Dumped On: 3/31/2016
Bottle #: 86
Rick #: 11
Tasted: Couple of drops of water in a glencairn glass
Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel is the stronger and more aggressive brother to the standard single barrel Blanton’s that we see on liquor store shelves in the States. Unfortunately, this bottle of barrel proof “Straight From the Barrel”, the 80 proof “Special Reserve,” and the 103 proof “Blanton’s Gold” are all special offerings that are only available overseas. To obtain one of these bottles you need to either pick up one during international travels or purchase through an international online liquor store and have it shipped to you.
Some in the whiskey community view the Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel as a cousin to the highly sought after Buffalo Trace Antique Collection that is released every Fall. For example, Thomas H. Handy rye whiskey in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is the same age as the standard Sazerac rye whiskey offering, but just at cask strength. Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel is the same age as the standard Blanton’s offering, but just at cask strength. Since that is the case, why not add Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel to the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection and make it available in the States? Not sure. I guess Sazerac/Buffalo Trace are the only ones that can answer that question……. On to the tasting!
Nose: Green apple, peach, old oak, rye spice, and a light caramel syrup. Honestly, I really have to search for notes on the nose. Pretty lackluster nose in my opinion.
Palate: Nice thick mouthfeel! Caramel, honey, old oak, vanilla, and peach. Adding a few drops of water really helps to bring out the sweeter notes and a richer mouthfeel. Amazing what just a few drops a water can do.
Finish: Long, slightly dry finish. Tobacco, chocolate, and rye spice that sticks around.
87 – 89 (B+) = Great, A cut above, want to own a bottle
The Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel is a bruiser for sure. Honestly, it took about a month in the bottle and finding the right water ratio to make this an enjoyable pour for me. Like my buddy Ed Bley from Cork n’ Bottle says, “give it time to open up”. Once I gave it the time and water it required it became a delicious pour.
It is funny how my palate and preferences have changed in the four years I have been seriously drinking whiskey. At the beginning, like most, lower proof whiskey with ice was the way to go. Then you start drinking the whiskey neat and begin climbing in proof. If you were to ask me what proof I like my whiskey a year ago, I would have told you the higher the better and would have drank it neat. George T Stagg, William Larue Weller, or Willett Family Estate didn’t matter. All neat. Not even a splash of water. I loved the bruisers! Flash forward to today, and my proof preferences have settled into the 100 to 110 range. Anything over that, I’m adding water to bring it down to where it is optimal to my palate.