1792 Aged Twelve Years (2023 Release)


Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Sazerac Company Inc.

Distillery: Barton 1792 Distillery

Release Date: Summer 2023 (Annual release)

Proof: 96.6

Age: 12 Years

Mashbill: Undisclosed (Marketed as “High rye,” and believed to be 15-25% rye)

Color: Light Mahogany

MSRP: $60 (2023)

Official Website

1792 Small Batch is Barton’s flagship bourbon. Having undergone naming changes over the years from 1792 Ridgewood Reserve, to 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, and finally to 1792 Small Batch. The brand once featured an 8 year age statement found on the back of the bottle but was removed in late 2013. Not long after, the bottle design was updated in conjunction with the change to 1792 Small Batch. With this change, a substantial line extension took place that included 1792 Sweet Wheat, 1792 Port Finish, 1792 Single Barrel, 1792 Full Proof, and 1792 High Rye. In July 2019, 1792’s age statement returned, but as a line extension and now aged 12 years. A new batch of 1792 Aged Twelve Years is released each year, typically during the summer.


The nose opens with a warm rich caramel apple scent that immediately sets the tone. It's joined by lighter scents of raspberry, honey, and confectioners' sugar creating a solid mid-range of scents. A layer of oak and vanilla grounds the aroma in a classic bourbon style. It’s when the scents come together that the real magic happens. The mingling of expressive caramel, raspberry brightness, and a developing glazed donut underpinning creates an aroma that is extremely effective and hard to resist. Very well done.


Caramel continues into the palate and is married with milk chocolate, brown sugar, and nougat. While these flavors suggest a sweet tasting bourbon, that’s far from the case. There’s a roasted and aged element to the bourbon’s taste that grounds its flavor profile quite dramatically. The overall flavor is rich but lacks brightness and energy. It drinks its age, with a maturity to its palate, but doesn’t try to surprise the drinker in any way.


Rye spice is the first to take hold. It’s accompanied by dry charred oak that exhibits a strong grasp throughout the rest of the sip. The bourbon’s age once again is on display, offering a grounded array of flavors versus leaning heavily into sweet or fruity ones. The result is a finish that doesn’t go out of its way to impress, and instead is content on being typical and familiar. Mixed nuts, graham crackers, and cocoa nibs provide a heavy base further grounding this low flying bourbon.


It’s been four years since I reviewed the inaugural release of 1792 Aged Twelve Years. Age statements have returned on a number of brands, yet it still feels special to see a double digit age statement when you do see one. The number 12 has always been a magical number for many bourbon makers as it tends to be one of the more common ages brands strive for and prominently place on their bottles. Plenty of non-distiller producers such as Bib & Tucker, Widow Jane, Calumet Farms, all prominently feature their 12 year age statement. Elijah Craig Small Batch once featured a 12 year age statement as did its barrel proof counterpart. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon often tries to hit the 12 year mark with its releases, and Jack Daniel’s even has a release with a 12 year age statement now. Weller 12 Year And Van Winkle Lot B continue to be two of bourbon's highest profile and most sought after releases on the market, both featuring 12 year age statements.

However, it’s Knob Creek 12 Year that is 1792 Aged Twelve Years’ main competitor, and provides its stiffest competition. Priced similarly, with wider availability, Knob Creek 12 Year’s flavor profile will likely appeal to a wider range of bourbon drinkers, and is why we named it our #1 Whiskey of 2020. 1792 Aged Twelve Years' flavor profile doesn’t bow to the wild side in any particularly unique direction. It continues to be a fairly straightforward sip that's easy to grasp for any level of bourbon drinkers. Compared to Knob Creek 12 Year, its age is much more apparent, but some of that has to do with a less flashy flavor profile and its dry oak finish. 1792 Aged Twelve Years does have some sweet underpinning, but its lack of overt fruit notes turns it into a more classic and down-to-earth style bourbon. If you’re someone that finds many of today’s bourbons too flashy with flavor profiles that are overly sweet, 1792 Aged Twelve Years will be much more to your liking. For others, a 12 year age statement has become more common since 1972 Aged 12 Years was originally released, and its flavor profile continues to be an example of a traditional style bourbon. Nothing more, nothing less.


Though it feels like a lifetime ago, bourbons with a 12 year age statement were often priced at a fraction of what they are today. The best example of this was Elijah Craig 12 Year, which was often found for around $25. As age statements were removed and have since returned, the price of 12 year old bourbon has often doubled or tripled depending on if it's an ongoing standard release, limited edition, and if the company is sourcing its bourbon. Going back to Knob Creek 12 Year, which is also priced at $60, the two releases provide good pricing parallel, even if their flavor profiles diverge greatly. Some of the value of 1792 Aged Twelve Years will depend on your personal taste and whether you prefer oak-forward or fruit-forward bourbon. With its less flashy flavor profile, it's easy to discount what 1792 Aged Twelve Years brings to the table and what it doesn’t. It’s a much more straightforward bourbon that is easy to sip but requires the drinker to put in more work to pull it apart. In the end, it's adequately priced because of its age statement, and struggles to afford a better value beyond that based on its limited flavor profile.


A strongly built 12 year old bourbon that can be too much of a straight shooter at times.

Barton 1792 Distillery continues to prove how rock solid and consistent of a distillery they are. Four years after their initial release of 1792 Aged Twelve Years, little has changed for the brand. For fans of the release, that is great news, but for those who found faults with its original release (me included), I was hoping in the passing years, the release was going to bring something new to the table or at least be more meaningful in how it is dialed in. This release shows minor improvements over its original release, but I was hoping for some more complexity and depth overall especially given its age. At this point there probably aren’t enough thoroughly classic style bourbons on the market from major distilleries that create a lasting impression. Gimmicks, finishes, and overly sweet bourbon have become the norm, and bourbons like 1792 Aged Twelve Years have, to a degree, fallen by the wayside. 1792 Aged Twelve Years continues to hit a decent quality bar that Barton has seemed to have dialed in for most of their products at this point. But the bourbon market is constantly changing, and I’m not sure if 1792 Aged Twelve Years in its current state will be able to keep up.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

July 5, 2023
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