Very Old Barton, Bottled-in-Bond

Maker: Barton-1792, Bardstown, Kentucky, USA (Sazerac)VOB BiB

Age: 6 y/o

Proof: 100 (50% ABV)

Appearance: bright copper with long, thick legs.

Nose: Alcohol, jalapeno, charred corn on the cob, caramel, a hint of tropical fruit. Water brings out more tannic oak.

On the palate: Medium bodied. Spicy but sweet, like pepper jelly. Jerk sauce, grilled polenta, old oak, alcohol.

Finish: Hot, but sweet. Caramel corn and oak. Lingers for a very long time, tingling all over the mouth.

Parting words: I love this bourbon so much, baby, that it tears me up inside. It’s perfectly balanced between fruit, spice and oak. In Kentucky its popularity is on par with Jim Beam white label and Evan Williams. That should tell you something.

It is perhaps the best bargain in American whiskey. For around $12, VOB BiB (for short) is better than most bourbons that sell for twice the price. It mixes very well, but I love drinking it neat or with a splash of water so much that I don’t mix it much. Try the 90 (crimson) or 86 proof (green) versions if you’re looking for a mixer. Older bottlings before Sazerac took over have a prominent banana flavor and aroma that I enjoyed but some others didn’t so if you come across an older bottle, be aware. But either bottling is fantastic and highly recommended.

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