Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Blanton's Straight From the Barrel Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $150
- 127 Proof
- Barrel No. 538
- Dumped on 6-15-18
- Kentucky

This bottle represents a "first" for me.  Perhaps that's why it took me so long to actually finish it.  This was the first bottle I purchased on the much maligned secondary market. Back in 2018, when there was a prolific Facebook group that since got shut down, I got my first taste of access to bottles that I could never get my hands on otherwise. Granted this bottle is now available in the United States. But, back then it was only available in other countries, and not being much of an international traveler, the secondary market was my way of obtaining one.

I actually purchased this along with a gold version.  I subsequently purchased a black and a red version available in Japan only, and my work friends and I did a complete vertical of Blanton's, with the regular single barrel, two different store picks, black, gold, red and two Straight From the Barrel bottles, including this one. That was a hell of a tasting, and this particular bottle was the near-unanimous favorite among the group.

The nose was rich, sweet and spicy, with everything I've come to love about Buffalo Trace's Mashbill #2. There was a sweet and crackery graham cracker note, along with a light chocolate note. That paired perfectly with a nice cinnamon spice and even a touch of red pepper flake. I also got a slight tea leaf note off the nose that added the slightest bit of earthiness to it.

As to flavor, the cinnamon was front and center. It offered both that sweet cinnamon flavor I associate with cinnamon rolls, but also that spicy cinnamon I associate with cinnamon flavored candy. Up front I got a light black pepper spice on the tip of my tongue as well. There was also a light layer of anise that was just the right amount that I found it enjoyable.

The anise and black pepper seemed to fade pretty quickly and made way for the real star of the show. I got an incredible buttery caramel flavor that seemed to coat my mouth and worked to drown out everything else, and for good reason. That note had me wanting more and more and more of this bourbon, and I didn't want it to leave.

Luckily, it did hang around for a really long time. This bourbon had a nice, viscous quality that made for a really long finish, and it was that buttery caramel note that seemed to invade every nook and cranny of my mouth. It also had a slight cinnamon spice on the finish as well, just hanging around at the back of my throat.

This was far and away better than any other Blanton's bottle I've had. It was fun, it was interesting, it was delicious, and it had me constantly wanting more.  I'm salivating as I type this just thinking of that butter and caramel flavor.

Grade: A+

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