The 1792 Distillery is one of those confusing operations that seems to use several names for the same product – although I suspect the truth of the matter is rather that the name has changed over time, and different sources have updated at different times.
The bourbon in question was initially launched as Ridgewood Reserve 1792, but was forced to rename it to Ridgemont to avoid confusion with the already-established Woodford Reserve (although I can’t help feeling you would have to drink quite a lot of either to get confused between the two!).
In later times, it was rebranded again to 1792 Small Batch 8 Year Old – possibly with an eye to an expanded range of different 1792 bourbons – only to change again, to remove the age statement entirely.
Confused? Me too.
1792 Small Batch Bourbon, as I’ve decided to call it, is bottled at 46.9% ABV and some official pages (on the website of their parent company, Sazerac, at least) still say it’s aged 8 years despite the lack of age statement on the bottle.
The nose is fruity; there’s plenty of caramel sweetness too, but it’s not the overwhelming note that can be the case with some bourbons. There’s foam banana sweets with cherries underneath, and perhaps even something tropical – mango perhaps? Water takes away a lot of that character, and more grain comes through, with a touch of damp wood.
In the mouth it’s sugar sweet at first, with more caramel building and then joined by quite a sharp, almost sour citrus note. Beyond that, a nice spice kick that slips into a lingering, dry finish.
Watered, the sweetness is less pronounced which exposes more of the sharper flavours – again, the wood starts to put in an appearance but it’s not nearly as interesting now.
Enjoyed straight, this deserves 3.5 stars – don’t get it wet though.
Many thanks to Master of Malt for providing their excellent Bourbon Advent Calendar this year.