Bourbon is a timeless spirit that's a favorite in many bars and homes across America. But it hasn't always been America's most beloved drink. In the 1980s, it fell behind spirits like vodka, forcing some bourbon distilleries in the US to shut down or scale down their operations.
Meanwhile, across the Pacific Ocean in Japan, bourbon sales were booming — largely thanks to the huge demand for Blanton's Bourbon. At the time, Blanton's had just been launched in Japan as the first-ever single-barrel whiskey, making it highly sought-after.
While Blanton's didn't immediately take the American market by storm when it first appeared on shelves, it eventually began to gain traction in the early 2000s during the bourbon renaissance. Fast-forward to today, it's one of the most coveted bourbon brands in the US among avid bourbon collectors.
So what are some of the most popular Blanton's expressions? In this guide, we'll explore some of the most popular ones to help you decide which one to choose.
Best Blanton's Bottles To Try
Whether you want to start a bourbon collection or add an exceptional bottle, here are five Blanton's expressions worth adding to your shelf.
1. Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon
Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon is the quintessential Blanton's expression. Each bottle is drawn from a single barrel with its own personality. Bottled at 93 proof (46.5% ABV), it's an exceptional bottle that showcases the meticulousness and craftsmanship synonymous with Blanton's.
Nose: A rich aroma of vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak mingles with spices and fruit.
Palate: On the palate, you'll experience a symphony of sweet and spicy flavors, with hints of honey, cinnamon, and chocolate enchanting your senses.
Finish: The end is satisfyingly long and warm, with lingering notes of oak, spice, and vanilla.
Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon is versatile. It has a bold character, but it isn't overpowering or bitter, making it great for newcomers to the brand and various bourbon cocktails like the Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, and Manhattan.
2. Blanton's Gold Edition Straight Bourbon
Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon is a fine drink. But if you want an expression that offers extra punch, you might prefer Blanton's Gold Edition Straight Bourbon. It's a higher-proof bourbon bottled at 102 proof (51.5% ABV), resulting in a richer, more mature flavor profile.
Nose: There's a welcome greeting of spicy tobacco leaves and rye on the nose, followed by delightful notes of caramel, honey, citrus, and dried fruit.
Palate: The bourbon's higher proof amplifies the flavors, delivering a rich blend of vanilla, oak, and a touch of spice.
Finish: The end is long and satisfying, leaving a warm sensation with lingering sweet undertones.
Blanton's Gold Edition Straight Bourbon is a well-balanced whiskey that you can enjoy neat, on the rocks, or in a variety of cocktails.
3. Blanton's Straight from the Barrel Straight Bourbon
Blanton's Straight from the Barrel Straight Bourbon packs quite a punch. It's bottled at cask-strength, so it offers an authentic taste of the distillery's craftsmanship.
Nose: The nose is characterized by an intense blend of dark chocolate, caramel and nuts.
Palate: The palate is an explosion of bold flavors, including vanilla, oak, toasted nuts, butterscotch, and baked spices.
Finish: The high alcohol content enhances the flavor, culminating in a finish that's warm and full of lingering spices.
Blanton's Straight from the Barrel Straight Bourbon is a high-proof bourbon with incredible depth. So you might want to drink it on the rocks or add a dash of water to temper its strong personality.
4. Blanton's ‘Black Label’ Single Barrel Straight Bourbon
Blanton's 'Black Label' Single Barrel Straight Bourbon is one of the rarer Blanton's bottles. Released exclusively for the Japanese market, it's a highly sought-after bourbon with a rich flavor profile.
Nose: The high alcohol content enhances the flavor, culminating in a finish that's warm and full of lingering spices.
Palate: The palate delivers a harmonious blend of sweet and spicy, with flavors of vanilla, caramel, baked spices, and a hint of charred oak.
Finish: The end is long and satisfying, marked by notes of oak and spices that leave a lingering warmth.
Blanton's 'Black Label' Single Barrel Straight Bourbon is a balanced whiskey that showcases plenty of depth without overwhelming the taste buds, so you can enjoy it in various ways. It's also one of Blanton's rarer bottles, making it an excellent addition to any collection.
5. Blanton's Gold Japanese Edition
Blanton's Gold Japanese Edition is a unique expression explicitly crafted for the Japanese market. While it has an alcohol content similar to the Gold Edition, its floral notes give it a different flavor profile.
Nose: The nose is redolent with vanilla, oak, honey, and a subtle floral note.
