Review No.53. Blanton’s Original

This is another award winning bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery.  Apparently, Blanton’s was the first single barrel bourbon to be bottled and sold on the market back in 1984.  Single barrel is pretty much like the term single cask used in the Scotch whisky industry where the liquid in the bottle is sourced from one barrel instead of being mixed.  Because no two barrels are identical you are likely to find some variation from bottle to bottle.  I am not sure how much variation you would get between two single barrel whiskies from the same distillery as I have not done a bottle by bottle comparison but I would imagine that it wouldn’t be too noticeable as the master blender/distiller would have their own threshold for what is within the limits of the character they are going for.  Blanton’s has a good repuation and they have a range consisting of this Original, Reserve, Gold and Straight from the Barrel.  The Straight from the Barrel edition is different to Original in that is has not been diluted down to 46.5%.  Buffalo Trace own a lot of brands that are highly regarded and of course this means that they have many warehouses, I would guess all quite large, so large that they place certain barrels in certain areas of their warehouse which produces different characteristics.  Blanton’s barrels are stored in a part of their warehouse that is associated with their best bourbons of the past.


Whisky: Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 46.5% vol.

Nose: Cinnamon, leather, spice, red fruits, vanilla, citrus rind

Taste: Vanilla, caramel, blackcurrant, buttered popcorn, citrus rind, oak

Finish:  Fruity vimto, spice and oak

Score: 3

Summary: So again, as with other bourbons that I have tried you get pretty much the same kind of flavours.  There is a nice addition of citrus which I do not often find in other bourbons and the oak influence is not overpowering, so there is a gentle bitterness in the end.  I get an odd but pleasant aftertaste which I can only describe as Vimto.  All in all this is a solid, good quality bourbon.  I am not in a rush to try the rest of the range and they can be difficult to get hold of in the UK, especially the Straight from the Barrel edition.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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