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Blanton's Gold Edition

Average score from 10 reviews and 20 ratings 90

Blanton's Gold Edition

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@OdysseusUnbound
Blanton's Gold Edition

The sample for this review was graciously provided by @Nozinan

Blanton’s Gold 51.5% ABV, Warehouse H, Rick 29, Barrel 328, Bottled 9/19/2014, Opened July 2016, 2/3 full when sample bottled April 18/2018

I've never had a Blanton's offering before. They're pretty expensive in Ontario, (the cheapest one is about $70 here), well above my "need to try before I buy" line. I believe the Gold Edition is a travel retail exclusive, so it's unlikely I'll get a chance to buy one anytime soon. But that's what makes trading samples such a fun experience.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose(undiluted): a big hit of cinnamon and red apples, a bit of wood varnish, fresh tobacco, oak, cloves, vanilla, a little brown sugar.
  • Palate(undiluted): a bit on the thin side with some waxiness, not at all hot for 103 Proof, toffee, nutmeg, rye bread, allspice. Pleasant, but not outstanding.
  • Finish: fresh, juicy red apples, rye spices, then cinnamon, a touch of vegetal mustiness lingers. The last note is a bit out of place, and while it doesn't dominate, it is distracting.

With water the rye really dominates the nose and the red apple is subdued. Curiously, the bourbon feels richer and thicker with water added, but the rye spices (nutmeg in particular) seem to dominate again on the palate. On the finish, the tart, juicy apples come back, but they’re followed by some sweet caramel and coconut flavours. Water seems to dissipate the musty vegetal note. Huzzah !! It’s hard to tell if the effect is from water or simply resting time in the glass. But I definitely preferred this one with a few drops of water.

Blanton's Gold reminds me a bit of blues music; there aren't a whole lot of surprises, not a ton of different notes, but still very pleasing. I would buy a bottle of Blanton's Gold, if the price was right.

Without water, I'd have scored this 86 or 87, but with water it's a solid 88 from me.

@OdysseusUnbound Not a Summerhill release only, I picked up a bottle in Oakville and another in Vaughn when they were available. No rhyme or reason where these go it seems, even the store may not even know if they are getting any. The LCBO does seem to get more Buffalo Trace products than the rest of Canada combined though.

Nice review.

I don't know if I've ever seen this in travel retail. I understand it's not easy to find within the US. The LCBO has had this for sale a couple of times in the last few years and that's how I came across it... with difficulty.

@Georgy

I wish I could tell you the batch number and the bottle number, but somehow, the numbers on the bottle were removed. You can actually do that by accident with your finger nail.

NOSE: golden raisins, vanilla blast, a strong pineapple note, rich and tropical, candied peels, sugary, fruit, some moist Christmas cake action, red and green apples that are overripe and starting to go bad. WITH WATER: overripe pineapple and vanilla are dominating. Some floral notes appear as well. Those who have tried Rodenbach Grand Cru - will find it a hint of it here. Apricots, peach preserve. Orange marmalade. Cola, black tea 23/25

TASTE: explosive, rich, spicy, not too sweet. It's on the drier side. Overripe pineapple, oak, overripe green apples, vanilla, shoe polish, leather. Vanilla with caramelized bananas, buttery, honey. You can get a note of watermelon after adding water. 22/25

FINISH: long, pineapple again, oak. 22/25

BALANCE: 23/25

OVERALL SCORE: 90/100

OVERALL IMPRESSION: a really tasty, full-flavored bourbon that, in my opinion, is a very good addition to one's spirits collection.

Connosr # 12 highest rated whisk(e)y, as of today.

Pineapple? Curious. Don't think I've ever gotten pineapple from a bourbon.

@RianC Yeah, I got lucky and bought it for 75USD. Normally it costs 120USD. Well, ...at that high price point, I would pass on this one. It is enjoyable, but overpriced.

m

This is a 3cl sample I ordered during the holidays from Master of Malt. As such, I don’t have any information other than the products name and its ABV. I’ve always wanted to try this particular version of Blanton’s since it’s not available in America. I also ordered straight from the barrel, but I’ll review that one at a later time. Getting into Blanton’s Gold, these are my tasting notes.

