Blanton's Straight from the Barrel is a special release by Buffalo Trace, launched in 1984 by master distiller Elmer T. Lee. It was – at the time – the first single barrel bourbon ever. By now that has become commonplace, of course. The bottles are easily recognizable with the tin stopper with the image of a horse. There are 8 different stoppers, so collectors can keep busy. The casks that Buffalo Trace reserves for Blanton’s mature in the metal clad Warehouse H that was built way back by Albert Blanton, one of the company’s earliest employees. He started at the age of 16 and worked for Buffalo Trace until his death in 1959. The bourbon has matured for around 9 years.
Wonderfully sweet, almost candied nose on caramel, blood oranges, maple syrup, honey and corn on the barbecue, upholstered with a few green herbs. Think dill and even some parsley. Hint of espresso with milk foam and almond shavings. This is simply wonderful.
The arrival is very powerful – no surprise there – and spicy. The sweetness is immediately overpowered by all kinds of spices like black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg first and cloves and vanilla second. Said sweetness can be translated into dark, liquid honey and a truckload of mildly burnt sugars. But it is eminently quaffable, despite the high ABV.
The finish is warm and long. The spiciness slowly makes room for all the sweetness of the nose and palate.
This is Enjoyable with capital E. Again a big thank you to Jan for the sample.