1792 Bourbon vs Buffalo Trace: Key Differences Answered (2023)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

1792 bourbon and Buffalo Trace are two widely acclaimed bourbons on the market today. Both brands have a great history of producing high-quality spirits, and whiskey enthusiasts widely respect both, but which is better? 

Let’s discuss the two bourbons’ fine points as we deliver the 1792 bourbon vs Buffalo Trace review. 

Comparing Buffalo Trace vs 1792 Small Batch 

1792 Bourbon

Comparing Buffalo Trace and 1792 Small Batch bourbons side by side reveals some interesting similarities and differences. Both are well-crafted, high-quality bourbons that offer rich flavor profiles.

In addition, the two distilled spirits share the same owners, Sazerac Company. 

However, key distinctions exist between the two bourbons, like their history, production process, and mash bill.

They also have different alcohol proof, age statement, distillery, and tasting notes that set the two bourbons apart. 

Read: Popular Buffalo Trace Bourbons

Key Differences

Key Differences


Buffalo Trace has established a great reputation for producing the finest and high-quality bourbons since 1773 in Frankfort, Kentucky.

The buffalo migration route that crossed the Kentucky River is now the distillery’s location. The bourbon was a tribute to the mighty buffalo that carved a pathway in Kentucky. 

Meanwhile, 1792 bourbon was established in 1879. It was known as Ridgemont Reserve,  contrary to the common belief that it was named after the year it was first produced.

After Sazerac acquired the brand, it was renamed from Ridgemont Reserve to 1792 Small Batch bourbon. 1792 was the year when Kentucky was recognized as a state [1]. The distillery decided to name the bourbon after this important occasion. 

Production Process

Buffalo Trace Production Process

Buffalo Trace’s production process starts with truckloads of grains milled like flour before cooking in a 22-foot tall cooker. Each grain is poured at a specific temperature before it undergoes fermentation, double distillation, and maturation. 

It has a unique aging process where barrels are stored on the middle floors of the warehouse for eight years for utmost temperature fluctuations. 

The 1792 bourbon production process starts with their signature high rye recipe, then fermentation in their red tanks, where yeast and sour mash are combined.

The distillery uses limestone-filtered water in bourbon-making. After distillation, it will be matured for a certain time. 

For the final touch, the bourbon makers will blend it with selected barrels carefully chosen by the Master Distillers to produce a 1792 Small Batch. 

Did You Know?

Limestone water is used in bourbon because it filters out impurities like iron and adds calcium and magnesium that the yeast needs to thrive [2].

Age Statement

Buffalo Trace with cocktail

Buffalo Trace does not have an age statement disclosed on their bottles, but it is aged for a minimum of eight years. 

On the other hand, 1792 Small Batch bourbon was initially introduced with an eight-year age statement.

However, the age statement on 1792 bourbon was dropped from the label and is now produced with the name Small Batch 1792. Read about Buffalo Trace cigars here

Mash Bill

Both distilled spirits contain at least 51% corn as mandated by the law in bourbon production, but 1792 bourbon contains more rye than Buffalo Trace. 

Buffalo Trace contains an undisclosed percentage of mash bills of corn, rye, and malted barley.

On the contrary, 1792 bourbon contains corn, malted barley, and high rye on its mash bill. 

Alcohol Proof

1792 Small Batch bourbon

1792 Small Batch bourbon contains a slightly higher alcohol proof than Buffalo Trace. 

Buffalo Trace contains 90 alcohol proof (45% ABV), while 1792 Small Batch bourbon whiskey contains 93.7 alcohol proof (46.85% ABV). 

Mixed or Neat?

Both brands are great to enjoy neat or mixed, but Buffalo Trace is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. Buffalo Trace has a great balance of sweetness and spiciness, making it a good sipping bourbon

Meanwhile, while some people love to drink 1792 neat, it is best enjoyed mixed because its high rye content makes the drink spicier that complements mixers well. 

Spice Level

Rye Grains

Buffalo Trace and 1792 bourbon contain rye on their mash bill, but the spice level of 1792 is higher because of its high rye content. The high rye content can be intense and cause some serious burning sensation.

Buffalo Trace’s spice level is moderate, while 1792 spices hit a little harder. 

Tasting Notes


Buffalo Trace has a pleasantly sweet taste with spice, brown sugar, espresso, dark fruit, anise, and oak. 

However, 1792 has more flavor profiles of caramel, spicy vanilla, cinnamon, ripe fruit, and oak. 


Both spirits have the shade of amber, but 1792 is golden while Buffalo Trace is slightly darker. 

The color of the spirit comes from the new charred oak barrels, and as it ages inside, the color of the charred oak sips in the liquor. 


Buffalo Trace

Rye spice will be the first thing that hits in 1792 bourbon with softer charred oak and vanilla notes. The ethanol hits stronger than Buffalo Trace, but it comes with the subtle aroma of banana and caramel. 

On the contrary, Buffalo Trace has a complex aroma of molasses, mint, and vanilla. 


The heavy rye mash bill of 1792 creates a medium-length spicy finish with notes of pepper, oak, and cinnamon. 

In contrast, Buffalo Trace has a long, nice, warm finish with rich and fine vanilla and spices. 

Read: Buffalo Trace Bourbon & Elijah Craig Compared

Price & Value

1792 Small Batch is $2 cheaper than Buffalo Trace in Drizly online. The price range may vary in local shops near you. 

You can score a 750 ml bottle of 1792 Small Batch at around $32.99, while a bottle of Buffalo Trace may cost you roughly $34.99. 

Read: Buffalo Trace Bourbon Cream Recipes

oth brands have a great history of producing high-quality spirits, and whiskey enthusiasts widely respect both, but which is better? 

While the two brands have a fair share of differences that separates them, both are owned by Sazerac Company. Sazerac Company owns different distilled spirit brands, but all come from different distilleries. 

Also, both bourbons contain rye on their mash bill for a sweeter flavor profile. 


Is Buffalo Trace smoother than 1792 bourbon?

Yes, Buffalo Trace is smoother than 1792 bourbon. It is a well-balanced bourbon with enough depth, intensity, and character without the overpowering rye spice.   

Is 1792 bourbon part of Buffalo Trace?

No, 1792 bourbon is not part of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown produces 1792, while Buffalo Trace Distillery makes Buffalo Trace. However, the two brands belong to Sazerac Company. 

Final Thoughts

Buffalo Trace is better than 1792 bourbon. Buffalo Trace is something you can drink every day because it does not have complicated notes. 

The countless hours and years of patience of Buffalo Trace Distillery paid off because the bourbon is well-rounded and has a good balance between spiciness and sweetness.

1792 Small Batch bourbon has sweetness, but the spice and wood can be overwhelming and gives some burning sensation. But it is a step up from other bourbons and pairs well in mixed drinks. 



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

3 thoughts on “1792 Bourbon vs Buffalo Trace: Key Differences Answered (2023)

  • July 22, 2022 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm

    You are right on point with every point you mention, very impressive, I have had plenty of both and most often reach for the Buffalo Trace.

  • July 28, 2022 10:00 am at 10:00 am

    I have had plenty of both of these bourbons and you are right on the mark with all of you points. Very impressive, almost always reach for the Buffalo Trace.


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