PDA

View Full Version : Barton / Tom Moore



jburlowski
11-06-2010, 05:05
I attended a tasting at the Party Source last night of Barton whiskies put on by Ken Pierce, chief chemist at Barton. In addition to some of their traditional line-up (1792 and VOB BIB), we got to try some others that have never been released to the public.

The first (and most interesting) is a four year old wheated bourbon. It was surprisingly complex for its age --- slightly sweet with subtle spice notes. It was delightfully drinkable, even at barrel proof. I'd buy this in a heartbeat. Alas, Pierce announced that it will not be distributed to the public.

The second was another four year old bourbon with higher than normal rye content. Interesting but not overwhelming. Another "experiment" that won't become a product.

The last was a seven year old straight rye. Pierce described this as a "pure rye" --- no corn and just enough malted barley added to facilitate distillation. This was deliciously spicy with subtle but noticable wood notes. Again, very easy to drink at barrel proof. Pierce reported that this is the same product as their Fleischmanns's Rye (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14621)--- but with additional aging. This too won't be released. If it were, it would give Saz Jr. a run for its money.

Pierce also said:

Barton uses four different bourbon mash bills but he wouldn't reveal their content or which products they are used in.

He insisted that "none of their boubon products" will change under Sazerac's ownership. He did say that their production has increased significantly since the acquisition.

There will not be a "visitors center" at Tom Moore but they are adding a gift shop.

Sazerac will be doing some much-needed updating of their equipment and physical plant.

OscarV
11-06-2010, 05:14
He did say that their production has increased significantly since the acquisition.



I wonder why they ramped up production.
Are they expecting the Barton brands to have a sales spike or are they distilling some things for the BT brands in Frankfort.

jburlowski
11-06-2010, 05:17
I wonder why they ramped up production.
Are they expecting the Barton brands to have a sales spike or are they distilling some things for the BT brands in Frankfort.

They didn't say.... might be that Sazerac has plans to distribute the Barton brands more broadly. Or maybe their type of "value brands" are selling better because of the economy.

Josh
11-06-2010, 08:34
They didn't say.... might be that Sazerac has plans to distribute the Barton brands more broadly.

Let's hope that's the case!

As for the 4 mashbills, here's my guess:
1. VOB
2. 1792
3. ??? KY Tavern/Gentleman
4. ??? Tom Moore BiB

Anyway, thanks for the news. It's too bad none of those other mashbills will see the light of day.

White Dog
11-06-2010, 09:39
The last was a seven year old straight rye. Pierce described this as a "pure rye" --- no corn and just enough malted barley added to facilitate distillation. This was deliciously spicy with subtle but noticable wood notes. Again, very easy to drink at barrel proof. Pierce reported that this is the same product as their Fleischmanns's Rye (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14621)--- but with additional aging. This too won't be released. If it were, it would give Saz Jr. a run for its money.

I'm sure this Rye will be going into Baby Saz. Especially since Baby Saz has been on allocation these days. At least in my state. (With the addition of these Rye stocks, maybe Baby Saz will finally improve, IMHO.)

Virus_Of_Life
11-06-2010, 09:41
I am curious why they let you taste these things if there is no plans whatsoever to take them to market? Why even bother. Disappointing.

SBOmarc
11-06-2010, 10:42
I am curious why they let you taste these things if there is no plans whatsoever to take them to market? Why even bother. Disappointing.

Not just disappointing, it makes zero sense. Could this be misinformation on purpose? Makes me think that it is being done for BT.

tmckenzie
11-06-2010, 12:40
Fleishmanns does not tast like pure rye at all to me. And, I would bet that kentucky tavern and ten high is out of the same mash, but kentucky gentleman, what I have tasted straight, is the same mash as 1792. I bet they release some of that stuff.

OscarV
11-06-2010, 12:44
Speaking of Barton/Tom Moore I have a bottle of Colonel Lee BIB.
When I opened it I was not at all optimistic about what it would taste like, but I gotta say it is a decent low priced pour.
I'd even go so far as to say that it has a denseness to it that reminds me of EC12, a little water opens it up nicely.

jburlowski
11-06-2010, 14:48
I am curious why they let you taste these things if there is no plans whatsoever to take them to market? Why even bother. Disappointing.

They characterized them as "experimentals"... at least that's what they were prior to the Sazerac acaquisition. Could be that that's the best / most interesting they had to round out the tasting.

All I can say is that the wheater and 7 yo rye were close to best of class (particularly given the age of thw wheater). Would love to be able to buy either of them.

cowdery
11-06-2010, 18:37
I don't think Ken is really in the decision chain. He knows what the plan is today. The plan could change tomorrow but what he said is the plan is the plan as of now.

When I was there in September I got the impression there was still a small hope for the visitors center, but I guess no more.

They produce where they have putaway capacity. When BT bought TM they didn't really need the distillery part (BT has a lot of unused capacity), they needed the warehouses, the ones in Bardstown and the ones in Owensboro that were also part of the deal. I'm sure the logistics are complicated since they have bottling and warehousing at all three sites but just the two distilleries. Where things get putaway is where they eventually get bottled. In addition to whiskey they're also aging Paul Masson brandy at TM, under contract from their former owner, Constellation.

Some of their biggest volume products aren't aged and are based on GNS they buy from producers that are probably closer to Owensboro than they are to Frankfort, so they might be shifting more of that there.

I don't know, I'm just sitting here thinking about it and typing as I do.

smokinjoe
11-06-2010, 18:57
Buffalo Trace does have an "Experimental Collection". Maybe, these (or, some variant of) are destined for BTEC inclusion, some time in the future?

jburlowski
11-07-2010, 16:19
Not just disappointing, it makes zero sense. Could this be misinformation on purpose? Makes me think that it is being done for BT.

I don't know, but I got the sense that this was simply a desire to broaden the tasting (multiple labels aside, Barton does have a limited whiskey portfolio) and to share some special / different things from their rickhouses. Jay mentioned at the tasting that he knew that Barton had been making some wheated bourbon and specifically asked if they would bring some for us to try. I'm glad I got a chance to try it.

When Harlen Wheatley did a BT tasting at PS a few months back he also brought some experimentals, including a six grain bourbon that was at the white dog stage. Similarly, Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox shared some of his non-product variants at a PS tasting. Ditto with some forthcoming offerings from MB Roland Distillery. One of the things I like about Jay's tastings is that he tries, whenever possible, to include the new and different. Some I'd love to be able to purchase; others not. But all have been interesting experiences. And hopefully the distillers involved get some valuable feed back from the participants.

cowdery
11-07-2010, 17:52
Have I mentioned lately how awesome Jay Erisman is? He is one-of-a-kind among whiskey retailers. No one else does the sorts of things he does because no one else has his level of credibility in the industry. Awesome.

What Mark Brown has said about the whiskeys TM was making for no apparent reason is that he doesn't know what they're going to do with them. Which is consistent with what Ken has said, because although they have no plan to sell them, they might sometime down the road.