Blanton’s is a type of bourbon whiskey. Bourbon is a name given to a type of whiskey with certain characteristics, perhaps chief of which is the production of the United States. There are several others, some of which include being made mostly of corn and being aged in charred oak barrels.
The brand is produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, which gives it some pedigree, as this distillery claims to be the “oldest continuously running distillery in the United States.” This is a surprising fact, considering that Prohibition shut down most operations in the 1920’s. Buffalo Trace was actually granted a permit during the period in order to produce medical whiskey. The distillery was built in 1857.
Makers of bourbon claim that the Kentucky landscape is especially suited for its creation (95% of this type of whiskey is reportedly made in the state). The limestone rock characteristic of the area filters the water used in its creation to a high level of purity. According to Buffalo Trace, the changes in temperature in the state also cause the barrels to work on the liquid constantly, giving it a stronger taste of that charred oak.
As for the original components that make Blanton’s unique, there are two major ones. Firstly, it’s aged in a metal-clad warehouse, which means that it’s affected by changes in the weather more directly. Secondly, it’s drawn from only a single barrel - in fact, it was the first to sell premium single-barrel bourbon.
Blanton’s Whiskey Price
Blanton’s bourbon is not very cheap compared to other whiskeys. Their standard offering - the single barrel straight bourbon - will cost you around $60.00 for a 750 mL bottle. By comparison, a similarly renowned brand of Kentucky bourbon, Maker’s Mark, costs around half of that for the same quantity.
Blanton’s Whiskey Price List
Blanton's Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
$59.99 - $69.99
Blanton's Gold Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon
$89.99 - $99.99
Blanton's Special Reserve Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
$59.99 - $69.99
Blanton's Straight from the Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
$105.99 - $110.99
Why Blanton’s Costs More than other Bourbons
One reason why Blanton’s costs more than other whiskeys of its class is simply because it has been marketed as something of a luxury brand of bourbon. In order to note this, you need to look no further than their bottle design. This liquor is cased in a grenade-shaped bottle topped with a cap holding one of a series of eight statuettes representing eight stages of a horse race.
Aside from the rich packaging and lineage of the beverage, single-barrel whiskeys always tend to cost more than blends, or alcohol coming from several different casks. For example, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Whiskey is difficult to find for any less than the mid-$40 range, whereas plain Jack costs only about $26.00.
Whether or not there’s a real reason for the price hike is unknown, but some people prefer single-barrel because it has a more unique taste than blended bourbons, which are mixed for uniform taste. It might also be more exciting for you to drink these single-barrel bourbons, as you never quite know what to expect.
What about the Super-Expensive Bourbons?
You’ll notice that Blanton’s offers two bourbons which are significantly more expensive than their standard whiskey. Why is this?
Blanton’s Gold Edition is, first of all, of a higher proof than their regular Blanton’s, and you will notice the extra 5% alcohol even from the first sip. That being said, it has a stronger taste of charred oak and a very pleasant caramel smell.
Unfortunately, this bottle is only available outside of the United States.
Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel might not have the most distinguishing of names, but it is quite different from the other bourbons on offer from this company. For one thing, the alcohol content surpasses an impressive 60%, and this alcohol kick is not masked by the other flavors. As for the non-alcoholic portion, the taste is even sweeter and more varied than the Gold Edition.
Both of these beverages come in more impressive packaging than the plain variant. Again, Straight from the Barrel (or anything other than the plain version, for that matter) is not available within the United States.
What are some Alternatives?
Blanton’s is considered a premium bourbon, so some alternatives are Knob Creek, 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, and Jim Beam’s line of bourbons. All of these are cheaper than Blanton’s, though. This is even true of the Jim Beam 12YO, which is aged for 12 years (as opposed to Blanton’s which is said to be aged from 6 to 8 years on average).
Common Recipes: What to Mix with Blanton’s Bourbon
As is typical of expensive alcoholic drinks - whiskeys in particular - fans say that the best way to enjoy them is to drink them neat or, at most, with a few cubes of ice. This is especially true of drinks with Blanton’s price tag (at least for the high-end bottles).
Yet for those of you who want to add a little more zest to your consumption, here are some of the best recipes involving the bourbon.
Blanton’s with slight flavoring
If you don’t want to take your bourbon neat or on the rocks, then you can add a few other drinks to it. Some good combinations are made with water, ginger ale, or club soda. The recommended proportion is the following:
The Brown Derby
Despite the fact that Blanton’s is indeed brown and features scenes from a derby, this drink is actually said to be named after a restaurant in Los Angeles. Whatever the case may be, it uses bourbon. Shake the following ingredients in a shaker with plenty of ice and then serve in a cocktail glass: