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Blanton’s Silver Edition is primarily sold at duty-free shops, and isn’t available to most. Apparently, it’s considered a more premium offering than the original. I did a bit of research and it seems that the distillery has pulled this release, so it might be one for collectors to grab. But not me; I thought about keeping it as an unopened collectible for about zero seconds.
Anyway, I bought the Original not long ago and was quite taken with it. It’s not sold here, so I was quite proud of myself for acquiring it. No more than 3 weeks later, I went to a local shop to find a bottle of Blanton’s Silver Edition sitting on the shelf. I’d be a fool not to grab it, right? So does it live up to its premium reputation? I tasted the Silver and Original side by side and here’s the verdict:
Nose: Significantly darker than the original. Heavy maple and vanilla hit first. There’s some rye in here, but seemingly not as much as the original. Oak, tannins, milk chocolate, cream, roasted nuts, and cinnamon. There’s also something floral here…
Palate: Wow. Intense. Lovely spices ride in on a wave of fresh cream. Grassy rye, chocolate fudge, maple, and dried fruit. Quite tangy. There are some floral/perfume notes in here that are evocative of a quality cognac.
Finish. The aforementioned cognac notes seem to get stronger into the finish. At this point they are neither subtle nor nuanced. With them are lingering rye and maple notes weaved in between. Smooth and creamy to the very end. Wow. Deep, rich, and stunning.
This is an absolutely brilliant dram. It’s got it all. There’s rye notes, maple notes, fruit notes, wood notes; and all of them shine through with quality and clarity. But the floral/perfume/cognac note is what truly characterizes this bourbon. Not only is it distinctive and unexpected, it’s absolutely delicious. It evolves ever so steadily. It’s hinted by the nose, delivered on the palate, and it culminates on the finish in a superb crescendo of interwoven flavours. So, is this better than the Original? I think so, but you may not. I didn’t drink them side by side to choose a winner, but simply as a point of contrast. Both releases are well worth the money. But for me, as a relatively new bourbon lover and a long time cognac lover, this is the perfect marriage. So, have I stumbled across a new favourite? Yes. Yes I have.