Nose: Initially it’s a wooden spice rack. After a few minutes of breathing, it settles down into a mix of allspice, sourdough, butter, and vanilla bean. The usual sweetness present in Bourbon is faintly detectable in the background. Twenty-five minutes later, the nose hasn’t opened up, it’s exactly as I have described previously.

Taste: Neat it’s mildly sweet, mostly spicy, and dry on arrival. Body is light, lacking is the spirits power/heft. The flavors aren’t lacking, nor are they vibrant, they’re just flat. Let me be clear, by flat I mean that there is one dominate flavor, in this case the spice, it arrives, reaches a level of intensity, and never changes into anything else nor fluctuates. My impression? It’s rather boring. The taste is spice dominant so it’s rather one dimensional. Clearly not in balance.

Finish: Dry finish. A mix of sweet, allspice, and bitter wood notes.

To be honest, I’m left somewhat disappointed. Maybe it’s the 5 star reviews on the overseas site championing this as a must have, or the posts on IG giving this excellent reviews & recommendations, but I am really disappointed. I’m not upset for what this Bourbon is because it’s still a good product, but it’s nowhere near as excellent as it’s been described. Here in the states this bottle is unavailable for purchase as it’s an overseas product. Shipping one in will easily cost you in the $90 range. For that price, it’s not worth it. You’re way better off just making due with standard Blanton’s. If you can find Rock Hill Farms, buy that instead. Let me explain why.

I noticed that in taste profile, it’s ridiculously similar to some Rock Hill Farms Bourbon I have. Maybe it’s the fact they’re both single barrels, of similar ABV (Blanton’s gold 51.5% vs. RHF 50%), and from the same distiller, but tasting it side by side, I’m even inclined to say that this is the same juice in a different bottle and label. The only difference is the RHF is just sweeter. The profile in taste is shocking close otherwise. For the price in the states, RHF is a better substitute. The only problem is good luck find RHF at $50-60. My bottle was acquired in late 2015 and I haven't seen it on the shelf since.

I had a similar experience with the last one I tried too, would probably score it around 85 points. It feels very young compared to how I used to remember it. The first one I tried 4-5 years ago was really great though, beautifully smooth and rich bourbon. Probably in the 92+ point range (especially considering the price).

Yeah your rating is relatively low compared to all the low and mid 90s I see on here. Good review I'll be interested to see the comments on this one especially from others who rated it pretty high.

@mystycreek

When I was traveling in Japan last February, I have visited a few liquor stores in Tokyo, some of them have tasting for very cheap fee, so I tried a few scotch, cognac and Japanese whisky. I knew very little about bourbon at that time, but I had some impression about Blanton's stylish bottle, so I asked to have a taste. I can't remember which Blanton's was I tasting, but it was really impressive. After coming back to Taiwan, I noticed a new liquor store is importing Blanton's from Japan, so I gladly paid about $65 usd to get this beauty.

This is bottle No.79 from barrel No.110 on Rick No.39, which was dumped on September 1, 2015. It has been opened for about 50 days.

Nose: Woody and spicy, some sweet flower hidden in the background. Vanilla, white pepper, caramel, cinnamon and jasmine tea.

Palate: Smooth and slightly sweet, underlying some spicy rye flavor. Orange, cherry, vanilla, ginger and tobacco.

Finish: Not strong but long lasting. Perfumed rose and herbal tea mingle together ,followed by a touch of sweet corn.

Balance: The body is not too heavy, this bottle becomes spicier and drier with air exposure, yet still smooth and elegant, very drinkable.

I love the bottle design, love the delicious juice, classy in every aspect. Unfortunately the floral and tea-like finish calmed down after two weeks, and the body becomes thinner now. I much prefer this whisky when it was fresh, all the flavors were so lively and sweet, I can give it 93-95 pts in the first two weeks, and about 90 pts now.

Bottles change so much as they are left opened. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.

