“I was brought up to believe that Scotch whiskey would need a tax preference to survive against Kentucky bourbon.” – Hugo Black
Any of you out there that know who Hugo Black is, know that I probably used that quote a bit out of context. I’m sure he was pointing out his beliefs on the trade policies of the US at the time, and not commenting on his great love of Kentucky bourbon. However, if you knew that, why are you reading a blog about booze, and also, shut up…. Sorry for the childishness, it has been a long month.
On to the point! As I’m sure many of my loyal readers know (hi mom!), I love bourbon. Am I a bourbon expert? Hell no! I know what I like, and I am free with my opinions. As much as we would all like to constantly have a nice 15-18 year, single barrel, Kentucky bourbon on the shelf, that is not always possible. That is especially true in today’s economic climate. Never fear, your trusted booze advisor has found the answer for you!
I recently came across 1792 Ridgemont Reserve while at my local liquor store. It was the premier night of one of my favorite TV shows, “Son’s of Anarchy”, and good bottle of whiskey is absolutely mandatory. Of course, like most of the planet, I need to start being a bit more fiscally responsible. That being said, I turned away from my usual suspects that tend to range in price anywhere from $35-45. Of course, I’m not coming with a bottle of Dickel or Old Crow. That’s when I noticed this fancy little number staring right at me. I picked up my bottle for $21.99 plus tax. In subsequent web searches, I have seen 1792 go for as high as $27, so don’t hold me to that price. However, that is still much cheaper than some of the fancier fare.
I will admit that I was a bit concerned that this bourbon may be all looks, and no substance (think cast of “Baywatch”). Much to my pleasant surprise, that could not have been more wrong. 1792 is a delightfully full-bodied bourbon that is still easy to drink. 1792 is admittedly heavier on the rye than many traditional bourbons. This fact may turn off some of the more traditional bourbon connoisseurs, but I quite enjoy the uniqueness of the flavor. The flavor also carries a bit more of the alcohol flavor as well, but it manages to finish smooth.
1792 is distilled by Barton Distillers, on the site of the historic Tom Moore Distillery. It derives its name from the year that Kentucky received its statehood, and is handcrafted in small batches. Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy this fine Kentucky bourbon is with the Kentucky classic, the mint julep.
- 2 oz of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve
- 1 tbsp of minted simple syrup
- Crushed ice
- Fresh mint
Directions: Create your simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar for five minutes. Allow the syrup to simmer for one additional minute with eight mint sprigs. Store syrup overnight in an air-tight container in the fridge. Place three-four fresh mint sprigs in the bottom of a cocktail glass (or a fancy silver julep cup if you’ve got fancy pants), and fill with crushed ice. Pour the 1792 and minted simple syrup into the glass, and stir gently.
Some folks will insist that you must muddle the mint. Those people are wrong. I kid, I kid! Everyone is different. I don’t like to muddle the mint because it tends to tear apart the mint, which can make your teeth look like you’ve been eating a salad.
Please remember to enjoy responsibly, and leave the true buffoonery to the professionals like me.
Des Moines, IA