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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.