If you’ve read many of my bourbon reviews here, you’ve probably realized by now that I’m a big fan of anything with “Bottled in Bond” on the label. Perfect proof for my tastes, always at least 4 years old, and usually budget friendly – anytime you can check off those three boxes and also check off the “pretty tasty” box, I’d call it a winner. Very Old Barton Bottled in Bond does just that. At $12-13 a bottle, it blows most of the competition in that price range out of the water. Owned by the Sazerac Company, VOB-100 is distilled at the Barton Distillery in Bardstown, KY, and bottled at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort. While the bottle once held a 6 year age statement, that disappeared a few years ago as has happened with so many other bottles recently.
I picked this particular bottle up along with a bottle of Early Times Bottled in Bond and Henry McKenna Single Barrel. With about $10 sitting in between each of those bottles, together they are a textbook example of how you can find great bourbon in any price range.
- ABV: 50%, 100 Proof
- Age: NAS, at least 4 years
- Company/Distillery: Sazerac / Barton Distillery
- Mash Bill: 75% corn, 15% rye, 10% malted barley
- Price: $13 / 750 mL
Appearance: Chestnut, Russet
Nose: Caramel and Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon
Taste: Caramel and Vanilla sweetness, good amount of Rye spiciness, and a little bit of Dark Fruit
Finish: Medium length, Caramel sweetness and a bit of Oak. Fairly hot
Overall: A good amount of the bottles on my shelf are bonded bourbons. I could drink Heaven Hill White Label and Early Times Bottled in Bond every day, and if I’m making you a cocktail, I can all but guarantee that it’s going to have Evan Williams White Label in it. Very Old Barton BIB can certainly hang with that gang. While it’s not all that complex and the 100 proof isn’t shy at all, it’s still a decent sipper on its own and holds up quite well in a cocktail. Like Heaven Hill BIB, it can be fairly difficult to find outside of KY. So if you come across it somewhere, take my word for it and pick up a bottle or two.