Blanton’s was one of the first bourbons I really wanted but had a hard time finding. It just so happened that the time that I began wanting it was when it became hard to find. Luckily for everyone Blanton’s has become easier to find again since Buffalo Trace increased production more than ten years ago. Blanton’s was the first brand to be marketed as a single barrel bourbon. It was originally conceived by Elmer T. Lee who was the master distiller at the time the brand was first brought to market in 1984. It is named for Albert B. (Colonel) Blanton. There have been many business transactions relating to who owns and produces Blanton’s. Mr. Chuck Cowdery gives a detailed explanation here. I think it’s fair to say that it was worth the wait. This is one of my favorite bourbons!
Company: Age International
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Location: Frankfort, Kentucky
Mashbill: Buffalo Trace mashbill #2 (10% – 15% rye)
Age: NAS (4-10 years?)
ABV: 46.5% (93 proof)
Nose: There is a lot of sweetness here! It’s a very pleasant sweetness…. like opening a bag of brown sugar. It’s very clean on the nose. Nothing lingers after inhaling. There is no alcohol to be found at all. Very pleasing indeed!
Taste: The sweetness in the nose carries through in the taste. It’s savory sweetness like you might find in a dish such as pumpkin pie. It’s light on the palette but not as light as Eagle Rare. There is a slight spice with a little cinnamon warmth. Nothing over the top like you might find in a barrel proof bourbon but just enough to know you’re drinking a good gentlemanly bourbon. I don’t find any of the classic oak flavors but I also don’t miss them.
Finish: This has a very clean finish similar to the nose. The warmth from the palette continues for a bit leaving some of the cinnamon behind. Here I did get just a bit of oak lingering with the cinnamon.
Overall: Yum! That is all. Seriously though, there is a reason this has won multiple awards for the last four consecutive years. The journey from nose to finish is wonderful! Very balanced. No one thing dominates the profile in any part. This doesn’t have to be your favorite bourbon but if you don’t like it, you’re doing it wrong.