@Victor

My thanks to @paddockjudge for the reviewed sample. Blanton's brand single-barrel bourbon is made at Buffalo Trace Distillery, but is owned by the company Age International, which controls where it is sold. Blanton's Gold and Blanton's Straight From the Barrel are only sold abroad, and not in the USA. Locally, Blanton's Original, 46.5% ABV is the only Blanton's available to me. The reviewed sample is from Bottle # 167 from Barrel # 828, which was dumped September 14, 2014. The bottle was opened 7 months ago

Nose: huge natural caramel and honey, plenty of spices from rye grain, and the characteristic Blanton's hickory wood. The sweet component is high-pitched. Lovely. Score: 23/25

Taste: tongue-tingling prickly beautiful translation to the mouth. This is BRIGHT whiskey, one of the best things any whisk(e)y can be. The flavours in the mouth are aggressive, delicious, and enlivening. Score: 23.5/25

Finish: stays long and intense, with a little sour creeping in at the end. Score: 22/25

Balance: everything works well together here. This is a sweet whiskey, literally and figuratively. Score: 23/25

With Water Added: 1) fabulous high-pitched sweetness in the nose, and 2) flavours bundled around the hickory wood in the mouth. Love this nose with water added; the mouth flavours are good with water, but I prefer them without the water

Total Sequential Score: 91.5 points

Strength: very strong flavours. Score: 23.5/25 points

Quality: all of the flavours are of very high quality. Score: 23.5/25

Variety: good to very good variety of flavours available. Score: 21.5/25

Harmony: everything works in the nose and delivery; goes a little sour on the death. Score: 22.5/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 91 points

Comment: well, I am delighted to finally make the acquaintance of Blanton's Gold. I had previously been acquainted with the barrel strength (61-68% ABV) Blanton's Straight From the Barrel, the 46.5% ABV Blanton's Original, and the 40% ABV Blanton's Special Reserve. This is first rate bourbon

@vanPelt, thanks for joining in. The individual barrels on all of those Blanton's products will determine individual scores, both for criticism and for personal enjoyment. It is true that for me my personal enjoyment of a whisk(e)y is often higher or lower than the critical score which I give it. That bottle of Blanton's Original I reviewed was fabulous. I have tasted from others that I did not like as well. Also, it took me a good bit of familiarity to get to liking the Blanton's taste profile, particularly what I would describe as a heavy emphasis on heavily-charred-hickory-cum-anise. That said, I will always prefer the high proof thick style of whisk(e)y when I can get it. High intensity flavours and a thick flavour texture are strong preferences for me with respect to enjoyment. Unless there is something wrong with the particular barrel under consideration, my mood will/would lead me to opt for the Straight From The Barrel rather than a lower proof Blanton's, maybe 8 times out of 10.

@Mancub, thanks for your comments. Please let me know how you like your own bottle(s) from barrel # 829.

As a lover of high proof whiskey I was quite frustrated that the two highest proof Blanton's expressions are not sold in the US. I did eventually get a bottle of Blanton's Straight From the Barrel, shipped from Belgium, and with the help of a friend. If I want a bottle of Blanton's Gold I will probably be getting it the same place you are, that 651 store chain of liquor stores, the wonderful LCBO!

Sorry I didn't meet you last May. I've already tasted face to face with 6 Connosr members there from your town of London, Ontario.

@Nozinan

Barrel 828 Warehouse H Rick #29 Bottle 86 Batch marking: B1426709:38J Dumped Sept. 19, 2014 51.5%

This is my first Blanton’s expression. It carries no age statement but online research suggests it may be between 8-10 years old. The official website provides some interesting information:

Still Proof (new-make): 70% Barreling proof (newmake): 62.5% The staves were air dried 6 months Number 4 char Chill filtered

Apparently this is not available domestically (US), except in some travel retail stores. It is mostly found, I understand, in the European market, but the LCBO had it available in stores for what seemed like a week, tops.

I opened the bottle 8 days ago at a tasting. It was about 85% full and preserved with gas.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.


