Maker: Barton 1792, Bardstown, Kentucky, USA (Sazerac)
Style: Wheated Straight Bourbon
Age: NAS (at least 4 y/o)
Proof: 91.2 (45.6% ABV)
Michigan state minimum: $36 (listed as “SWEAT WHEAT”)
Appearance: Medium copper.
Nose: Alcohol, vanilla, apricot, char.
Palate: Full bodied and sweet. Crème brûlée with apricot and vanilla bean.
Finish: Short and drying.
Parting words: 1792 Sweet Wheat is an extension of the 1792 Bourbon line of (originally) high malt bourbons. It is presumed by people who have looked into these sorts of things (like me) that it is the same recipe as the old Kentucky Tavern bourbons. Constellation took this recipe and used it to create 1972 back when it owned the Barton Distillery. When Sazerac bought the distillery, they gave the bottle a makeover and created a number of line extensions, the most successful of which have been the barrel proof and single barrel expressions.
Sweet Wheat is a different beast from those, though, because the recipe has been changed. The rye has been swapped out for wheat, putting it into the same category as Maker’s Mark, Larceny, Weller, and the notorious Van Winkle bourbons. It fits somewhere between Maker’s and Larceny/Old Fitzgerald in terms of flavor. It’s not as delicate as Maker’s and Weller, but not quite as sharp and yeast-driven as the Heaven Hill wheaters. I like it a lot at $36, but I like it less at what I paid for it.
If you can find it for <$45, buy it. Any more than that, and you’re overpaying. 1792 Sweat, err Sweet, Wheat is recommended.