Age: 8 year old

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Ridgemont Reserve 1792 8 Year Old

Pours a golden color, legs are thin and run fast. Smell is slightly astringent. Caramel, nutmeg, maple syrup, and sawdust are main aromas. Sweet maple, burnt caramel are first flavors I detect. Nutmeg is next, finishes with peppery, rubbing alcohol taste. For the price its a decent sipping bourbon, dont really enjoy it in a cocktail though.


This is a whisky I can't decide if I love or hate. The nose and initial taste is always a little harsh but it gets more enjoyable towards the bottom of each glass. Maybe this is a whisky that needs to sit a few minutes extra before drinking or you just have to adjust to the intense woodiness. Either way, sometimes its good and sometimes its too unbalanced.

Nose: Prominent aromas of musty cellars, toasted wood and spices. Muted fruit and a backdrop of solvent and paint. Taste: Heavy flavors of oak and spice that fade to a cereal flavor. It has a medium body and harsh finish.


I first encountered this bourbon at an American whisky tasting in my neck of the woods with James Cowan. The year 1792 refers to the fact that Kentucky became the 15th State of the USA that year. That is also why this Ridgemont Reserve is the official tasting bourbon at the yearly Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

The nose is very sweet on caramel and fruit, but also a touch waxy on pine cones and varnish. Dark fruit with hints of tobacco and coffee.

Before the creamy bourbon has filled your mouth completely, it already gives you a spicy kick to the teeth. Nutmeg and black pepper. Next to the corn and rye, I also get nice dark fruit, upholstered with coffee and tobacco. After the initial spicy kick, it turn velvety soft.

The finish fades gently on cinnamon and toasted oak.

Wonderful stuff and what a bargain! I bought it at the tasting for only 30 EUR.


This is my first review on this site and I figured I would copy and paste from my own whiskey review blog on to here.

Appearance: Deep amber with slow-moving legs

Nose: The nose on this really impressed me. Right away you pick up the rye, a sign of the rye heavy mash bill, followed by dry oak and sawdust. A nice leather note is also present. After some time opening up the sweeter notes begin to appear; vanilla, honey, caramel and banana. Just a well balanced complex nose, well done Ken Pierce.

Palate: Right from the get go the heat on this is apparent. This really packs a punch for a sub 100 proof whiskey. Right away the rye and oak flavors are established and where the oak fades the rye never lets go. There is a sweet entry (vanilla, maple, caramel) but is only faint, which is unfortunate. The finish is warm and medium in length leaving behind those spicy rye notes and slight mint.

Overall: The one word that comes to mind when I think of this bourbon is potential. The nose is unbelievable, complex sweet and spiciness enveloped in beautiful oak and leather. The palate unfortunately is over shadowed by the nose. I would like to see more cohesion from the spicy rye and faint sweet notes. The rye completely over takes even overpowering the oak which throws the balance off a bit. This is a very good bourbon but has the potential to be outstanding.

Welcome and such a well written review I thought about buying this one. This review certainly helps


Well, Jim Murray just called this "Bourbon of the Year" in his 2013 book, so I decided to bring out a dram for review. To me, this is one of those whiskies that sounds good on paper - and it is good - but it just doesn't work for me and it sits in my cabinet, not getting drunk.

Nose: VERY fruity nose for a bourbon. Think of the spectrum of yellow-to-orange fruits here: banana, oranges, apricots, and throw some sweet yellow corn and vanilla into the mix. There is definitely some prickly rye spice on the nose as well.

Palate: under-ripe banana, sweet-corn casserole, and vanilla are the dominant modes. Also prevalent is the prickly rye poking at all the pores in your mouth. Underneath, you get oranges and the bitter oak starts to assert itself. The mouthfeel is average.

Finish: Lots of corn and vanilla, rye, and oak compete for attention.

So, I get it. Kindof. I love getting fruit notes in bourbon... in theory. The balance in 1792 is quite good - not too sweet, not to spicy, not too oaky. Good on paper. But, the corn-and-fruit-forward profile just doesn't work. It's not a "moreish" dram. I drank this for a couple nights when I got the bottle, but then it has been mostly sitting around not getting poured for a while. I don't dislike it. There's no reason to turn down a dram. But it's just not DELICIOUS; it's a technically sound bourbon at a reasonable price, with an interesting profile that you won't find in many bourbons. I probably won't buy again; at least not any time soon.

