This evening, I had to run out to the store to get some dog food and some sandwich bread at the grocery store, and while there, remembered that I had run out of bourbon (in this case it was Bulleit) and was down to a bottle of Buchanan’s Blended Scotch, and though I really like Buchanan’s, I wasn’t in the mood for Scotch tonight.
So I perused the booze aisle at the grocery store to see if I could score a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 or some more Bulleit. But Bulleit was $32.99 and Wild Turkey 101 was $27.99! Highway robbery. Both were $10 more than Trader Joe’s prices. Literally! Since TJ’s was just down the street and on my way back home, I resolved to go there.
When I got to TJ’s, I really was in the mood for Bulleit but alas, they had run out. So I scanned the shelf for my old standby, Wild Turkey 101, I found it, but a pretty bottle just above it caught my eye. Wow! I thought, A bourbon I hadn’t tried yet! And it’s only $22.99! I figured, what the hell! At that price, I could give it a go, and if I didn’t like it, I could always serve it as a cocktail bourbon.
The thing is… I like this bourbon. I’m not fooled by fancy packaging, and Barton’s probably uses an elegant bottle to communicate some elegance. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s the liquid inside that counts, and I have to say that I enjoy this bourbon – a lot.
What I Smell
At first opening, and with a small tasting pour, the most predominant smell I detected was oak. But a quick, gentle blow into the glass to clear those vapors changed the aroma profile considerably. The wood became much less prominent and gave way to a pleasing burnt caramel and vanilla taffy, along with a hint of honey, spice, and lemon peel.
What I Taste
Up-front, there’s a gentle bite, which immediately leads me to believe that this bourbon probably has a high rye content. I have no idea what the mash bill is with this, but experience informs me so. I’ll have to check it out later. But note that that’s not a bad thing; it simply is what it is. This is followed up by pleasing layers of honey, vanilla, citrus, and white pepper about mid-palate. The finish is medium-long with undercurrents of burnt sugar and cream corn.
As I mentioned above, I like this bourbon. At first glance, it doesn’t seem all that complex; especially when the bourbon is newly poured. But this bourbon begs to be aired out a bit. And if you do that, you’ll be rewarded with very nice aroma and flavor profiles. I would even go so far as to say that decanting the bourbon would do it a lot of good. It just needs some air, and once it gets it, it is absolutely delightful.
I will definitely buy this again, though, at this price point, I’d probably buy Wild Turkey 101 before it. Don’t get me wrong, this is NOT at all speaking poorly of 1792. I would get this before I’d get another bottle of Henry McKenna, which is another bourbon that I like a lot, so it definitely has a place on my shelf in the future. It’s just that the 101 has become an old standby. But absent that, I wouldn’t shake a stick at 1792.