Saturday, November 27, 2021

Blanton's Red Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $150
- 93 Proof
- Barrel No. 85
- Kentucky

This is one of those bottles that I've kept on my shelf for longer than I ever intended to. On Thanksgiving I finally decided that, after three years, it was time to finally finish off this bottle. Even then I still had some hesitation.

This was one of (if not the) first bottles I've ever purchased on secondary market. And that's only because, short of travelling to Japan, that was the only way I was getting a bottle. And once I had it, it became one of those bottles that was just fun to break out when company was over. Even the most casual bourbon drinker would have fun not only having some Blanton's, but having Blanton's that came from a red box with Japanese writing all over it. I write this all with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, of course, but it really was a fun one to break out from time to time, and so I rarely poured a glass while sitting on my couch any given night of the week.

The nose had that typical brown sugar, caramel and cinnamon combination that I usually get from the Buffalo Trace mashbill #2. Nothing really unexpected here, thought the caramel sweetness did at times lean more towards a darker molasses note. There was surprisingly a light woodiness to it as well.  I've never gotten indications of age with Blanton's before, but I certainly did on this one. 

The flavor was rich and sweet, and again right in line with my expectations. I got loads of brown sugar and caramel sweetness. It had almost a cookie-like quality to it in the flavor. There was also a sort of bread note, like a sweet bread, but definitely a bit of that yeast/grain note. 

What stood out, though, was the nice nuttiness that it had. Perhaps that's what I interpreted as a wood note on the nose, but it tasted like candied pecans and pie crust. Basically a pecan pie but without the goo.  That pecan note was accompanied by a boozy note, giving it almost a bourbon soaked pecan flavor, which I guess makes a lot of sense.

The body on this was fairly watery, more so than I've experienced in other bottles of Blanton's. Unfortunately, that led to a very short-lived finish. What was there on the finish were the caramel and brown sugar notes, and the vanilla seemed to come through a bit more. What wasn't there, though, was any sort of spice. The cinnamon from the nose was pretty nonexistent, particularly on the finish. 

All in all, this was a fun bottle to have on my shelf, but it didn't offer anything more than your standard bottle of Blanton's. I'm glad I tried it, but I won't be seeking any more of these out on the secondary market.

Grade: B

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