Blanton’s Bourbon needs no introduction. The “original single barrel bourbon” has been traced back to at least 1952 with a bottle labeled “Straight Kentucky Bourbon specially selected by Albert B Blanton’s” bottle that appears to have been available for retail purchase.
Fast forward to 1984, and Elmer T. Lee decided to launch this brand anew with a bottle unlike any other in the marketplace. Thus, Blanton’s Single Barrel was born.
Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel
Today, the 93 proof US version is all we’ve got here (and soon to be released, Blanton’s Gold) while other countries overseas get to enjoy a variety of Blanton’s bottled at different proofs.
Today, I have a Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel which, as it sounds, is a barrel that has had nothing done to it beyond basic sediment filtration. In fact, something that’s not talked about nearly enough is how this is the only Blanton’s product that has not been chill filtered.
And since a hallmark of Blanton’s bottles are that they are all single barrels, the proof on the SFTB bottles differ. I’ve seen some as low as 124 proof and some as high as 138 proof.
The bottle I’m reviewing today is 126.7 proof and was bottled on March 28, 2019. It came to me courtesy of a fantastic neighbor friend of mine who recently came back from a vacation in Germany. No age statement is provided on these bottles, but with Blanton’s huge surge in popularity, it’s believed that these barrels are younger than ever.
This one may even be around the 6 year old mark. So how does the monster of all Blanton’s taste? Let’s dive in to see. I sampled this neat and in a Glencairn.
Nose: A strong nose of cinnamon spice, ripened apples, caramel, dark brown sugar and melted butter. There’s also some great fruit scents of cherries, ripened apples and toasted orange peel. For not being that old, I’m amazed to find a nice hit of oak, which I attribute to the non-chill filtered nature of this bottling.
Palate: The fruit flavors dominate early on with notes of cherries, baked apples and even peaches. The taste of buttery pie crust with dark brown sugar and cinnamon complete this wonderfully rich and deep palate of flavors.
Finish: The finish doesn’t let up with some delicious liquid brown sugar, strong spiced oak and some tobacco shaping the more strong tannic qualities of this dram. There’s also plenty of fruit flavors that hang around with raspberries, peaches and cream ice cream and cherries. It’s a delicious and memorable experience.
I have had some Blanton’s SFTB in the past that were total heat monsters. But those typically were above 135 proof.
It seems as if a lower proof SFTB is much more manageable and enjoyable. The flavors come out and are easy to pick out. I’m also surprised that it’s younger age does not come out in any of the profile, this legitimately could pass for a 10+ year old bourbon.
In the past, I used to immediately poo-poo the idea of paying the secondary’s ridiculous asking price of $175 (minimum) for a bottle like this, thinking it not to be of the quality that the asking price commanded. But after sitting down to enjoy this bottle, I do now see how this price is justified.
It’s probably as close to a George T. Stagg as you’ll find out there in terms of potency and profile but for under half the (secondary) price.
I just hope that Buffalo Trace and Age International decide that this is the next logical bottle to bring stateside after the luster of the US release of Blanton’s Gold eventually dies down. This is an amazing bourbon.
1 | Disgusting | Drain pour (Example: Jeffers Creek)
2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it
3 | Bad | Flawed (AD Laws 4 Grain BiB, Clyde Mays anything)
4 | Sub-par | Many things I’d rather have (Tincup 10 year)
5 | Good | Good, solid, ordinary (Larceny, Sazerac Rye)
6 | Very Good | Better than average (Buffalo Trace, OGD BiB)
7 | Great | Well above average (Old Ezra Barrel Proof, Old Weller Antique)
8 | Excellent | Exceptional (Michter’s Barrel Proof Rye, Four Roses Barrel Strength)
9 | Incredible | Extraordinary (GTS, 13 Year MGP or Canadian Rye)
10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close (William Larue Weller)
*Bourbon Culture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.