In 2016 I picked up some bottles of Blanton’s Gold that were popping in and out of stores for about a week, 2 for me and 2 for @paddockjudge (he would eventually be the recipient of my spare). My review can be found here:
Also in 2016, in a transaction that brought me a couple of other coveted bottles, my brother muled me a couple of samples of Blanton’s Straight From the Barrel that were purchased at Master of Malt.
Around the time that I got those bottles and the sample to @paddockjudge he was kind enough to provide me with a sample of the Original which would be my first taste of that expression. On September 2, 2018, at last, we did a video tasting of the Original, Gold, and SFTB.
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.
Kraft Caramels, cherry, rich nose. Some fine ground black pepper, and butterscotch peeking through. Sweet Golden Delicious apple. A bit spirity. Feels like the hairs in my nose are being burned off.
Rich, powerful sweet and hot arrival. Spicy, oaky. Lots of caramel and vanilla. Water has minimal effect on taming this. Quite delicious.
spicy, astringent, “bourbony" (it’s the oaky, cherry note I associate with bourbon)
This is powerful, the nose and the palate complement each other.
This is a powerful bourbon. Not A. Smith Bowman, Stagg (+/- Jr) or ECBP powerful, but rich and full-flavoured. This is apparently only readily available in Europe or the UK, and not in North America (which is strange... and sad).
Would I buy a bottle of this? Probably…if I could afford it.
If you’re interested in my review of the Original, here it is:
@Nozinan, hmmmm....I wonder if you had had more than the one sample to work from whether you would have gotten used to the whiskey and liked it more.
I've had samples of Straight From the Barrel from bottlings from two barrels and was very impressed by them both. Some day I'll open my own only bottle of Blanton's Straight From the Barrel, which derived from yet a third barrel. You, of course, are welcome to have some when that bottle is opened.
That's interesting to me that you think of cherry as being a common flavour in bourbons. I love cherry flavour in bourbon and probably every other whisk(e)y, but I rarely experience it. For my olfactory and gustatory interpretive faculties I find cherry in maybe 10-15% of bourbon whiskeys.
@Victor I have to say that like @Nozinan I associate those same cherry/oaky notes with bourbon. I don’t find them in every bourbon, but probably in about 60% of them, to varying degrees. Of course, my experience with bourbon isn’t that broad, so take my comment for what it’s worth. This bourbon sounds delightful. I may have a sample of the aforementioned Blanton’s Gold here that someone was kind enough to bestow upon me. I may need to visit it soon.