Nose:

Neat – Soft Caramel, some vanilla, some fruity notes, then after covering I get some brown, Demerara sugar. A very typical bourbon profile and very pleasant. 22/25

With water – brings out the fruit a little and I get some ripe pear, and with time the nose becomes very fruity indeed. (22/25)

Taste:

Neat – A little thin on the mouthfeel. Vanilla and caramel, molasses, becomes fruity in the development. Very Smooth. Tasty. 22/25

With water (and 20-30 min)– The oakiness recedes and it becomes a little sweeter, very fruity. (23/25)

Finish: Dry, the oak is quite prominent, and lasts a long time. 22/25 Water shortens the finish and makes it sweeter and less oaky. (22/25)

Balance: Very balanced, drinkable whisky. Perhaps a little underpowered. 21/25

Score: Neat - 87 /100 With Water: 88/100


With and without water (just a few drops to a half dram) these are two extremely different whiskies. I normally don't add water to my bourbons but I did it just for the review and I discovered something extraordinary. There are few whiskies that transform so much with just a few drops.

In the end I think I prefer it with a little water, and I think this means I'll be experimenting with adding a little water to future bourbons I try.

Now if only they could have bottled this at CASK STRENGTH......

@maltmate302 I have had the good fortune to have some higher proof bourbons such as Stagg, Weller, Booker's, even OGD 114. What I find is that when the spirit is diluted, not only the flavour becomes thinner (and that may be ok if the flavour remains robust) but the mouthfeel changes as well.

Just like (most of the time) for this expression, the Straight from the Barrel (which sounds delicious) is (all of the time) not available in Canada. However I do have a 30 cc sample from Master of Malt that I hope to try in the future...

@Nozinan Totally agree with @maltmate302 if you want an enriched mouthfeel the SFTB will hit the mark all the flavour with a punch from the ABV fortunate that this can still be shipped from Europe to Uk at minute always put it on a bourbon bulk order when I buy a shipment in.

I would suggest opening it for a comparison if you still have the gold left it will blow your socks off, just a tip open the sample a couple of weeks before and get some oxygen on it you will really benefit from it. When I have first opened a bottle it is usually a bit closed but four weeks later usually kicks butt.

@MuddyFunster

I was first introduced to the Blanton's Gold in the Craft Beer Co. bars in London. It was a cheaper alternative to their Van Winkles, but in it's own way it became a regular favourite for me. Great for the price. I bought myself a bottle from The Whisky Exchange shop at London Bridge. This was dumped on 8/20/2013 from barrel 304, Rick number 19.

Colour is a rich golden lightly brown, moderately oily. Looks great. Rich and golden.

Nose is refined. I always get a whiff of sweet stem ginger when I nose this whiskey. Then it's rich layers of muscovado sugar, oak, cinnamon, vanilla, buttercream and some light floral notes: honeysuckle. The brown sugars and vanilla are leading at the front. At the back maybe some dried apricot. Delicious harmonious sweet aromas.

Taste is a hit of spiciness, alcohol, chewy white oak, peppery, then the vanilla, then the muscovado sugar and stem ginger starts building, caramel, oak very present and lingering, some creaminess.

Finish is oak, moderately drying, vanilla, fading brown sugars, caramel. Creamy oak and brown sugars. Decent length on the finish. Stays with you.

The taste always slightly catches me out with it's spice and pepper, because the nose is so soft and sweet, but it balances out into a very nice harmonious finish.

This one was very poorly distributed by the KGBO. Online, bottles were showing up here and there for a day or 2.

At the flagship store (which listed 20) they told me people were waiting in line at the opening for them. Inventory is usually listed from the previous day. Luckily they were able to locate another store a five minute drive away, we called and they had seven. I asked them to hold 4. When I left the store there were none left on the shelves...

2 Connosrs were happy that day... I'm willing to share from my 2 bottles.

Was able to get a bottle at the LCBO for the 30 minutes they had stock, called ahead to reserve one. Delicious stuff.

@Nemesis101

Left this to sit in the glass for about half an hour before I even went near it. I've found this whiskey needs considerable breathing time to settle down.

Nose is strong with spicy oak. Massive, massive hit of creamy vanilla. Sweet honey and sandalwood. Intense, but smooth and not at all overpowering.

