Thursday, February 15, 2007


Name (full): Very Old Barton Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Bottled In Bond

Age: 6 Years

Proof: 100

Price: $10.00 per 750mL @ Toddy's Liquor, Bardstown, KY.

Bottle: It is a very old school bottle. Round base with a 3 inch neck. The only interesting thing about the actual bottles shape is the rather large indent in the bottom of the bottle. It gives you the impression, while it is sitting on the shelf , that the bottle is larger than it actually is. On the back label it reads: "Some things just can't be hurried, like Very Old Barton. That's why it's aged in oak a full six years, just as it was when the distillery was founded back in 1879. And since it's the only way we know how to craft the finest, authentic Kentucky Bourbon, the whiskey contained in this bottle remains faithful to the high standards established in Bardstown more than a century ago. Savor Very Old Barton today, just as it was back in that unhurried era.". Distilled & Bottled by Barton Distilling Company, Bardstown, KY.

Color: A Rusty Brown.

Nose: Vanilla, Coffee, Blueberry, Licorice, white pepper/fennel, rye spiciness.

Taste: Butterscotch, Barrel tones, Rye Spicy (but more complicated than just that. First pepper, then almost tart on the tongue, like cloves. . .) , then vanilla and more spiciness carry over from the nose.

Finish: Explodes in the back of your mouth with rye spiciness and barrel notes, a medium length but the rye kicks warmth all the way down to your tummy.

Mouth feel: a little thin, kinda watery, but has good size in the mouth, and a nice rye spicy tingle around the edge of the tongue.

Conclusions: This distillery is a good example of two things:

1) A distillery that does on thing and one thing quite well. Barton makes bourbons for the lower end of the spectrum. They do not make a single barrel or small batch, and in all the print I have read about them, they do not feel they need to. And they are right. Although it would be fascinating to see what they would do with their "honey barrels", they make a very good bourbon and charge very little for it. This bottling alone could easily be in every bourbon enthusiasts household.

2) A bourbon that actually has truthful labeling on its bottle. It gives you the DSP#'s of both the distillery and bottling line. Even the spiel on the back is fairly truthful. They say this is the only way they know how to make bourbon, and they hold true to that. The Barton line consists of Very Old Barton 6 Year at 4 different proof points, as far as I know. They do one thing, and do it right.

The ONLY problem I have with them is distribution. You seem to only be able to get Barton in KY. This is a bit of a shame. This quality bourbon at this reasonable price point could sell a ton if distributed more widely. I for one know SEVERAL people, including myself, who would buy 1.75L bottles with startling regularity if it were available in OH. Maybe there is something holding them back. If not, please expand!!

On the whole I would recommend this bourbon to anyone who likes a bold, spicy bourbon, and does not want to overly strain the pocketbook. When in KY, pick up a bunch, you won't regret it. If you live in KY, you are one lucky bastard!

Tom (Barton Bodes Well For The Budget!) C

1 comment:

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