Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel is exactly what its name indicates – cask strength Blantons, which is already a single cask. It’s the higher end offering of Blantons that Buffalo Trace (Sazerac) ships overseas or sequesters in airport duty-free shops. How’s that for a nice how-do-you-do? I’m glad I got to try it, but it irks me a bit when I see a release that would do amazing in the home market available anywhere but here.
In Blanton’s Words: Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel
“Not only one of the world’s best bourbons, Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel is one of the world’s best whiskeys. Created for connoisseurs familiar with cask strength whiskeys, this enormous taste profile reaches depths of flavor found only in the rarest of spirits. The high alcohol by volume is intense and powerful yet inviting. The complexity of rye, caramel, oak, honey and vanilla coat your palate followed by a legendary finish. Straight from the barrel is best served neat or with a splash of water. Un-filtered, un-cut, unbelievable.”
No use boo-hooing about it, the Travel Retail world is insanely profitable for companies and creates a demand within a demand for these exclusive releases so it’s not going anywhere. On to the Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel review
Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Buffalo Trace
Mashbill: Mash #2 (Higher rye 12-15%) Corn, Rye, Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Price: $100 (Duty Free / International)
Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel Review
Herbal, oak, hazelnuts, char, baking spice and bits of vanilla and caramel. It may not be insanely complex, but it carries a nice weight.
Dark fruit, caramel, hazelnuts, char, baking spice, vanilla and a bit of brown sugar and citrus peels. More interesting than the nose and also feels heavy.
Long oaky fade of dark fruit, char, spice and dark sweets.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Nice balance, full body and a heavy syrupy feel.
Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel is exactly what you’d want and expect from a cask strength Blanton’s. The aroma and palate are heavy and satisfying, but the way this particular bottle came together felt a tad dull. Even with water it didn’t open much beyond a bit more vanilla showing up so it kept from becoming the kind of dynamic whisky I’d had in other barrels. Which is the gamble of single barrels.
That all said this Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel was still a great bourbon and one I’d happily sip on any night, though is this particular barrel worth the $100+ in duty-free? I don’t think so. I’ve had some other casks that were good, but I’d still have a hard time spending that kind of money on them. Maybe that’s why they do them as duty-free, they can charge more than people in the states would be willing to pay if it was on the shelf.
SCORE: 87-89/100 (B+, consumed at a tasting)