I completely agree with your assessment and appreciate your insight. I couldn't nail down the under-ripe banana until you helped me, but it is spot on....the only thing I think you may have failed to mention is the presence of " red hots" (certainly the rye). I'm on my 5th glass in two nights and am experiencing some internal conflict: not sure if It falls short or resembles a girl that you really start to like after a 3rd date. It is well balanced, has good taste, and is easy to drink. The question is, is it worth overlooking that missing "something" and enjoying it for what it is. I am starting to think this may be the case. Either way, I'll enjoy continuing to drink while i come to a decision.

Thanks for the comment! Yes, "red hots" is a good way to describe the prickly/pokey/spicy rye effect. Definitely worth drinking - I think it was more of a personal preference thing for me that is wasn't my ideal profile. Maybe the fact that under-ripe bananas stoke my gag-reflex has something to do with it ;-)


While it is axiomatic that you cannot ordinarily judge a book by its cover or a whisky by its bottle, in this case I think you can judge this whisky by the bottle. The bottle has pretensions of elegance with its beautiful diamond heart shape yet is tempered by a rough hewn burlap neck liner, something I have never seen in a bottle before. The wooden stopper atop the cork lends a nice air as well and there is no label, instead the wording is etched on the bottle. Overall, this a rough, yet classy presentation, kind of like a cowboy in his Sunday best.

This whisky is distilled at the Barton Distillery in Bardstown, KY. It is a small batch product aged for 8 years with an unusual 46.85% alcohol. As this is a small batch product, I can only surmise that the unusual alcohol percentage is a by product of that. According to the label, the 1792 in the name comes from the year Kentucky became the 15th state in the United States.

At first I was rather disappointed in this bottle although it only goes for around US$25 in my area. It came off as rather rough and strong, opinions voiced by other reviewers. In that sense it reminded me of another product with 1792 in the name, the pipe tobacco 1792 Flake by Samuel Gawith which packs an enormous kick. As usual with such American whiskies, I may have a drink or two and then banish the product to a cool corner of my basement for further aging for a few months. This product was no exception. Still after a few months in my basement it was not amenable but gradually became more enjoyable.

Now after being open for about nine months and nearly finished, it is kind of like a town you live in but only appreciate when you depart. With the right perspective and patience it is enjoyable. The following tasting notes are with the bottle about 80% finished after being open for nine months and sampled from both a Glencairn and nosing glass at the same time over three nights. I much preferred the aromas in my Glencairn glass for whatever reason.

The nose and taste of this are strongly influenced by the wood, much more so than other similarly aged products. It is almost as if it were aged in a smaller cask like Laphroaig Quarter Cask to speed maturation. To get a sense for the wood influence, I also had small sips of Old Grand Dad BIB 100 proof and Buffalo Trace during my tasting. In comparison with 1792, those whiskies had very little wood influence. Overall though I much preferred 1792 to those whiskies and one can appreciate the depth of flavors in a small batch product as opposed to a more standardized bottling. Initially, the taste is rather bitter, salty and yeasty with a light minty note. After about 20 minutes in the glass, some light honey and sugar notes come out in the nose and taste. I believe these sweet notes save this whisky with some needed balance and it is unfortunate that they come out so late after being decanted.

The color is beautiful orange copper and the whisky has very slow descending legs and a rather viscous mouthfeel. The finish is medium long. In my particular scoring system, I believe this is definitely above average compared with other American whiskies and all in all I would recommend this although be prepared for deferred gratification.

I fully understand the perspective you have shared here on the quality of the whiskey after air has changed it in a positive way over many months. The samples I have had of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve have reflected the early-after-the-bottle-was-opened period which you observed, and did not favourably impress me. Yes, rough was the central observation for me. The good news for you is that your bottle eventually became quite enjoyable. The bad news for someone like me contemplating a purchase of it is that even with your just announced good news, I really don't want to buy a bottle that I will have to wait many months to enjoy.

It makes me very happy when one of my bottles I didn't think much of, turns much nicer after a substantial period of multiple months of oxidation, BUT...I think not twice but three or four times before seriously considering buying another bottle of it.


