Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel

Blanton’s is known for three offerings all of which are increasingly difficult to find as the bourbon market grows. The basic entry is the Blanton’s Original  which is followed by Blanton’s Gold and lastly today’s review Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel. There is a fourth offering only available in the international markets called, Blanton’s Reserve which comes in at 80 proof.

According to the Buffalo Trace website,  “Named after former distillery president Colonel Albert B. Blanton, who always had very special supply of bourbon — his private reserve – handpicked and stored in legendary famous Warehouse H. The Blanton’s brand was launched in 1984 when Elmer T. Lee introduced the world to Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon a year before he retired. In doing so, he revolutionized the industry with the world’s first single barrel bourbon. Blanton’s Straight From the Barrel was the third version created, after the Original 93 proof and Gold 103 proof. This cask strength bourbon is beloved amongst connoisseurs.

As a result of the nature of barrel proofing, the ABV will vary based on the bottling.

Bourbon Review: Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel
64.6 (129 Proof)
Not Disclosed
Mash Bill: 
Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2 (12-15 Rye)
Dumped Date:  7-1-2022
Rick No.: 74
Barrel No.: 646
Bottle No.: 102
Distillery: Blanton Distilling Company
Location: Frankfort, KY (USA)

The Nose: An abundance of shaved orange rind rises upward from my glencairn glass with hints of oak and dried apricots. Letting the glass sit for a while sees a smoked wood aroma join the mix of the previous scents.

The Taste: This might be the hottest bourbon I have ever come across. There is an abundance of red pepper and leather is one dimensional with not much happening. In the past I’ve been guilty of saying adding ice to bourbon is the equivalent of putting ketchup on a steak. It’s a controversial statement but something I believe in. However, I gifted some 2oz bottles of this before I even had my first sip. One of the recipients told me he added a splash of water and it really opened things up for him. So reluctantly I have done so here… Doing so tremendously cuts the initial heat as expected and it helps bring out notes of honey, caramel, and vanilla. The heat remains on the long finish but the front end is much more enjoyable.

Conclusion: I had my first taste of SFTB in the summer of 2023 from an acquaintance who brought over 1/3rd of a bottle to a BBQ I hosted. That bourbon was 134.6 proof and it came from Rick No. 1 and was dumped 2 weeks prior to today’s bottle. Heat rises so it would make sense a lower rick would age differently. With that said, that bottle over the summer would have scored in the high 90s had I reviewed it. However, the review today comes from a bottle I obtained at MSRP and if this was my first taste I would have been hesitant to drop the coin on another bottle.

Score: 84
Price: $149.99 (750ml in New Hampshire)

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