1792 was originally called ridgewood reserve when rolled out from barton distillery in 2002, but was sued by brown forman in 2004 for trademark infringement on their bourbon, woodford reserve. brown forman felt that not only the use of wood and reserve so closely on the bottle would confuse customers but that barton's use of a similar sticker across the lower front portion of the bottle would falsley lead consumers to believe the products were related. barton changed the name of the product to ridgemont reserve in order to come into compliance with the courts ruling as well as dropped the sticker in question. the bottles had both ridgemont reserve and 1792 prominently on the label but recently moved the words ridgemont reserve to the back of the bottle featuring "1792" and "small batch" across the front.
1792 is named for the year Kentucky seperated from virginia and became the 15th state.
1792 comes out of barton distillery in bardstown, kentucky. barton's was built following the end of prohibition and originally made and aged whiskeys for other companies in addition to their own brand "bartons" and "very old bartons". when very old bartons premiered, at 6 years old, it was considered an old bourbon as not many bourbon makers at the time were holding bourbons longer than 4 years. their biggest competitor at the time was schenley owned "ancient age", also aged 6 years (and ancient ancient age, at 10 years)
bartons distillery was previously known as tom moore distillery and was originally connected with the mattingly and willett families. through marraiges and business partnerships that came and went, the family opened a new distillery called mattingly & moore (with their signature bourbon being of the same name). a few years later mattingly sold to a group of investors. tom continued to work the better part of the next decade at the distillery. the distillery was closed during prohibition. con moore (tom's son) reopened the distillery in the 30's but then sold it to a chicago liquor merchant named oscar getz in 1944. oscar changed the name to barton distillery. legend says oscar picked the name from a hat.
barton's began distilling kentucky gentlemen and tom moore bourbon. the distillery was bought and sold through a few more companies (glenmore, hiram walker, canadaigua/constellation brands) until landing with sazerac in 2009 and being renamed tom moore distillery.
the most important factor for this distillery is that it is has been the only operating distillery in nelson county for a very long time. jim beam, heaven hill, and willet, all have distilleries there but with the exception of willet, all actually make their bourbon elsewhere. willet only began distilling on site a few years ago, and as of january 2016 is the second fully operational distillery in nelson county.
barton's was also the first distillery to offer tours when owner oscar getz took over. he put all of his bourbon treasures on display in a company museum. when oscar died in 1983, his wife had the collection donated to bardstown for the oscar getz museum of whiskey history.
nose: vanilla, caramel, pepper, apples, nutmeg, cinnamon, very light oak.
palate: vanilla and pepper, apples, sweeter spices, some fruit.
finish: long finish, sweet to spicy and complex. more black pepper.
for more information check out these links:
oscar getz museum of whiskey history