Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Stuff We Don't Get: Blanton's Straight from the Barrel
Blanton's Straight from the Barrel is a barrel strength version of Blanton's available in Europe and Japan. Like the regular version, it's a single barrel bourbon, so the proof varies, and it carries no age statement. It seems to go for around $90 in Europe, but that, of course, depends on the exchange rates.
Normally, I wouldn't review a whiskey that was not available in the US, but I thought this one would be interesting since there is no other way to sample a barrel strength version of this mashbill. In addition, there has been some rumor that Age might release this (or one of the number of other Blanton's expressions that are sold only overseas) in the US. I wanted to see if it was something we should be advocating for.
Blanton's Straight from the Barrel, Barrel 195, Warehouse H, Rick 18, 68.3% abv
The nose on this is fantastic and complex. It's starts off with sweet caramel and then transitions quickly to spicy rye and wood polish notes. There's also some fruit on the nose; I'm getting candied apples (the sticky red ones you get at the fair). The palate socks you with rye right off the bat and then treats you to sweet wood. Water, of course, is pretty essential for something this proof, and in this one, brings out the sweet candy but also enhances the rye, giving it a peppery like quality that lasts into the finish.
This is really great stuff, a bourbon you can sit and contemplate, with notes that continue to grow and evolve as you drink it. The folks at Age International definitely need to let us in on some of it.