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)
Personal Highlights – August 2020
Artis Reit: $28.62 (dripped 3 shares)
Diversified Royalty: $23.25 (dripped 12 new shares)
Interrent Reit: $4.29
Plaza Reit: $30.28 (dripped 8 shares)
TFSA’s Total: $
Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $356.31(dripped 13 shares)
Total Passive Income August 2020: $442.75
My portfolio increased by 5.48% in August to: $374,440.55 I know I say this every month, but I expect continued volatility as well as a bit of a crash around the election. That said, my plan hasn’t changed and I plan on holding if/when this does happen.
After the last 3 purchases (Manulife, Telus & European Residential Reit) I don’t have much cash left in my accounts so I haven’t been updating my watchlist. My plan is to continue adding cash to my TFSA bi-weekly and eventually add to my position in ERE.UN.
Passive income in August was $442.75. This was only the second time this year my income was under $500. This is due to dividend cuts/suspensions due to Covid. Hopefully by middle of 2021, we start to see some of them being reinstated and some other dividend increases.
Since January 1st, I’ve earned $7790.14 in passive income. Assuming no dividend cuts or increases, my current Forward 12 month dividend income is $11,898.58. My goal for the year was $12,000 – and had Covid not hit I believe I would have been well ahead of that – but now I’m going to need to make an additional purchase or two to ensure I meet that goal.
If you are a regular reader of this site (my mom), you will know it’s been quite some time since I’ve added anything to my portfolio aside from the regular monthly contributions to my US Equity Index Fund & Canadian Equity Income fund. In fact the last stock purchases I had made were way back on March 10th when I purchased shares of:
Fast forward 5 months, and after taking a pretty big beating (due to Covid) most of them are back to my buy price or higher (Chorus being the one big exception). Although I haven’t purchased anything in 5 months, I have still been contributing bi-weekly amounts into my TFSA, and I have been updating my watchlist, and keeping tabs on a bunch of stock prices and news daily. A few that I have been following quite closely for the last few months include:
So what did I end up buying…
I was able to grab 146 shares of Manulife in my wife’s TFSA. I picked these up for $18.08, and I was happy because as long as the stock price didn’t jump above $20.44 I would be able to DRIP 2 new shares per quarter. Well, the good news is, within about a week of owning these shares I am already up 13%! The bad news is, as of today, I will only be able to DRIP 1 share per quarter. My plan is to continue to add to $MFC if it dips again.
This purchase added an additional $163.52 to my yearly dividend income.
Telus was a stock I’ve been watching for months. It was one that just wasn’t coming down too far in price compared to most, but I really wanted to grab some shares. I finally bit the bullet on a day it dipped, and grabbed 180 shares for $22.99. I’m already up over 6%, but I plan on holding this one for the long haul. At the current price I will be able to DRIP 2 shares per quarter. I don’t plan on adding more at this point since Telus is also held in my RBC Canadian Equity income fund as well. Eventually I plan on selling some of the RBC Fund and picking up more XAW. When I do – I may look at adding more Telus shares. This purchase adds an additional $210.60 in yearly dividend income.
ERE.UN is a stock I’ve followed a little over the last 6 months. If I am being honest, mostly because I see a lot of other people I know & respect buying it/talking about it. I kept it on my watchlist but hadn’t investigated it too seriously – until this week. They released earnings earlier this week, and things looked pretty good. I decided to start a small position with the intention of adding a bit more if it dips again. I added 573 shares at $4.10 each. This purchase allows me to drip an additional share each month, and adds $91.98 to my yearly dividend income.
If you recall, back in March I had passed my goal of $12,000 in forward dividend income, however after covid started decimating the markets, and global GDP began getting demolished, I very quickly had some painful dividend cuts and suspensions. These included:
These cuts dropped my dividend income by almost $2000 meaning I was quite a bit behind my goal of $12,000 in forward dividend income. Although I am not quite back yet, with these recent additions, I added $465.80 and I am happy to report my current forward dividend income is $11,894.72!
Hope everyone is staying safe out there. Cheers!
Personal Highlights – July 2020
Power Corp of Canada: $100.69 (dripped 4 shares)
Artis Reit: $28.49 (dripped 3 shares)
Diversified Royalty: $23.05 (dripped 12 new shares)
Interrent Reit: $4.29
Plaza Reit: $30.10 (dripped 8 shares)
Algonquin Power: $201.83 (dripped 12 shares)
TFSA’s Total: $388.45
Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $354.91(dripped 13 shares)
GoEasy Financial: $123.75
New Flyer Group: $58.01 (dripped 3 shares)
Transcontinental: $196.43 (dripped 13 shares)
Total Passive Income July 2020: $1121.55
My portfolio jumped a bit in July to: $354,977.52 This represents a increase of 3.33% from last month. I expect continued volatility in the market (and my portfolio) for the foreseeable future due to covid and the upcoming US presidential election.
My long term plan hasn’t changed. I haven’t sold a single stock, and I continue to look for good deals. I pulled the trigger on two stocks on my watchlist this month (Telus & Manulife). My plan is now to wait until the US election is over to make any other moves in the market. That said, I will continue to keep my eyes open for any stocks that meet my screening criteria and fall to an attractive price.
Passive income in July was $1121.55. This was only the second time in my investing history, that I’ve ever had back to back months over $1000 in dividend income. It was my fourth month in 2020 with over $1000! To put that in perspective, in all of 2019 I only cracked one thousand once!
Since January 1st, I’ve earned $7347.39 in passive income. The second half of the year unfortunately won’t be as strong, as there won’t be another big XAW distribution until January 2021.
Assuming no dividend cuts or increases, my current Forward 12 month dividend income is $11,763.01.