Are you wondering where to find Barton Bourbon in California? Yes, I too had read often online about how there was an incredibly tasty, value-priced brand of Bourbon out there called Very Old Barton that whiskey enthusiasts liked to site as an example of pricing stability. I read about, looked around for it, and then realized like everyone else that you can only get it in and around the state of Kentucky. Needless to say, I bought a flask of VOB 100 proof for about $8 when we visited a few weeks ago to see what the fuss was about. And I got what the fuss was about. The whiskey is mellow, round, easy to drink, and quite rich for what you're paying. You won't find a bottle of VOB in California, but you're not out of luck completely.
Very Old Barton is indeed a Sazerac brand, but it's not made at Buffalo Trace -- it's made at Barton Distillery down the road from Heaven Hill in Bardstown. Sazerac owns two different Kentucky distilleries and this is the one that often gets overlooked because there's not much Barton whiskey available out west.
You can get Barton-distilled Bourbon whiskey in California, however. It's just not called Barton, but rather 1792 Ridgemont Reserve. We've had it in stock for ages. We've done single casks before and we've got another one on the way that we found while in Kentucky. Having stowed my flask of Very Old Barton away in my suitcase, I was looking forward to comparing it against the open bottle of 1792 Ridgemont sitting on my bar at home. They're very similar. That same rounded, mild-mannered creaminess is the key characteristic, lacking the force of spicy wood tannins or big rye character. It drinks like a richer version of Four Roses Yellow much of the time -- and it's well-priced for an eight year old Bourbon of said quality.
If you've been wondering what Barton whiskey tastes like, but don't want to fly out to Kentucky to find out, you can get it here. Just under a different name.