Review: Blanton's Gold Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Charred Virgin Oak
~75% Corn, 15% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Distiller Buffalo Trace (Frankfort, Kentucky)

Another single barrel product from Buffalo Trace - this time at higher proof compared to the standard Blanton's. Otherwise, it's from the same warehouse, and, interestingly, isn't for sale in America. In Canada, it comes through, but only from time to time and for short periods. The whiskey is non-chill filtered, comes off the still at 70%, dumped into the barrels at 62.5%, and uses a 6 month seasoning (air drying) on the staves before they were put into the barrels.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: Barrel 23; Warehouse H; Rick no. 4; Dumped 3.30.12

  • Bottling Code: B1209308:451

  • Bottling Date: 2012

Quiet on the nose, relative to other Blanton’s – soft oak, caramel, sweet corn, hazlenuts – with less of the dried fruit, flowers, and berries immediately than the other Blanton’s bourbons. But more sweet wood. On the palate, terrific feel, with dried apricot, tinned apricot, and a nice showing of corn with wood and spice coming through nicely on the finish. The finish is full of dried stone fruit – peaches, apricots, prunes – and a light dose of sweet wood still, and a bit more woody than the “original” bottlings that I have tried. Finishes with some strawberry jam and lovely fresh oak.

At first I thought this was less in the distinct floral/dried fruit style of other Blanton’s, but it just took a while to open up. 30 minutes in, the nose opens up brilliantly and the terrific blanton’s style shines through. This mashbill is the same as that used in the Elmer T. Lee single barrel – you can tell I’m a fan? Blanton’s may well be my favorite brand of bourbon – complex, not too much oak, and unique in a great way. This barrel, at least, seems a tad less on the nose but bigger on the palate and the finish than the last “original” barrel that I reviewed. Terrific stuff.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average (based on $100).