Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Blanton's Original Single Barrel

Top 10 Bourbons

Blanton's Original Single Barrel Bourbon

"8-year-old"..."12-year-old"..."27-year-old"... Whiskey shelves are filled with bottles bearing numbers that imply the older the liquid, the better. But Blanton's shares their philosophy with R. Kelly: "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number." The Buffalo Trace Distillery product provides no age declaration on its distinctive parchment-like equator label that surrounds the multifaceted, squat globe bottle. There are still plenty of numbers listed: "This barrel dumped on 3-15-11 from barrel No. 142 stowed in warehouse H on Rick no. 16. Individually selected, filtered and bottled by hand at 93 proof." Although that sounds über-specific, to be fair, all of the bottles are from warehouse H, and they're all 93 proof.

The Blanton family made Bourbon before the Civil War, but their breakthrough came in 1984 when they introduced the first single barrel Bourbon. Along with variations between bottles caused by each individual barrel being bottled unblended, there are also eight different racehorse and jockey poses on the stoppers. (Collect them all!) When we first pulled our stopper, its toffee-caramel aroma actually caused our spouse to declare, "That smells good!" The reddish-amber Bourbon has a lovely jolt of orange zest and burnt sugar on the palate. Exuding flavors, one sip feels like it fills our entire mouth.

Price: $45



Related Content:
Check out our ABCs of Bourbon
Explore different Whiskeys
Find more Spirit Reviews

American Still Life by F. Paul Pacult tells the story of Jim Beam and his famous bourbon
THE BEAM SAGA
American Still Life

Wine and spirits writer F. Paul Pacult documents the growth of the Beam family saga, from pioneer Jacob Beam's arrival in Kentucky to the apprenticeship of young James "Jim" Beam, in this fascinating history.



PNW090611 UJDM032514

Summer is a thirsty season, one for which beer is tailor-made. Check out our selection of summer suds, from fruit beers to crisp lagers.

The excitement, flavors and aromas of great gin more than warrant its recent worldwide resurgence. Discover this juniper-infused spirit.