Whiskey Reviews: Thomas S. Moore Cask Finished Whiskeys (Cognac, Madeira, Sherry And Merlot)

, | June 3, 2022

Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as review samples by Barton 1792. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy links towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

The Thomas S. Moore bourbons are a product of Barton 1792 Distillery, which is one of the oldest distilleries in Kentucky. Moore built the distillery in 1879 and is the namesake for this series of whiskeys finished in various wine casks. The four I write about here were released in 2022, and include bourbons finished in sherry, merlot, Madeira, and Cognac casks.

Barton 1792 is now owned by the Sazerac Company. The Thomas S. Moore Bourbons are straight bourbon with a good deal of rye in the mash bill, aged first for between five and six years in American white oak barrels, and then aged for several more years in wine barrels to bring out more nuanced flavors. Previous Thomas S. Moore releases included straight bourbons finished in cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and Port casks.

Many of Barton 1792’s bourbons are widely acclaimed, and with just cause. This batch of straight bourbon finished in various casks is no exception.

Thomas S Moore 2022 release reviews

Barton 1792 Distillery released its second collection of extended cask-finished bourbons in the Thomas S. Moore line, made up of four different expressions … Cognac, Madeira, Sherry and Merlot finished whiskeys. (image via Barton 1792)

Tasting Notes: Thomas S. Moore Straight Bourbon in Sherry Casks

Vital Stats: Finished in Oloroso sherry casks. ABV 49.35%. $69.99 MSRP for a 750 ml bottle.

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Appearance: Light amber and caramel colored.

Nose: Butterscotch, cotton candy, and vanilla with some ripe stonefruit aromas.

Palate: The nose follows through with sweet caramel, butterscotch, and vanilla, while lavender pervades the edges. The finish has smokiness and a hint of leather. 

Score: 4/5

Tasting Notes: Thomas S. Moore Straight Bourbon in Merlot Casks

Vital Stats: Finished in merlot casks from Napa and Sonoma, California, Wineries for between two and four years, ABV 46.65%. $69.99 MSRP for a 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: Honey and light amber.

Nose: Honey, caramel, and warm brown sugar and cherry.

Palate: The merlot cask finish leaves a wonderful mocha and vanilla flavor, following through with some ripe cherry and caramel. A smooth and even texture allows these flavors to consistently permeate.

Score: 4/5

Tasting Notes: Thomas S. Moore Straight Bourbon in Madeira Casks

Vital Stats: Finished in Madeira casks from Portugal for two to four years. ABV 48.25%. $69.99 MSRP for a 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: Bronze, maple syrup colored.

Nose: There is slight stone fruit note, like peach or apricot, as well as fresh berries and some floral notes.

Palate: Fresh scents with fruits like strawberry followed by caramel, vanilla, and tobacco. It finishes = with a slightly burning spiciness. It is not an unpleasant finish, but it is a noticeable change from the approach.

Score: 4.5/5

Tasting Notes: Thomas S. Moore Straight Bourbon finished in Cognac Casks

Vital Stats: Finished two to four years in French Cognac casks. ABV 46.7%. $69.99 MSRP for a 750 ml bottle.

Appearance: Gold and honey.

Nose: The freshness of dark berries and some herbal notes are present, as well as light brown sugar aromas.

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Palate: Lighter than its cousins on the palate, there is distinctive orange or citrus wrapped in tobacco or leather as well as vanilla and a mushroom-like earthiness.

Score: 4/5

Final Thoughts: The cask aged bourbon produced by Barton 1792 is nuanced, serious and also delicious. The obvious care taken to produce these bourbons shows through in all of the iterations. Each one carries distinctive aromas and flavors born first of the high-rye bourbon recipe and then blended for more time in the wine barrels. The result is bourbon that is both delicious and elegant. 

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Mark Storer

Mark Storer is a writer and certified sommelier in the Puget Sound region. He contributes to a number of publications including Discoverwashingtonwine.com, Washington Tasting Room, the University of Washington, Tacoma and many others. While Mark has tasted, written about and reviewed wines from the Mexican border to the Canadian border,...