On the palate there is immense vanilla again. Oakiness very apparent but not quite as sweet as on the nose - although it is still there. Spiciness remains strong however. And it is very creamy and smooth - this is drinking at cask strength too. It does not seem like it's over 50% ABV.

Finish is relatively short and slightly bitter/sweet. But I'm not too experienced with Bourbons so don't really have a benchmark to compare it to.

This is my 3rd bottle of Blanton's Gold and I love it. I'd not seen it this side of the Atlantic for a couple of years so it was brilliant to see The Whisky Exchange offering it again in time for Christmas, (and with a slight price reduction). I do intend to try other Bourbons but I find Blanton's Gold so delicious and moreish that I might be a bit addicted to it. Highly recommended.

@Nemesis101, thanks for your very nice review.

@mscottydunc, you would do well to pick up a Blanton's Gold at the LCBO. Blanton's Gold and the Blanton's Straight From The Barrel are not sold in the US unless a vendor has them sent in from abroad. Not only is @Nemesis101's review of BG attractive, but BG now has a 93 point average rating on Connosr, which, if it had a qualifying number of ratings, would put it among the current top ten rated whiskies on Connosr.

So, @Nemesis101, the pond across which you would more likely be finding additional supplies of Blanton's Gold is not the Atlantic Ocean (except for the occasional Canadian bottles) but the English Channel. The only Blanton's Straight From The Barrel which I own was originally purchased from Belgium. Wine-searcher.com shows a lot of vendors with current stock of Blanton's Gold in both Europe and the UK. I've never had a taste of the Blanton's Gold, though some of my Canadian friends own some. I do know the Blanton's Original 46.5% abv, which is the standard one sold in the USA.

Nice review, Blanton's is an exceptional whiskey. If you want to get any in the UK you can always find some at Amazon. It's much cheaper to buy it from Europe , I bought a Blanton's Straight From The Barrel for about £40 a few weeks ago.

@tjb

This is a cracking single barrel, cask strength, rip roaring dram.

The nose is sweet with rich vanilla, spices, slight oak with lots for dried fruit peel and juicy dark fruits.

In the mouth it delivers flavour and fruit. Smooth and full. Vanilla, spices, slight oak, rich and lots of juicy dark fruits. Cherries, raisins, dates.

The finish is medium long with pepper, fruits, drying and warming spices.

Really a very good bourbon.

@OJK

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: Immense fruit and spice, perfectly balanced. There is a deep and sophisticated sweetness to it, accentuated by the high alcohol content. I can't help but feel that it smells like christmas, or at least a warm peach crumble by the fireside. 2.5

Taste: Incredibly smooth. The whisky seems to caress your tongue while dazzling you with it's depth and rich fruit flavour. Once again it's christmas, this time a beautiful warm mince pie, melting on the tongue. A truly sensual experience. 2.5

Finish: The mince pie is followed by an accompanying vanilla ice cream, as it should be. The vanilla is soft, alluring, and once again very sophisticated, however sadly in more of a rush than the fruit flavours that preceded it. Nonetheless sublime. 2.0

Balance: Wow. A total superstar Bourbon, probably as good as I've tried. I'm a fan of stronger bourbons, and here the higher alcohol content has put the mesmerising fruit, spice and vanilla notes on a pedestal, leaving you totally entranced. I wish it was christmas every day. 2.5

OJK, My wife and I visited the Buffalo Trace distillery a couple weeks ago. They were bottling Blanton's (four at a time), inserting the fancy corks, and applying labels by hand. There was a pallet of bourbon cases ready to go out the door to Japan. Our guide said their high-end bourbons enjoy a huge following abroad. This may explain why Blanton's in available in the UK but I can't find it in Ohio even though Kentucky is our neighbor to the south. In addition, Ohio has an antiquated state-controlled liquor distribution system which means we get to buy what some bureaucrat thinks we ought to like.

Unfortunately not. There's some interesting info on the blanton's website (www.blantonsbourbon.com), however no age statement. The bottle itself is quite unique in that it has handwritten on it the day it was "dumped" (this particular bottle on the 16th of December 2008, so literally christmas come early!) and from which barrel, warehouse, and rick it was from. The personalised touch makes you grow pretty attached!

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