Palate: On the palate, you'll encounter a luscious blend of tropical fruits, vanilla, caramel and baked spices.
Finish: The finish is long and satisfying, with a gentle warmth and a touch of sweetness.
Like the standard Blanton's Gold Edition, the Japanese Edition is a perfectly balanced drink. You can enjoy it neat, with ice cubes, or in various bourbon cocktails.
6. Blanton’s Takara Gold
Blanton's Takara Gold is a unique bourbon that showcases a blend of American and Japanese influences. Bottled at 102 proof (51.5% ABV), it contains Japanese shochu, giving it a distinct taste.
Nose: The nose is characterized by citrus, oak, and subtle floral notes.
Palate: The palate offers a well-balanced combination of honey, fruits, and subtle spices.
Finish: The finish takes its time, leaving a warm sensation with sweet toffee undertones.
Blanton's Takara Gold is a unique bourbon offering an unparalleled drinking experience. If you appreciate whiskeys with unusual flavors, it's a bottle you will surely enjoy.
7. Blanton’s Cream Label Takara Red Single Barrel Straight Bourbon
Blanton's Cream Label Takara Red Single Barrel Straight Bourbon is a limited edition bourbon with a delightfully creamy texture and smooth taste. Bottled at 93 proof (46.5% ABV), it's an approachable drink that's great for people trying out Blanton's for the first time.
Nose: The nose is inviting, with notes of caramel, butterscotch, and hints of dried fruit.
Palate: The palate is smooth and velvety, with flavors of vanilla, toffee, and baking spices.
Finish: The finish is long and satisfying, leaving a sweet aftertaste on the tongue.
Blanton's Cream Label Takara Red Single Barrel Straight Bourbon is a mellow bourbon with a luscious texture, making it an excellent choice for bourbon enthusiasts who prefer delicate bourbon.
How to Store Rare Blanton's Bottles
If you snag a bottle of Blanton's, you'll certainly want to preserve your precious bourbon. Here are some handy tips to ensure your rare Blanton's bottles remain in tip-top condition.
Choose a Cool and Dark Location
Sunlight and heat are the archenemies of bourbon. So, keep your bottles away from direct sunlight. Some ideal places are shaded spots like a basement, cabinet, or shelf away from windows.
Maintain Consistent Temperature
Extreme heat or cold can alter the flavor of bourbon. Aim for a consistent, moderate temperature, and avoid storing your bottles next to heat-emitting devices like microwaves, fridges, and furnaces.
While drinks like wine are best stored on the side, bourbon should be stored upright. Storing it upright prevents it from coming into contact with the cork and destroying it. This ensures the cork prevents unwanted air from creeping into the bottle, compromising the bourbon's flavor.
Regular movement may shift the cork and result in potential leaking or damage to the cork. Avoid placing your Blanton's bottles in places with excessive vibration to keep the cork in good condition.
Resist the urge to open your Blanton's bottles immediately. Let them age undisturbed to enhance the bourbon's flavor, and you'll enjoy a remarkable drinking experience.
Blanton's is a highly sought-after whiskey that will make an excellent addition to any collection. Whether you want a mellow bourbon, a balanced one or one that exudes bold flavors, Blanton's has a variety of expressions sure to captivate your taste buds and leave a lasting impression.
Why Is Blanton's Highly Sought-After?
Blanton's has garnered a cult-like following for several reasons. Each Blanton's bottle is drawn from a single barrel, resulting in a distinct flavor. This quality sets it apart from many mass-produced bourbons. Blanton's has also attracted a loyal fan base because its various limited edition bottles make it highly desirable among bourbon collectors.
What's the Best Way to Enjoy Blanton's?
The best way to enjoy Blanton's comes down to personal preference. Many bourbon purists enjoy it neat, but you can also enjoy it with a dash of water, on the rocks, or in cocktails.
Is Blanton's High-End Whiskey?
Blanton's is considered a high-end whiskey because it's a single-barrel whiskey produced in limited batches. It's also pricier than many other whiskeys, making it an excellent choice for bourbon connoisseurs looking to indulge in a premium drink.
What Movie Popularized Blanton's?
Blanton's Bourbon gained notable popularity after it appeared in John Wick Chapter 1. A bottle of Blanton's features prominently in a scene where John Wick (Keanu Reeves) drinks Blanton's Bourbon as his doctor tends to his wounds.