A Guide To Blanton’s Bourbon Single Barrel

Product provenance is a growing trend in the food and drink industry today. More and more, people are becoming obsessed with knowing where their products are sourced from. 

This is no exception in the alcohol industry. Many types of alcohol must be produced in certain areas to be deemed authentic. For instance, authentic champagne must be produced in Champagne, France.

One of the brands that have contributed to the popularity of product provenance is Blanton’s, known for its famous Single Barrel Bourbon. In fact, Blanton single-handedly helped put “single barrel” labeling on the map.

A label that reads “single barrel” usually implies that the bourbon was aged in one barrel. Most bourbons are made from several whiskeys, all aged in different casks. When the bourbon is aged in a single barrel, it has a more defined, distinct flavor profile. However, the single barrel label is not very clearly defined. Similar to labels like “all-natural” and “farm fresh,” there is no official qualification to use the phrase on the bourbon packaging.

Without an official decree by the Alcohol And Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, bourbon brands can practically label any bottle as a single barrel. That’s why it’s so important to be educated about single-barrel bourbon before going out and making a purchase.

You don’t want to end up buying a cheap, watered-down bourbon just because of the label. Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take when shopping for bourbon. 

Today, we’re going to be discussing Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. This Kentucky whiskey is bottled at 93 proof and packs a strong punch of creamy caramel notes, along with soft peppers. To learn everything there is to know about Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon, keep reading below with Saucey.

Brief brand history of Blanton’s

The origins of this brand date back to the 19th century. During the winter of 1881, Albert Bacon Blanton was born into one of the first bourbon families in history.

When he turned sixteen, Blanton started working at his family’s distillery as an office boy. He quickly made his way up the ranks, becoming the company president by 1921. 

As time would tell, Blanton would give the brand an entirely new sense of life. With Blanton in charge, the distillery was able to expand from 44 buildings to 144 buildings. Even through Prohibition and World War II, the brand was able to survive under the leadership of Blanton.

Blanton would gradually become a leading figure in the development of bourbon. During his time at the distillery, Blanton curated an exclusive supply of bourbon for personal use. It was his own little private reserve, handpicked and filled with his favorite bourbons from the distillery. 

Many of these bottles would become mass-produced products later on. Blanton died in the spring of 1959, but his vision for the brand would catapult it into success. In 1984, Blanton’s namesake bourbon was released, becoming the first-ever single barrel bourbon to be sold commercially. 

This product was brand new to the whiskey market. Before, people had heard of bourbon that was aged in a single barrel, but they had never seen it available in stores. This specific bottle would help cement Blanton’s brand into bourbon history as one of its main contributors. Many bourbon companies attempted to imitate Blanton’s production methods soon after this release.

Superior production process

In 1984, the brand produced hyper-craft bourbon, while their competitors were making cheap, oversaturated products. Blanton’s began distilling whiskey in Frankfort, Kentucky, where it still takes place today.

Their products are distilled by Buffalo Trace, one of the longest-lasting whiskey distilleries in the country. Buffalo Trace follows a meticulous production process designed to create precise mash content in all their drinks.

Blanton’s bourbon is distilled from mash bill #2, which is high in rye. After the corn is added to the bourbon, the rest of the bill is rye. There are no other ingredients.

Whiskey tends to be a bit softer in taste than other spirits. However, a high rye content in the mash bill creates a palate full of fruits and spices, which complement whiskey’s natural caramel and char flavors.

Blanton’s also differs from other brands in how they age their bourbon. For one, most whiskies are dumped into barrels by machines, which greatly takes away from the craftsmanship of the spirit. True artisan bourbon-like Blantons is dumped by hand.

Once the bourbon is inside the barrel, it is aged for several years in Warehouse H. The walls of the building are designed to flesh out the flavors of the bourbon. The walls act as an amplifier for Kentucky’s constant changes in temperature, increasing the intensity of heat and humidity.

This climate encourages interaction between the bourbon and the barrels, resulting in more overall flavor in the final product. 

Blanton's – Single Barrel Bourbon

The classic Blanton’s label

Blanton’s is also very meticulous in documenting each step of the production process for each product.

On every bottle from the brand, you’ll notice in cursive lettering the barrel number of the bourbon, the number of the rick or storage rack the barrel was taken from, the proof it was bottled at, the final bottle’s ABV, and even the date the bourbon was first dumped. 

One unique aspect of Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is its wide variability in flavor and texture. Since barrels in the same warehouse can age differently, every bottle is essentially different. 

You don’t have to worry about it too much, as all the bourbons are made from the same limited amount of ingredients (corn mash, rye, barley, wheat, charred virgin oak). Therefore, the range of flavors is going to be somewhat contained. 

However, you might notice that one bottle of Blanton’s Single Barrel tastes a bit smokier than another. You might notice one bottle has heavier notes of caramel than another. 

There’s bound to be some variance with different barrels in a single warehouse, all brewing the same drink.

Typically, bourbon is made from blending multiple whiskeys from different barrels until it reaches the desired taste profile. For single barrel bourbon, you obviously can’t do that. Whatever the final product is, that’s what you’re left with.

A bold, complex flavor profile

So what does Blanton’s Single Barrel taste like? As mentioned, the flavors of this drink depend on the barrel it came from. 

Typically, when sipping on some Blanton’s Single Barrel, you can expect a palate filled with notes of nutmeg, spices, caramel, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. This bourbon is medium-bodied and impressively smooth for its high alcohol content. 

There aren’t many bourbons as balanced and complex as this one. Even when drunk straight, its flavor profile is interesting and dense enough to keep you content. 

In cocktails, this drink provides a good balance of dark tones and light ones. Notably, these flavors are paired nicely with fruits in Angostura bitters.

Blanton’s prestigious reputation

Blanton’s is recognized around the world as a prestigious bourbon company. It has won several awards such as international gold medals, grand gold medals, and recommendations from prominent spirits authors like Paul Pacult.

Branton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is also the recipient of many honors, including being enshrined in the Master Distillers’ Hall of Fame. As stated before, it is the leading catalyst behind the single barrel movement in bourbon. 

Everything about Branton’s exudes excellence. From the intricate flavor profile to the diligent production process to their purity of ingredients, the brand has set a standard for the industry in every aspect of bourbon production. 

Most alcohol warehouses become famous because of negative media attention. However, Blanton’s Warehouse H is one of the few known simply for its amazing production standards.

The takeaway

When it comes to the best American whiskeys, bourbon takes the cake. And nobody makes bourbon better than Blanton’s. 

If you’re not very experienced in sipping bourbon, there’s no better place to start than with a bottle of Blanton’s. Their drinks are what bourbon is meant to be. It is harder to find an expression of the spirit purer than theirs. 

When shopping for bourbon, it feels good to be confident in the product you’re buying. The difference between a high-quality bourbon and a cheap one is truly staggering.

Looking to try Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon? Well, you can now have a bottle delivered straight to your door with Saucey.

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