Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon
God must hate the prideful folks at the Buffalo Trace distillery. Why? Well, the bible says pride is bad. I think. So Buffalo Trace better get off their high horse before somebody smites them.
So what gives?
Buffalo Trace, which produces Blanton's single barrel bourbon, clearly makes a huge effort to show the world theirs is a truly exceptional bourbon. And rightly so.
First, as stated, this is a single barrel bourbon. The process is very difficult because the whiskey isn't blended with a group of barrels to mask small imperfections. Single barrels have to be perfect. And when it emerges all perfect-like, it's bottled in an amazing grenade of a bottle with a metal horse stopper.
Additionally, they've carried their bottle philosophy through to the lowly miniatures. And just when you thought they couldn't possibly care any more about their product, you open your mini and, for better or worse, a genuine cork shows up in your hand. THAT is how serious they are.
In April I spent a rather obscene amount of money at La Maison du Whisky, and picked out two minis as well, including a Blanton's single barrel for 11 Euros. As a thank-you, they gave me the two minis for free.
I was so excited about the Blanton's that I drank it in my hotel room (and brought the empty bottle home). It was strong on the nose but around the alcohol I detected sweet caramel and cherries.
In my mouth it was zingy, but the cherries were there again, dancing alongside almonds. The intensity grew in my mouth and it became spicy. It was sweet but strong.
The finish was a bit short, dry and nutty. Walnuts maybe.
A very limited supply of this showed up at the LCBO a few months ago and I kicked myself for not forking over the $75 before they all vanished. Luckily I got a second chance in Paris. Next time it shows up in the LCBO, it will not escape my clutches.
La Maison du Whisky: Free ($14 Cdn)
46.5% (93 proof)