I received this bottle of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Barrel Select as a holiday gift. The bottle is distinctively classy and one that I've seen many times before but had never gotten around to trying. This is mostly due to the fact that I've read some lackluster reviews before and didn't wish to drop the cash on it. Thus, receiving it as a gift was a nice opportunity.

My first experience with this bourbon was not satisfying. The nose was outstanding, with leather notes, hints of sweet floral, and spicy cinnamon. Lovely. However, on the palate it was incredibly hot, full of alcohol burn, and finished in bitterness. At 93.7 proof, I tried adding some water. It did not help. I was worried that I had finally found a bourbon I really did not like.

But, I gave it a few weeks after having been first opened and decided to give it another go tonight. What a difference that time has made. I suspect the oxygen exposure after the initial bottle opening and through my periodic bottle nosings has allowed it to open up a bit. The nose is still outstanding. It reminds me somewhat of one of my favorite bourbon nosing experiences thus far -- Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 2000.

The nose is complex, with cinnamon spice, leather and floral notes, and even a bit of some citrus in the background. And, on the palate and finish, this bourbon was thoroughly enjoyable tonight. (Good thing I didn't write the review upon first tasting. I've learned that's never a good idea. Give it some time.)

I did add a little bit of water and think that helps bring out a broader range of nosing and flavor notes. The palate does still have some bitterness to it, but it's also spicy, oily, and leathery. It reminds me a bit of a rugged version of Four Roses Single Barrel. It leaves a wonderfully spicy/sweet aftertaste long after you've swallowed.

In all, I am finding that I enjoy this bourbon more as time goes on and am looking forward to future tastings. In short, it seems like a challenging bourbon, but it is definitely worth a try (or two) before rendering your final judgment.

jboothe, I am somewhat disappointed with my early tastings of this bourbon - peppermint and pins. I too have learned that a return trip to an opened bottle can make for a completely different experience. Thanks for the honest and accurate evaluation. I think I'll have one more just to help the process along. Cheers, pj.

Good luck with it. I hope it's turning out well for you upon further tasting. Cheers indeed.


Color: Burnt caramel, dark toffee

Nose: Spiced woods, malt vinegar

Body: Rich, almost heavy

Taste: Vanilla, straw, grassy, slight warming spices

Finish: Mild drying, rich dark cinnamon and anise

Overall: A nice bourbon, grows on you, lingering spice and residual heat can barrage the palate; serve with a splash or a cube


1792 Ridgemont Reserve is the work of the Barton 1792 Distillery distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. After Buffalo Trace, Barton 1792 is Sazerac’s “other” Kentucky distillery. Originally the Tom Moore Distillery, named after the eponymous distiller who married into the Willett family, Barton 1792 has changed hands (and names) a few times.

At first, this whiskey greatly disappointed me. It struck me as rough and a little too aggressive: the nose initially reeked of artificial banana—because of its association with the medicines of my childhood, an unpleasant odor at the best of times—and there was little to the palate other than astringency and heat. Fortunately, that has changed with time, and the whiskey has opened up nicely. The nose, in particular, has made significant strides.

On the nose, there is caramelized banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, furniture polish, and yeast. Notes of green apple and brown sugar appear at irregular intervals.

The palate is medium bodied. It remains astringent, though it reveals more of itself now. It is dryer than many bourbons, but it shows bananas once again. There is some nice spice on the finish, though it does compete with the astringency. In all, there’s not a lot going on here.

Although it has improved with age—the artificial banana notes have become tame and the nose more complex—the furniture polish on the nose and the astringency on the palate definitely take away some of the enjoyment. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve is a fine whiskey, but not a great one.

Interesting, @darktrader. I suspect that 1792 Ridgemont Reserve has one of those profiles that pushes as many people away as it brings in. Some seem to be quite fond of it, especially the more recent distillates, but I have yet to be so compelled. It's certainly not "bad" whiskey, but it has the promise to be so much more.

I agree, @Victor: "Barton 1792 Distillery" just doesn't have much of a ring to it.

I believe there is little in the way of mythos here. 1792 happens to be the year Kentucky joined the Union, as the 15th state. Rather, 1792 Ridgemont Reserve/Barton 1792 are making use of mere association—between Kentucky and quality bourbon—which is refreshing, I have to say. All too often, whiskey mythology plays with facts like, well, most politicians do.

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