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1792 Aged 12 Years vs Cream of Kentucky Review

1792 Aged 12 Years vs Cream of Kentucky Review

Barton Distillery’s 1792 Brand has been quietly maneuvering behind the scenes for years, releasing somewhere between “perfectly drinkable” to “woah” whiskies that don’t garner a whole lot of attention.

My personal opinion is that the products they put out are so across the board in terms of profile, that they do not always tend to fit into a particular niche. So the fanbase has remained rather small. One of the little known facts about Barton, however, is exactly how many producers they source their distillate to.

Unlike their sister company, Buffalo Trace (both owned under the Sazerac Brand), Barton Distillery has been identified as the source to a decent amount of brands out there. Famously, the 16 year old rye found in early High West juice and most recently, Cream of Kentucky bourbon, founded in part by Jim Rutledge. 

Jim sourced a large number of 11+ year old barrels from Barton in the last year or so, then he revived an old, defunct Kentucky bourbon label to put it in.  Thus, Cream of Kentucky was born. The price made a lot of enthusiasts take pause because $150 was a lot to shell out for a sourced whiskey. And the reviews of Cream of Kentucky were less than stellar to boot.

1792 vs Cream of Kentucky Review 2

Then, 1792 surprised us all by announcing a 12 year aged product of their 1792 line. Bottled at a strange 96.6 proof, many enthusiasts rightfully put two and two together and determined that this was basically Cream of Kentucky, at basically the same age, at basically the same proof (96.6 vs 102) for a third of the price. Also, anytime a bottle carries an age statement this high, it really electrifies the community. 

This led to its disappearance from the shelves within 60 minutes of getting put out. So how do these two bottles compare? Is there really that big of a chasm between the two to justify the almost $100 retail price difference? Let’s check it out by doing a semi-blind side by side. I sampled these neat and in a glencairn.

Tasting Notes

Glass 1:

Nose: Cedar Wood Spicebox, a little bit of wood cleaning spray, lemon drops, candied orange peel, deep caramel, vanilla cake

Palate: Cinnamon Coffee Cake, candied nuts, cherry twizzlers, York Peppermint Patties,

Finish: Vanilla Pound Cake, Orange Zest, Cherry cough syrup, very smooth and delicate oak, cinnamon stick inside of a mug of chai tea. The finish has great flavors, but it disappears very quickly leaving me wanting more very soon after the last sip.

Score: 7.9/10

Tasting Notes

Glass 2:

Nose: Seasoned wood, vanilla bean, cinnamon, a very faint cherry blossom scent

Palate: Some spice prickle: cinnamon, clove. Has a nice sweetness like a mix of molasses and caramel. Oak comes in to keep the sweetness in check and the more I drink this, the more oak, cacao nibs and pipe tobacco becomes prevalent. It’s not a bad thing, but this actually really shows its age.

Finish: Sweet mint, a bit of rye spice carries through. The oak and tobacco leaf are much stronger than glass 1. The finish is way more tannic than glass 1, but for an whiskey lover that favors oak, this one is for you. It’s at the very tip of being “too much.” But it’s still enjoyable. I also find that the finish on this was still just around as short as Glass #1.

Score: 7.5/10

Blind Reveal:

Glass 1: Cream of Kentucky

Glass 2: 1792 Aged Twelve Years

Winner: Cream of Kentucky!


1792 vs Cream of Kentucky Review 3

The Cream of Kentucky did very well! It proved it was the better of the two. But at $150, it’s still not registering as a $150 bourbon. Meanwhile, the 1792 is an oak lover’s dream. It wasn’t necessarily offensive, but the oak has advanced to the point where the other flavors were going to be covered up if they didn’t take it out of the barrel right now.

The 1792 retails at around $60 I believe, but I’ve seen this bottle going for Cream of Kentucky prices on the secondary. It’s not worth that. Tater’s gonna tate on this bottle, but if you’ve got $150 in your pocket right now, there are much better bottles to seek out.

–> Shop 1792 Aged 12 Years

Rating Breakdown

1 | Disgusting | Drain pour (Example: Jeffers Creek)

2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it

3 | Bad | Flawed (AD Laws 4 Grain BiB, Clyde Mays anything)

4 | Sub-par | Many things I’d rather have (Tincup 10 year)

5 | Good | Good, solid, ordinary (Larceny, Sazerac Rye)

6 | Very Good | Better than average (Buffalo Trace, OGD BiB)

7 | Great | Well above average (Old Ezra Barrel Proof, Old Weller Antique)

8 | Excellent | Exceptional (Michter’s Barrel Proof Rye, Four Roses Barrel Strength)

9 | Incredible | Extraordinary (GTS, 13 Year MGP or Canadian Rye)

10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close (William Larue Weller)

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