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Blanton's Gold Edition

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@VictorReview by @Victor

23rd Nov 2016

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    91

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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

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13 comments

@Mancub
Mancub commented

Sounds like fantastic stuff. Your review made me very happy as I have two bottles of Blanton's Gold dumped on September 22nd, 2014. Batch No. 829, which is just about a week after yours. I thought I may open one this season. Thanks for the great review, I'll have to check with it when I give mine a try.

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@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.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I'm afraid you won't be tapping our "supply" of Blanton Gold. The stuff was for sale for only a few days earlier this year and it was going so fast I went to a store listing dozens of bottles and they were sold out by the time I arrived mid-day. Luckily they found another store for me that agreed to hold 4 bottles....when I got there they were the only 4 left.

And yes, you tasted from one of those bottles (no, your memory is fine... @paddockjudge gave you the sample, but I got him the bottles...).

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, thanks for making the Blanton's Gold happen for @paddockjudge and for me.

As for the LCBO supply of Blanton's Gold being depleted, well, it is a good thing I am not buying much whisk(e)y these days!

2 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

It's not a new problem. My suspicion is that insiders know where and when the limited releases are coming, and they get them before the inventory actually goes online.

The other problem is that they don't release everywhere. Take Lagavulin 8. A few in Kingston, Markham and Strathroy, and 70 at one store in downtown Toronto. Nowhere else.

For those who don't have whisky networks, it can be very frustrating...

2 years ago 0

@newreverie
newreverie commented

I enjoyed my bottle of Blanton's Gold, but I didn't find it significantly different from the standard bottling. I opened a SFTB a few weeks ago and it is a wonderfully different animal. Full of cherry, leather and caramel. It reminds me of Bookers 2015-1 with a bit more refinement.

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@newreverie, yes, I agree with you that there is not a huge difference in the Blanton's between bottling at 51% and bottling at 46.5% ABV. There is I think a lot more difference in the individual barrels at both strengths than in that 4.5% difference in dilution factor. That said, I am always going to want the one above 50%, assuming that it is a representative barrel.

And yes, Blanton's Straight From the Barrel is fabulous. I like Jim Murray's review of Blanton's Uncut/Unfiltered, aka Straight From the Barrel. All he said was, "Uncut. Unfiltered. Unbelievable." Those SFTB Blanton's differ a good bit barrel to barrel too.

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Correction: the ABV for Blanton's Gold is 51.5%, rather than 51%.

2 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

quite right.

2 years ago 0

@mystycreek
mystycreek commented

Just opened a bottle of Blanton's Gold Edition last week. So damn good. I will wait a few weeks to see how it develop before writing my review. If SFTB is so different and wonderful, then I will go buy a bottle without hesitation, for the price is about the same as Gold Edition in Taipie......

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@mystycreek, yes, if you like high test bourbon and like the Blanton's flavour profile style, by all means buy some Blanton's Straight From the Barrel. If Straight From the Barrel were easy to buy where I live I would probably have 6-10 bottles of it stashed away instead of the 1 bottle I have.

2 years ago 0

@vanPelt
vanPelt commented

Do you care to state a preference? I had ended up choosing SFTB but always wondered if I'd like Gold better; and then I noticed that you scored Blanton's Original at 93-- wow! Better than the Gold, or...?

2 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@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.

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

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