BARTON 1792 DISTILLERY

Distillery
Founded in 1879
The Barton Distillery — now officially called the “Barton 1792 Distillery” — was started in 1874, by Ben Mattingly in Bardstown, Kentucky, near a bend in the Beech Fork River. He chose the site because of a natural spring on the site (Morton’s Spring).

Tom Moore, an employee there, and another fellow employee bought the distillery and named it Morton Spring Distillery. The two ran it until 1881, when they sold it to a group of outside investors.

Moore stayed as an employee at the shop, but soon grew restless and bought the lot next door to open a brand new competing distillery. his new operation soon outstripped his former employer to the point he was able to re-purchase Morton Spring Distillery, and merge the two operations.

He renamed the combined operation “The Thomas Moore Distillery” and everything went very well until Prohibition. When Prohibition came to an end, Tom Moore got things going again, but by then he was an old man.

So as soon as production was returned, he sold the property. It was bought and sold and traded a few times, and in the mix of ownership changes, the name got changed to The Barton Distillery.

Eventually future investors came on board and renamed the distillery, the “Tom Moore Distillery.” It was during this time that their 1792, and Barton Bourbon products became very popular.

Sazerac came along and bought them out in 2009, and decided to capitalize on the brand names rather than historic ones, rechristening the entire operation “The Barton 1792 Distillery.” 

Barton the brand produces a very wide range of Bourbons and other spirits, but most of the Bourbon produced at the Barton 1792 Distillery goes into the two namesake Bourbons.

The facility is huge with 51 individual structures laid out over several hundred acres — including 29 massive storage rick-houses. It is said that those rick-house holds upwards of 2,000,000 barrels of Bourbon, roughly equal to 530 million bottles.

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Distillery Details

  • Country
    United States
  • Established
    1879
  • Owner
    Sazerac Company
  • Visitor Center
    Yes
  • Status
    Active
  • Address
    300 Barton Road, Bardstown, KY 40004
  • Phone
    (866) 239-4690
  • Website
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For a while the distillery was named "Barton" and they launched the Barton line of Bourbon and other spirits. But there never was a person named "Barton" in the company history. So it seems to have been chosen because it sounded like a good name for Kentucky Bourbon.

The signature "1792 Bourbon" product line got its name from the year that Kentucky became an official state in the United States.

Bardstown is called "The Bourbon Capital of the World" for good reason. In addition to The Barton 1792 Distillery, the twon is home to three other massive production facilities, including Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, and Marker's Mark (located just outside of town in Loretto).
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American Whiskey from Barton 1792 Distillery