Today, I am reviewing 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Barrel Select bourbon. This is a rye-forward bourbon from the Old Barton Distillery, bottled by Sazerac/Buffalo Trace. The bourbon is ripened in the barrel 8 years and bottled at 93.7 proof (46.85% abv). I have had a number of folks ask me about this one, so I am glad that I finally got my hands on a bottle (which is a good looking bottle, too). Unfortunately, this stuff isn’t so easy to find in Boston, but I was able to find a bottle at a price I liked, so here we are. Also, if you are wondering, 1792 pays homage to the year that Kentucky gained its statehood. As such, 1792 Ridgemont Reserve is considered the official toasting bourbon at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.
On the nose, 1792 reminds me of fresh sawdust. There is some cinnamon spice, but it is overlayed with a wonderful woodiness to the nose. However, I have found that a medicinal cherry note (literally cherry-flavored Tylenol) has become pronounced as I’ve worked through the bottle. The palate is pure Kentucky. There is vanilla, oak, some tannins, a bit of cinnamon spice, and some more of that cherry stuff. The finish is medium-length, but well done. There are notes of coconut milk, maraschino cherries, spiced black tea, and vanilla. Despite its moderate proof point, 1792 Ridgemont Reserve does its best with a few drops of water. The nose becomes softer and fruitier, with notes of red licorice, absinthe, raisins, and some soft rye. The palate gets a bit thinner, and the finish is shorter, but the water does ramp up some of the rye notes that make for an ever-changing experience. However, that tannic bite does not really ever go away, nor does that damn cherry syrup note (which some folks love in bourbon, but I am not a big fan of when it becomes too predominant).
Overall, Ridgemont Reserve is a solid bourbon. It is a little loose around the edges, but it presents a lot of flavors I like in bourbon. This is a well-built everyday pour, but for me, it does not extend much beyond that. My grade: C+. Price: $20-25/750ml. At its price point, 1792 Ridgemont Reserve does very well, and it is a fine deal for an 8 year old bourbon. Try some for yourself and let it ride!