What do we have here today? All the way from the US, we have a variation of whisky… bourbon whisky. Who’s that whisky? *cue Pokemon theme* It’s Blanton’s! Blanton’s! I don’t know, whatever sound you imagine this Pokemon makes.
So today we have Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel. What a mouthful. Blanton’s also has the Original (93 Proof), Special Reserve (80 Proof), Gold (103 Proof and only outside the US), and finally SFTB (130 Proof). They typically age for 6 – 8 years before being dumped out and bottled.
Well the bottle certainly is easy on the eyes, gorgeous bottle, super ballin’ horse stopper, the shape of the bottle feels like a massive gem rock thing. Lots of details on the label which we can all read and pretend like we know what it means.
Distillery: Sazerac (Buffalo Trace)
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distributor: Original Bottling (OB)
Classification: Bourbon Whisky
Style: Single Barrel
Cask: American White Oak Barrel
Behind the Label
So basics, basics, bourbon whisky is a type of American whisky distilled from mash, typically corn mash, and then aged in a barrel. So a much different format from scotch whisky where its made from barley and aged in casks.
Specific to Blanton’s, which is owned by Sazerac (who also owns Buffalo Trace), it is a high-rye mash which means it is made mostly of rye with the remainder being corn. This combination gives a fruity and spicy kick, but it does vary from barrel to barrel.
Blanton's source: Warehouse H. (Image Source: Pinterest)
Another noteworthy detail is that Blanton’s is uniquely matured in barrels stored in Warehouse H, and you might say who gives a sh*t, well it matters because it’s the only warehouse made of metal which heats up the barrels more and results in a higher abv and faster more intense maturation. So expect some intense flavors.
What else… what else… oh yeah because its single barrel do expect some differences from bottle to bottle (kinda like single casks) and also each barrel is hand-dumped, so I don’t know maybe some sweat is the magic ingredient.
Hint: The letters are at the bottom left, below the horse's foot. (Image Source: @jerry.r.lem on Twitter)
Lastly, that cool stopper that caught your eye that’s why you bought it (just me?)? Yeah there are 8 designs and if you look at the circle at the base of the horse, it comes with an alphabet that together forms “B L A N T O N S”. So much like Pokemon (see the references were relevant) have fun and collect em’ all.
Colour. Whisky itself is such a rich deep amber hue. It has the exact color of Garnet, which is a gemstone since the bottle looks like one anyway.
Nosing it, what surprises me is the absence of an alcohol sting given this is 130 proof. What I get is toasty cinnamon, charred oak (from the barrel), very floral with vanilla pods (again from the barrel).
Some rum 'n' raisin ice cream would go well. (Image Source: Saving Dessert)
What a lovely nose! You get more subtle whiffs of rum and raisin, candied oranges, slight tartness like green apple peels.
I can see where this is going and I’m liking it. Very toasty, vibes like marshmellows by a campfire or hot chocolate in a cabin in winter.
Onto the palate! Now comes the kick, that alcohol really comes through. A really good oomph! I get a lot sweetness along with the heat. Honey, vanilla, toasted oak. Kinda expected given the nose.
(Image Source: Monodue)
There’s a good amount of cinnamon, maple syrup, caramel, much like an apple pie with powdered sugar to top it off. All of this forms a very solid foundation that gives it a very good body, its got a good weight on the palate.
It’s very smooth, it has a consistent body that just does not let up from tip to the back palate. By which I mean it doesn’t thin as it flows across, and I suppose that is because of the high abv which you don’t typically see in other whiskies.
Briyani. (Image Source: The Star)
Some assortment of spices, nutmeg, cloves, five spice, white pepper. Weirdly it reminds me of Briyani (Indian spiced rice). There is some fruit as well, really really ripe apple, cherries, oranges, peaches, all very very ripe.
Finish is very very long, which is to be expected given the abv. A lot of heat, but very refreshing and fragrant at the same time, I would almost imagine it could serve as a breath freshener. Should keep some for formal events. Yknow purely for decorum. Mostly ends on a very spicy vanilla cinnamon note.
That was really good, honestly I was alittle worried about the abv, but surprisingly it wasn’t an issue at all. Strong intense flavors which I chalk up to the maturation technique.
You’ll seriously like this if you like apple pies and spiced lamb, Indian, Middle Eastern cuisine basically.
This would really be the perfect campfire drink or ski lodge sipper or just paired with spiced red meat. Its not delicate or complex by any means, the nose basically says it all.
This chilli pepper of a dram! Smooth and so aromatic but damn it's a high proof! Spicy yet full of colour.
But damn, it really comes in strong and packs huge flavors. Would be a great party drink honestly, for something so high in abv, it hides it exceptionally well. Bold big flavors!