Mysterious, beautiful, and all-too-evasive — the unicorn bottles are desired by many, but obtaining Blanton's Bourbon whiskey is no easy chore.
Blanton's is a premium whiskey manufactured entirely of natural ingredients with a distinct flavor character that distinguishes it from other brands. You may recognize it from the film John Wick, in which Keanu Reeves' character, John Wick, sipped Blanton's Bourbon while being treated by a doctor.
According to legend, Elmer T. Lee established this bourbon brand while working at Buffalo Trace Distillery (which, at the time, I believe was the George T. Stagg Distillery). Colonel (as in Kentucky Colonel, not military Colonel) Albert B. Blanton, the distillery's former president, would take barrels from the center of Warehouse H to serve to his visitors, he said. So, in 1984, Elmer chose barrels from Warehouse H to bottle and sell as the first bottled single barrel bourbon.
Since then, Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon has grown extremely popular and challenging to come by.
Buffalo Trace Distillery is the sole producer of Blanton's Bourbon, as well as its many varieties and limited edition bottlings. Blanton's whiskey is made from Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2 (a type of high-rye bourbons) and aged 6 to 8 years in the distillery's metal-clad rickhouse, which is intended to speed up the aging process.
The ownership of Blanton's is a little more complicated. Blanton's was once made at the George T. Stagg distillery; however, the distillery was controlled by Age International Inc. at the time. Age International commissioned Elmer T. Lee to manufacture a premium bourbon—the Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon -- to gain momentum in the burgeoning Japanese market.
In 1992, Age International sold the Stagg distillery and its brands to Takara Holdings, eventually selling it to Sazerac without the Age International labels (who own Buffalo Trace). In other words, Sazerac is contracted to make Blanton's and has the right to market it in the United States, while Takara Holdings controls the brand.
It's difficult to believe that a product created in the United States was not initially enjoyed by the people who lived there. However, this is correct. Blanton's creators intended it to be that way. In the 1970s, young Americans revolted against their parents' drinking habits (oh, the angsty youth) and chose vodka instead.
Similarly, Japanese youth desired something other than the Scotch consumed by their elders, thus bourbon was chosen. Blanton's marketing strategy for reaching Japanese drinkers worked, and the product became a famous export in the country. Americans eventually envy the Japanese bourbon fad, owing to reverse psychology at work. Nevertheless, Blanton's quickly became popular in the country from which it originated.
Blanton's is made by Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, Kentucky, which is famed for keeping the contents of its Mash Bills # 1 and # 2 under wraps. However, we do know that Mash Bill #2 is a "high-rye" mash bill, which means that after the more significant proportion of maize found in Buffalo Trace bourbons, the rest (or nearly all) of the mash bill is made up of rye. While wheated whiskeys are often gentler, adding rye to a mash bill usually results in a touch of more fruit and spice, characteristics that pair well with caramel and char. It's worth noting, however, that the ultimate flavor profile differs for every barrel.
This is both the blessing and the tragedy of a single-barrel product. To achieve a specific flavor profile, most bourbons are made by blending whiskey from multiple barrels. Single-barrel bourbons like Blanton's, on the other hand, adopt a different strategy. Even when maturing in the same warehouse as additional barrels, each one age differently. As a result, the finished product may taste different from bottle to bottle.
Given that you're still in bourbon territory, there are only a few variables to consider (corn mash, a proportion of rye, barley or wheat, charred virgin oak, Kentucky superstition). There isn't a huge variety of tastes to choose from. Brown sugar, smoke, caramel, clove, vanilla, hazelnut, orange peel, and other taste characteristics may be present in variable degrees in each barrel.
"Single-barrel" has to make an entry when we are talking about Blanton's Bourbon. Before 1984, there was no such thing as "single-barrel" bourbon. Elmer T. Lee's final gift to Buffalo Trace was the introduction of a super-premium bourbon category, which consists of bourbon distilled from a single barrel and bottled undiluted. Lee not only revived the bourbon industry, but he also established a class that practically every major bourbon manufacturer now responds to with their bottle.
"Single-barrel" isn't a legally defined term in the United States, like "all-natural" on your bologna or "farm fresh," which may also be on your bologna. So, yes, there's a lot of possibility for creative interpretation there. But unfortunately, a legal definition has yet to be established by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). So, we're relying on the honor system for the time being.
Sure, we'll scoff at "single-stalk corn syrup" and "single-pig salami" when they get on the market, but we're serious about the implications of "single-barrel bourbon" (because it exists). While most whiskey is blended by brand and distillery to achieve a particular flavor profile, single-barrel bourbon rejects blending thoroughly.
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The majority of whiskies are machine-dumped, which implies that the barrel components are turned over mechanically. On the other hand, Blanton's barrels are hand-dumped, which sounds like an upgrade (and looks like it), and adds a degree of meticulous attention to the bourbon-making process.
Blanton's barrels are matured for several years in Warehouse H with the bourbon inside. Because metal conducts heat, the walls of Warehouse H act as an amplifier for Kentucky's temperature swings, amplifying the impact of temperature and humidity changes — all of which induce the barrels to absorb and then flush out the bourbon more frequently throughout the maturing process. In the end, the more interaction between the bourbon and the barrel, the more incredible flavor.
