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Blanton's Original

A Nod To The Finer Things

0 586

@dbkReview by @dbk

3rd Sep 2012

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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
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon is made for Age International by the Buffalo Trace distillery, from their high rye mash bill. I have previously reviewed two other bourbons produced using the same mash bill: Elmer T. Lee (connosr.com/reviews/elmer-t-lee/…) and Blanton’s Special Reserve (connosr.com/reviews/blantons/…).

The nose is immediately sweet, bready, and spicy. It is heady, with dominant notes of menthol, leather, and pipe tobacco. Hints of pepper, oranges, apricots, and strawberries make themselves known in the background. In time, it deepens further, eventually yielding vanilla and brown sugar, contrasted with the slight astringency of furniture polish.

The palate is equally rich and full bodied. It is spicy and warming, with a nice sweetness. There is dry rye, a light nuttiness, gentle astringency, and sumptuous touch of orange liqueur. In all, it is exceptionally well balanced.

The central difference between Blanton’s Original and Blanton’s Special Reserve—aside from the color of the labels, of course—is the proof, the former being 93º and the latter 80º. While perhaps not a profound difference in profile, it is nevertheless a significant one. Everything that makes Blanton’s Special Reserve interesting is made considerably more impressive in the higher proof expression. Compared to the 90º Elmer T. Lee, however, the differences are more subtle: Blanton’s Original is drier and smokier, though it is neither especially dry nor smoky. It is as if they are two sides of the same person; at times sweet and playful, stately and mannered at others. This sort of complexity makes me wonder what else Buffalo Trace has up its sleeve.

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5 comments

@Abunadhman
Abunadhman commented

Excellent Review! 'More or less mirrors the bot. I have open, though I suspect mine could be more bread yeasty and is almost overpoweringly vanillan - Freshly opened it had a powerful vanilla which has mellowed out quite a bit in a large decanter.

Slainte!

6 years ago 0

@dbk
dbk commented

Thanks, @abunadhman! This whiskey will be included in the next tasting I run at Quatrefoil Restaurant in Dundas, Ontario, in less than two weeks. I think it's superb.

If I could sum up my experience with Blanton's Original in a single note, it would be "Werther's Originals," a wonderfully sweet, vanilla-packed, butterscotch candy. (Only in writing this, however, have I noticed that both have "Original" in the title.)

6 years ago 0

@Abunadhman
Abunadhman commented

@dbk: Just a thought, you may get a better result with a bottle that has been open for a while. This bottle had Whiskey actually touching the cork with no airspace. It has opened out beautifully. - Blantons like to provide info...

Blanton's Private Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon, dumped on 3-8-12, Barrel No. 271, Stored in Warehouse H on Rick No. 10, bottled by hand at 93 proof. 46.5%vol, Registered Bottle No. is 297 and of course other promo. stuff and addresses etc. Surely no other maker provides as much info.

Cheers and good Luck,

John.

6 years ago 0

@dbk
dbk commented

@abunadhman, you are quite right that this whiskey—and most, in my experience—benefit from some "air time." The vast majority of my reviews, including this one, are actually on bottles that have been open for some time and are sampled repeatedly (early, mid, and late samples) before I write my reviews. I keep detailed notes and update them over time; aspects that are reliable/repeatable are usually mentioned first, as "dominant" or "recurring" notes.

Make no mistake: a score of 86 reflects a strong showing to me. I think this is truly good stuff.

6 years ago 0

@Abunadhman
Abunadhman commented

@dbk Keep up the good work!

Have a great tasting!

Slainte.

John.

6 years ago 0

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