Monday, December 9, 2013

An American Whiskey in Paris: Blanton's Paris by Day and Night

A few weeks ago I wrote about the best things I ate in Paris.  I didn't drink any whiskey in Paris, but that doesn't mean I didn't do some shopping.

La Maison du Whisky is one of the best whiskey shops in the world.  They have two shops in Paris, the main shop on Rue d'Anjou which is entirely whiskey and the Odeon shop, a three story shop which includes other spirits and hosts tastings.  Even if you are looking only for whiskey, I would recommend checking both shops as I found bottles at the Odeon shop that were not available at the main shop.

Taken in by the selection.
Single malts are the focus of LMDW, and what a collection they have. Along with Scotch, there is a large selection of Japanese single malts, including many from the shuttered Kaurizawa distillery, though they are very expensive.

There are deals to be had at LMDW though, particularly for some of their exclusive bottlings which can only be purchased there (and they don't ship to the US or Canada).  They aren't cheap, but not all of them are super expensive.  I saw reasonably priced exclusive bottlings of Glendronach, Kavalan and many others.

And then there's the bourbon.  Normally, there would not be much reason to shop for bourbon overseas, but there is one big exception:  Blanton's.  Made by Buffalo Trace but owned by Age International, Blanton's only has one release available in the U.S., but they have more expressions in Europe and Japan, including the cask strength Blanton's Straight from the Barrel I reviewed last year.  In addition, LMDW is a major distributor for Blanton's in Europe, so they often have specialty bottlings.

During my visit, they had two LMDW exclusive Blanton's on the shelf:  the 100 proof Paris by Day and the 120 proof Paris by night.  Despite the proof difference, both are 67 euro (approximately $90).

Blanton's Paris by Day, Barrel 21, Warehouse H, Rick 51, 50% abv

The nose is really nice with some sweet caramel and some nice rye spice.  The palate is rich and spicy with brown sugar and clove.  The spice keeps growing to dominate the finish.  This really nice stuff, complex but drinkable and a big step up from our standard domestic Blanton's.  

Blanton's Paris by Night, Barrel 54, warehouse H, Rick 90, 60% abv

The nose is sweet and chocolaty with some maple syrup and light anise notes.  The palate is rich with dark chocolate, polished wood and a slight medicinal note.  The finish a slightly bitter oak note.  A bit of water brings out some sweetness and medicinal notes. It's good, but for a high proof Blanton's, I prefer the Straight from the Barrel.

These are both very good bourbons, but the Paris by Day comes out on top.  It comes together very well, complex and balanced. Then again, I've never been much of a night owl.

If you visit Paris and you love whiskey, La Maison du Whisky should be on your list right between the Eiffel Tower and Louvre.

Viva la France!


Anonymous said...

thank you for reviewing these. i've been scoping them out of the translated version of the website. the paris by night just came back in stock. now i'm trying to find friends in france to pick them up for me.

Anonymous said...

Lucky Bourbon chien.

spytech said...

My girlfriend brought me back the "straight from the barrel". i like it a lot. it coats your mouth and has a sweetness that is rivaled by the proof. bit high priced @ maision du whiskey; what else could i do, but tell her to buy it.

have you had wild turkey 12 year 101 and the 13 year 91...? those are my next international purchases.

spytech said...

by the way, i hope you got their pure glass. they are beautiful and very good for nosing.

sku said...

I haven't had any of the export WTs and didn't see any at LMDW, but I wasn't looking for them.

The Straight from the Barrel is great, though like all single barrels, it varies. I've had some that were better than both of these, and others that were not quite as good.

Anonymous said...

I just scored 2 bottles of Paris By Day, the last 2 they had at the main LMDW location. Viva La France!