Every bottle of Blanton's single-barrel bourbon comes with a charming horse stopper. Horses in Kentucky have a long history and tradition similar to bourbon. So they paid tribute to Kentucky's past by the horse stoppers. A collector's set of eight distinct stoppers was released in 1999. From beginning to finale, the collection depicts a horse and jockey in various strides and stances that resemble the stages of a horse race.
Each one is etched with a letter in a little circle on the lower left side of the stopper. You'll get "B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S" if you collect all eight (and some peace of mind). The "S" depicts the horse crossing the finish line, as evidenced by the jockey's fist-pumping. But before you join him in the winner's circle, be sure your "Ns" aren't the same. The first is a conventional N, while a colon should follow the second.
Blanton's label is as attractive as the horse stopper. Blanton's meticulously records each stage of the manufacturing method for each product.
For a time, schools quit teaching cursive, but it's making a reappearance. We like to think it's because the next generation won't be able to grasp Blanton's label. Because all that flowing calligraphy tells you the barrel number, the number of the rick (or storage rack) from which the barrel was taken, the proof the bourbon was bottled at, the finished bottle's ABV, and even the day the bourbon was poured.
Kentucky bourbons have become increasingly uncommon in recent years. Aside from Blanton's bourbons, other brands like Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare 10, and Colonel E.H. Taylor has also suffered bottle shortages. Blanton's whiskey has been in short supply for numerous reasons:
States with Liquor Control Boards
In the United States, each state has its own set of laws and regulations governing the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of alcohol within its borders.
Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming are among the states with liquor control boards.
These boards may be stricter than federal standards, making single barrel bourbons like Blanton's more challenging to get by.
Rising Demand and Consistent Supply
Blanton's bourbons are in short supply since the demand for this single barrel bourbon far outnumbers supply. Blanton prides itself on quality over quantity, but the company can only produce so much at a time.
Although availability has grown since 2013 (the distillery refused to specify how much, only saying "we just can't create enough"), collector demand has skyrocketed. As a result, Blanton's is the odd bourbon that only seldom appears on secondary market forums at exorbitant rates, and it's the whiskey that's been prone to hoarding.
Buffalo Trace, for its part, has begun scanning driver's licenses at the distillery gift shop, limiting customers to one bottle every three months. Furthermore, duty-free purchases at American airports have increased in the bigger market.
Single Barrel Production
Single barrel bourbon, often known as single cask bourbon, is the purest form of the spirit. Most standard bourbons are manufactured by blending many whiskeys from different casks, but single barrel bourbon has only been aged in one.
These premium liquors are exceptional in that a single barrel can produce a distinct flavor profile. Because of this technique, they are highly sought-after by whiskey connoisseurs, resulting in higher prices and higher demand than other forms of whiskey.
Unique and Rare Design
One of the most well-known whiskeys in the world is Blanton's Bourbon. It is praised for its flavor as well as the more edgy characteristics of the brand. Each bottle topper has a single letter implanted at the base that spells out "B-L-A-N-T-O-N'-S."
Each label also includes a handwritten "dump date." Blanton's is one of the few brands that lists the date the barrel was emptied, which attracts collectors seeking specific bottles to commemorate wedding anniversaries or birthdays.
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Blanton's isn't cheap these days, as demand exceeds supply, forcing retailers to raise prices. Those who are willing to pay the higher price will go to any length to obtain a bottle. Scammers seized at the chance to take advantage of them online.
Blanton's was one of two Buffalo Trace bourbons to fall victim to an online fraud in which customers were promised bottles but never received them. Instead, purchases were driven by social media marketing and multiple phony websites. Buffalo Trace urged Blanton's followers to be cautious and reminded them that none of its goods are available for purchase online in a press release.
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Blanton's is a prominent bourbon firm that is known all over the world. It has received numerous accolades, including international gold medals, grand gold medals, and endorsements from notable spirits authors such as Paul Pacult.
Branton's Single Barrel Bourbon has received numerous awards, including induction into the Master Distillers' Hall of Fame. As previously stated, it is the driving force behind the single barrel movement in bourbon.
Blanton's exudes brilliance in every way. The company has set a standard for the industry in every facet of bourbon manufacturing, from the delicate flavor profile to the particular production method to the purity of their components.
The majority of alcohol warehouses become well-known as a result of poor media coverage. Blanton's Warehouse H, on the other hand, is one of the few known only for its outstanding production standards.
The country's most mysterious and unique Kentucky whiskey is only available in a few outlets. Bottle Broz is a reputable source for purchasing Blanton's Bourbon, offering a personalized gift card and assuring that your order is appropriately wrapped and dispatched on time anywhere in the United States. The bottles are packed in sturdy containers with layers of foam padding for protection.
There have been a lot of fake bottles going around, and it can be difficult to tell the difference. So, if you're buying from an unknown vendor, proceed with caution.