Port, Chardonnay, & Cabernet finished Bourbon
I was extremely grateful to receive a sample flight of the Thomas S. Moore bottles. I’m not the biggest 1792 fan but wine finishes intrigue me. The different casks used in Scotch bring out a lot of unique flavors whether matured or finished, but bourbon can be quite a bit more fickle. Typically a bourbon isn’t finished for a decent length of time (Angel’s Envy and Issac Bowman come to mind) so these relatively long finishes could bring out more interesting and unique wine influences.
Thomas S. Moore Port Finish (49.45%)
This was finished for about 3 years in a ruby port barrel. I expected a deeper shade here but it was more of a Burnt Umber color. Quite viscous in the glass.
The nose really lures you into the glass. Lots of figs and currents. Some apple tartness and a rich nuttiness from the wine. The grape flavors are really mellowing the bourbon characteristics. Lots of oak and walnuts. Nutmeg and creamed butter sweetness. Bit of graham cracker. It’s like the scent inside of a humidor.
On the palate some really bitter barrel character hits you right away. It smells much sweeter than the bitter taste. The port is very clear but the bourbon is getting covered up. It thankfully has a very unique and nice texture. You get a bit of baking spices forward spirit with a heavy wine influence. I still get a bit of apple flavor almost like a Calvados or Yak in a wine cask.
The rich baking spice flavor is very apparent on the finish with a big perfume of plum and nuts. You really can taste the bourbon on the finish here. A touch of brown sugar but it vanishes quickly for some old oak wine aromas. I really wish for some leather and tobacco here but it’s more bitter oak instead.
Overall it’s really tough to taste the bourbon. I get some Barton character but it’s very heavily covered with wine and oak.
Thomas S. Moore Chardonnay Finish (48.95%)
This was finished for about 4 years time in a Chardonnay cask. Auburn in color and quite thin in the glass compared to the Port finish.
Bourbon flavors are coming through much more prominently than the Port cask. It’s light and delicate fruits. Pears, cherry, and a slight fig note. Ginger spice to it and a nice bitter tobacco scent. The grain is much nicer and more balanced on the nose.
First sip and I feel like this is a winner to me. It’s got a nice fruitiness on the palate and it’s got a raw ginger heat kick to it. Some orange/citrus oils and pith bitterness along with more fig-like flavors. Some honey and orange sweetness with a rounded silky texture.
The finish gave me a bold spice forward intense heat. A lot of lovely tobacco with a mildly dry texture. Classic bourbon flavors are coming through well on the finish. Well past a sip you get an unpleasant salinity left on your palate. Only detractor in this glass.
This is an excellent bottle to explore. You can really dive in here and enjoy every aspect of the bottle. The tobacco here really stands out as a winner for me.
Thomas S. Moore Cabernet Finish (47.65%)
This was finished for least amount of time as the others at only 2 years. Auburn to Mahogany in color and also very thin in the glass. During a shake test however, the Cab finish has much larger bubbles than the Chardonnay but dissipated quicker than the Port.
Familiar nose to the Chardonnay cask. Slightly more virgin-oak like spices. More black peppers on the nose. Apple and pear skin bitterness. Some graham cracker and typical brown sugar bourbon sugars. A big punch of clove leaning tobacco. It’s like a fortified wine fruitiness smell.
Lots of dried fruit and oily cashews on the palate. It’s got this trail mix like flavor. Some honey and brown sugar but the spice I got on the nose is well in the background for me. A very slight mild expressed orange oil essence that is slightly floral to me.
The finish is a tinge on the bitter side. Kind of like finishing a fruity popsicle and chewing on the stick. A much more balanced flavor than the other two bottles. A cornucopia of fruit with an oak flavor to ground the sweetness.
The Cabernet finish is by and far the easiest sipper. Not a thinker dram but just one to sit back and enjoy thoroughly. Extremely balanced both on the palate and the finish.
After the side by side comparison of all 3 bottles, I think it’s easy to recommend the Cabernet and Chardonnay finishes. The Port is the only one I can’t recommend buying even if you love port. It’s just too heavy on the cask influence that so much of the bourbon is being covered up. I think overall these were wonderful drams to taste and experience but if you only bought one, go with the Chardonnay.