Very Old Barton
Barton Distilling Company
The good news is that there is a pretty comparable bourbon in price and taste that is still being produced, at least in the state of Kentucky. Very Old Barton is a close second for me when it comes to the taste to dollar ratio. It comes from Barton Distilling Company and I had the opportunity to visit in the dead of winter but it was worth it!
Of the three distilleries I got a chance to visit, this was the smallest operation. They actually only bottle 4 different types of bourbon and liqueurs. It was also the most intimate as I got to go on an early morning tour with just my parents. We went to the distillery itself where I got to taste from the bourbon from the tank before it was barreled and aged which was really cool. The guide took us up several floors on a small round stairwell to get to the top of the tank. We also went over to the rackhouse to see all the barrels that were aging. Even for a “smaller” distillery like Barton, there were thousands of barrels actively aging on ricks inside. Overall it was a great experience and would recommend it to anyone visiting who wants a less crowded experience.
Now onto the bourbon itself. Very Old Barton is a simple and smooth taste, very close to Heaven Hill. When I brought back both and did a tasting with some friends, the group was pretty much evenly divided on which one they liked more and it was a tough choice. You can’t beat the price at around 8 dollars a bottle. I can easily recommend it to drink by itself or to use in cocktails.