One of the first single barrel bourbons and still among the best.
Notes: This whiskey is produced at the scenic Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort (close to Woodford Reserve Distillery if you are touring) home of numerous other whiskies such as Ancient Age, Eagle Rare 10 year-old,Eagle Rare 17 year-old, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock Reserve, George T. Stagg, Old Charter, W.L.Weller Special Reserve, W.L.Weller 12, and Elmer T. Lee.
This was one of the first single barrel bourbons available years ago before bourbon had it’s sudden revival years ago, fostering a host of new bourbon expressions. Back in th dark old days this was a small light in the darkness that was the commercially available bourbon landscape.
See our Adventure Section for a tour of the distillery and specifically the warehouse and bottling line for Blanton. This is a single bourbon and this particular bottle comes from Warehose H, Rick # 23, Barrel # 244, Bottle # 48. Blantons is aged in a warehouse that is the only steam heated warehouse for bourbon in the world. This, coupled with the fact it is covered in corrugated metal (remember the box in the movie Cool Hand Luke?), gives it a more rapid aging profile than most bourbons.
Appearance: Deep golden/red color in the bottle, always a good sign for bourbon.
First Impression: Dry, almost amontillado-like bouquet, leather, and on more warming: char, toffee, some spicyness, and a faint trace of marzipan.
Taste: Sweet start, then going dry quickly,creamy roundness to it ,corn and rye.Touch of persimmon perhaps, char and rye at the end. Smooth whisper of a finish.
Drinks: Snifter only, no water! Too delicate to stand up to much mixing for most bourbon drinks, use something heavier and beefier to mix with.
Cigar: Good with a light bodied cigar. Pick a good but not overpowering cigar (sorry, Opus) and enjoy.
Bottle: Nice presentation. Bottle comes in a gift box and large drawstring cloth bag, mutlifaceted orb with central parchment colored band on the centerline with scalloped edges. Topped with a cast jockey and racehorse at a gallop. As a side note, if you collect enough of these corks you will have a collection that shows a full cycle of movement (stride) like a stop action set. These can be mounted on a barrel stave stand from the distillery.
Final Thoughts: A little lacking in the finish and body compared to some of their other efforts, but well made. Lean, almost more in the style of a Tennesee Whisky. A touch pricey but unlike many in its price range, worth it. As a side note we opened a bottle from 1993 which, while much the same in many respects, had a somewhat rougher and hotter finish to it, more reminiscent of bourbon stocks from that period. It’s obvious that more care and attention was being paid to bourbon starting in the 1980’s and we are starting to see the benefits.
Fast loading with a slightly annoying intro (no need for it). This however is followed by a display of all the bourbons they make (over 20, not counting overseas variations). Extensive information and good pictures of each one, with reviews and ratings by different people and organizations