Thomas S. Moore Straight Bourbon Finished in Merlot Casks


Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Merlot Casks

Company: Sazerac Company Inc

Distillery: Barton 1792 Distillery

Release Date: March 2022

Proof: 93.3

Age: NAS (Press release states 5-6 years old, and then finished for an additional 2-4 years in Madeira casks)

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Color: Bronze

MSRP: $70 (2022)

Official Website


Light brown sugar | Strawberry rhubarb | Oak | Rye spice | Hint of grape


Plum | Dark raspberry | Nectarines | Oak | Dark brown sugar


Heavy oak | Tannic | Olives | Rye spice | Touch dry | Medium length | Off tasting | Bad


Barton 1792 Distillery is back with another round of Thomas S. Moore finished whiskeys. The 2021 batch proved to be all over the map, with the Port Finished Bourbon receiving our best score of the bunch, and Cabernet Sauvignon Finished Bourbon being the most flawed. Does history repeat itself in 2022?

Merlot cask finishing has been popular with many distilleries hoping to pair bourbon with wine. The rich fruitiness of the merlot wine tends to be bold providing ample legs against bourbon’s typical vanilla, caramel, and oak.

The nose starts off quite well providing the red fruit sweetness you’d expect. The palate is packed with a good deal of stone fruit notes that never goes overboard with sweetness. But it’s this whiskey’s finish that completely derails the entire sip. Tannic, over-oaked, and off-tasting, it simply doesn’t work. I’d suspect the issue stems from this being over-finished in the merlot casks. Barton offers a 2-4 year time frame the bourbon’s finishing time and anything going over two years was probably too much. The finish is downright bad, which is a shame since the nose and palate set this whiskey up so well. Perhaps giving it some time to open up will help even it out, but I worry the damage has already been done and there’s no hope of saving this whiskey.

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

April 7, 2022
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