This is review of Blanton's straight from the barrel. Barrel #262 62.8% ABV. I tasted it neat in a glencairn glass.
Nose: Earth, crème Brulee, fresh corn. It reminds me of a dish made of corn like a cornbread or creamed corn. It’s a really inviting nose that makes me hungry rather than making me want to try it. After a few minutes, it opens up to more typical bourbon notes of wood, sawdust, and spices. There is a presence of alcohol that nips at the nose, but at this abv, that's expected 30min after pouring it in the glass, a strong coffee note hits your nose along with beer mash. This is rather interesting since it’s the first time I’ve smell such a strong and unmistakable coffee note. Reminds me of a coffee stout, since it smells more of coffee grounds than fresh coffee. Taste: initially it’s rather calm on arrival, it gives off the impression that it’s smooth with not much flavor, and then it explodes. Sudden it come on very sweet, woody, and very spicy with a mellow heat. Big Bourbon in body and taste. If you hold it in your mouth past the initial explosion of flavors, it quickly fades into bitter sweet wood with a hint of mint. Once your palate becomes accustomed to the punch of the high abv, then it becomes very drinkable and enjoyable. It’s actually very balanced once it settles down. That extra bit of sweetness that’s missing from standard Blanton’s and the gold version really elevates this Bourbon from average to great. Finish: Bitter wood, earthy, slightly sweet, but dry, with some mint. 5min after swallowing it, you still taste bitter wood and earth tones. This version of Blanton’s is an improvement over most of the range. This, like the Gold version, is an overseas product only. If you’re going to pay for an overseas only version of Blanton’s, get this version instead of the Gold. I’m not saying it’s worth the price because, imo, it isn’t. Better can be had for cheaper in the states. But for an extra $25 on shipping, I think this Bourbon is a better choice than gold.