If you"„¢ve ever tasted the spicy, rye-rich bourbon that is 1792 Small Batch, than you"„¢ll know a little bit already about Barton 1792 Distillery.
The bottling was actually previously known as Ridgewood Reserve 1792"„¢, but a legal dispute over this core expression with The Brown-Forman Corporation on the basis that it had too similar a name and bottle design to the older Woodford Reserve brand meant that Barton was forced to change the name of the product to 1792 Ridgemont Reserve"„¢. The company later dropped the Ridgemont Reserve"„¢ aspect of the name and the brand subsequently became just 1792 Bourbon. It also used to carry an age statement (8-year-old) but this was also dropped in December 2013.
The distillery itself was established in 1874, by Ben Mattingly in Bardstown, Kentucky, near the natural water source of Morton"„¢s Spring. Mattingly eventually sold the company to an employee, Tom Moore, and another fellow employee who renamed it Morton Spring Distillery. After selling the business himself to a group of outside investors in 1881, a restless Moore opened a brand new competing distillery in the lot next door to and, after much success, was able to re-purchase Morton Spring Distillery, merging the two operations.
The distillery was then renamed to The Thomas Moore Distillery, which remained a profitable entity until Prohibition. By the time Prohibition passed Moore was an old man, so he looked to move the brand on. The property traded hands a few times and in the glut of ownership changes, the name The Barton Distillery"„¢ first appeared.
However, future investors would confusingly return to the title of The Tom Moore Distillery and it was during this era that the popular 1792 bottling was launched. When Sazerac eventually bought them out in 2009, it decided to capitalize on the brand names, rather than historic ones, and re-christened the entire operation to what it is known as now, The Barton 1792 Distillery, a reference to the year Kentucky became a state.
The current site of The Barton 1792 Distillery is a huge facility that sits on an impressive 196 acres, situated in heart of bourbon country, with 51 individual structures alongside its legendary spring. Among these are 29 massive storage rick-houses which have the capacity for around 2,000,000 barrels of bourbon, which roughly equates to 530 million bottles. There are three tours of the distillery available, including the Barton Tradition Tour, the Bushel to Bottle Tour and the 1792 Estate Tour.
In the year 1792, Kentucky became a state. 1792 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is named after that wonderful year. It's a spicy, rye-rich bourbon which is just asking to be enjoyed on a sunny evening with a few ice-cubes.