Blanton’s single barrel usually arrives in the Manitoba liquor mart twice a year. Typically you can grab a few bottles before it sells out after a week or two. The price is around $70 Canadian, and basically anytime we get a shipment in the province I pick up a few bottles. There is nothing worse than craving a sip of Blanton’s only to realise there is none left in your entire province.
For those unfamiliar with Blanton’s, you may know it by seeing it. The bottle is one of the most iconic bourbon bottles around, and has been used in many movies, tv shows, etc.
Each bottle includes the date the barrel was dumped as well as a bottle topper that has a horse/jockey in a slightly different position, as well as a letter. A lot of people try and collect them all to spell out B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S. This specific bottle was dumped March 05, 2020 and has the bottle topper is the letter “B”.
*Spoiler Alert* This has been one of my favourite bourbons since the day I first tried it. I haven’t yet done a review on it – so here I go….
Date Reviewed: September 17, 2020
Atmosphere: In a special rocks glass I was gifted by a good friend for being in his wedding party. Aside from my Glencairn glasses, this is my go to glass for sipping and cocktails.
Distillery: Blanton Distilling Company; Buffalo Trace/Sazerac Company
Mash: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2. This is thought to have a slightly higher rye content – about 15%
Age: No Age Statement – Thought to be around 9 years
Price I Paid: $70 Canadian
Appearance: Medium Amber/Brown.
Nose: From a mile away I can pick out the sweet, soft smell of Blanton’s. It’s one of the few bourbons I can take a big whiff of without any burn in my nostrils. Even with the glass resting on your lap, notes of vanilla, milk chocolate and caramel will make its way up to you. Give it a few swirls, and you may get some cinnamon too. If it didn’t taste so god damn good – I could spend the whole night just smelling the glass – but alas…I must drink it….
Palate: The first sip continues to showcase it’s sweet notes (think an aero chocolate bar – which by the way pares exceptionally well with this bourbon) it is followed by just the right amount of heat. Some spices shine through, maybe nutmeg or cinnamon, and although I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life I can see how people would say they can taste a tobacco like flavour in this as well.
Finish: The finish is smooth, and has an almost burnt orange peel like finish. There is zero burn, and every sip is better than the last. I find a lot of whiskey will give you that heartburn like feeling the first few sips you have as it goes down – not this one. So smooth.
Conclusions: While not overly complex, that is what I like about it. Every single time I pour a Blanton’s I know what I am going to get. A smooth, tasty bourbon I can enjoy neat or showcase in a cocktail. It’s fancy enough for a special occasion sipper, it also makes a great gift, and luckily where I live it’s also readily available enough for an everyday sipper. It’s both sweet and smooth, but also spicy and has just enough heat for almost anyone to enjoy. While it may not have the punch and complexity of say a Bookers or Stagg Jr, I’d put it right up there next to those on my top shelf. I also highly recommend eating an Aero bar while you sip on this, and let a piece of the bar melt in your mouth between each sip. It is heavenly.
Overall Score: 90/100 (94/100 with an Aero)