An interesting thing happened while I was doing a little bourbon shopping on my last trip to Kentucky. I bought a bottle of Blanton's. From a store. Off the shelf. For at (or near) the regular retail price.
It was a bit of luck actually. I was at the Party Source and noticed that there were some bottles on the shelf. I grabbed one and put it in my cart. My wife, who helps with reviews on this site but doesn't follow the business side of bourbon as closely, had never had Blanton's and I thought it might be nice for her to get the opportunity.
She objected, thinking we could get it at home. Objecting to her objection, I pointed at the shelf where I had picked up the bottle. It was now empty. We had only walked about halfway down the aisle, and already the inventory had been cleaned out. "Is it that hard to get at home too?" she asked. Upon my affirmative, she relented and decided that she did want to try it after all. Not that it would have mattered, I was going to buy it anyway. I'd had Blanton's previously but had never purchased a bottle due to putting off the purchase until it became hard to find. As such, I've never featured it on the site (aside from one store pick sample from a friend).
And really, that's too bad because Blanton's is important. Introduced in 1984, Blanton's helped to plant the seeds of today's bourbon renaissance. It was the first Single Barrel bourbon to be sold commercially, leading to many future Singel Barrel products at what would become Buffalo Trace and inspiring other super premium bourbon releases at other companies.
Purchase info: $59.99 for a 750 mL bottle at the Party Source, Bellevue, KY.
Details: 46.5% ABV. Barrel 966, Warehouse H, Rick 16, Bottle 149. Dumped on July 20, 2017.
Nose: Cherry candy, cinnamon, and hints of bubblegum and mint.
Mouth: Dry and spicy with loads of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger notes.
Finish: Warm and of medium length. Lingering notes of cherry oak and bubblegum.
Thoughts: This is a damn fine whiskey. Spicy and dry but somehow reminiscent of various candies. I really like it. But we knew that going in. The better question is what did my wife, who had never had Blanton's think of it. Well, she put a little heart in her whiskey journal and said: "I can understand why people clamor for this."
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