Blanton’s Original Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, Mystical, beautiful, and all-too elusive — the unicorn bottles of the world are loved by many, but getting a bottle is no easy task. As impossible as it may seem to spot a single-horned beast in the wild, it can be even harder to find a unicorn drink on shelves. Blanton’s single-barrel bourbon wasn’t always so hard to find. It made its 1984 debut in the U.S. at a sweet price of $24 (expect to easily pay upwards of $100 nowadays) and effectively put “single-barrel” bourbon on the map.
Before you start hunting for a bottle of your own, here are 15 things you need to know about Blanton’s.
IT WAS THE WORLD’S FIRST “SINGLE-BARREL” BOURBON.
“Single-barrel” bourbon wasn’t a thing before 1984 (so we have no idea how anyone had a decent weekend). Among the many generous acts of Elmer T. Lee’s career at Buffalo Trace was this final parting gift — the creation of a super-premium bourbon category, i.e., bourbon taken from one barrel and bottled as is. Not only did Lee revive the bourbon industry, he created a lasting category that almost every major bourbon producer answers to with a bottle of its own.
Taken from the center-cut or middle sections of the famous Warehouse H, Blanton’s Original was once designated for ambassadors, dignitaries, and Colonel Blanton’s family and friends. Today, everyone has access to the world’s first single barrel bourbon. The taste profile is sweet with citrus and oak. A creamy vanilla nose features hints of nuts, caramel, orange and light chocolate. Blanton’s Original set the standard for single barrel bourbons. Best served neat or on the rocks. 46.5% alcohol by volume.