New Whiskey from Sazerac: Thomas S. Moore


December 10, 2020

I won’t lie. This is not the press release I expected to get in 2020. Or even 2015. I don’t know why, but Thomas Moore, a man of great bourbon importance, never got his proper due. But his gravitas lost its luster in the 21st Century.

In the late 1800s, Moore created the distillery we now know as Barton and had a couple brands named after him. For a brief moment a few years ago, Moore had a cup of coffee, in the contemporary sense, as the current Bardstown Barton 1792 facility was named after him. It was shortly thereafter renamed.

After that, I reckoned Moore’s name died. That his heritage would be gone like other bourbon icons you rarely hear about.

But as often happens in whiskey, a genre where old becomes new again, a cherished name is brought back.

Today, Sazerac announced its latest line of American whiskey–Thomas S. Moore, a limited release of barrel finished bourbons. SRP is $69.99. See my tasting notes.

In 1889, Thomas S. Moore built the Distillery known today as Barton 1792 Distillery. Moore was an early pioneer in Bardstown. Leading up to Prohibition, Moore established a whiskey empire, growing his humble operation into a powerhouse distillery, filling hundreds of barrels of whiskey a day. Business boomed until The 18th Amendment forced the Distillery to cease production in 1920.  According to Sazerac, this namesake line of bourbons intends to honor Thomas S. Moore, an innovative bourbon pioneer.  

Finishes include port cask, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon casks. Kahn said the Thomas Moore line will only be barrel finishes, but says that’s not up to him.

My favorite aspect of this release is it gives Kahn some limelight. I’ve long thought that distillers at Barton 1792, formerly just the Barton distillery and formerly the Tom Moore Distillery have been overshadowed by their sister distillery in Buffalo Trace.

Kahn is an excellent distiller and I hope we see more of him from Sazerac.