Blanton's Higher Rick No.
Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon (Rick 58)

A couple of weeks ago we reviewed Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon from Rick No. 20. This week we go higher up to Rick No. 58. Does the rick number on a bottle of Blanton’s matter?

There are a lot of people that believe the lower the barrel is in a rick-house, the sweeter the bourbon will be. The thought process is heat rises which in turn makes the proof inside a barrel go up. But does this really change the flavors of Blanton’s? After all, the bottles get diluted with water to bring the proof down to 93, so it should be the same, right?

I look at it like a steak and I am sure a lot of you will not appreciate nor agree with this comparison. If you took a steak and cooked it with the same ingredients a rare steak will taste tremendously different then a medium cooked steak. The difference is the temperature and it makes a huge difference. Even if you mask it with a garlic butter or steak sauce (Pete Luger’s preferred) you can still taste the difference in the meat cooked at a higher heat.

So we saved a little bourbon from our last pour to do a side by side comparison and results might shock you..

Bourbon Review: Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey
ABV: 46.5 (93 Proof)
Age: Not Disclosed
Mash Bill: Buffalo Trace Mash Bill #2 (12-15% Rye)
Dumped Date: 12-13-2023
Rick No.: 58
Barrel No.: 135
Distillery: Blanton Distilling Company
Location: Frankfort, KY (USA)

The Nose: Heavy corn notes rise upward from the glass on our initial pull of the aroma. After we let the glass sit for a bit there is an abundance of rye present on the aroma with a subtle leather in the background before some vanilla shows up as an afterthought.

The Taste: Leather notes encapsulate the palate with some spice and heat at the back end of the first sip that has a lingering rye finish. Subsequent sips see a creme brûlée like flavor profile emerge on the front side before giving way to leather and rye. Subsequent sips continue to see rye and leather return to the front side of a sip with a lingering vanilla and creme brûlée on the finish.

Conclusion: There are some other considerations to take in account. Such as aging time. While the bottle denotes when it was dumped, it does not denote the full aging time. There are no doubts about it though, this higher rick bottle is considerably less sweet than the lower rick bottle. There are more notes of rye and leather tannins and while there is some sweetness it is not nearly as sweet.

My suggestion is if you like your bourbon sweeter seek out a bottle with a lower rick number. If you like your bourbon to be a bit hotter and come off as being at a higher proof, the higher rick is the way to go.

For comparison here is the review to the lower rick:

Score: 91
Price: $69.99 (750ml in New Hampshire)


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