Blanton’s Original Single Barrel 2002
DISTILLERY: BUFFALO TRACE
REGION: KENTUCKY, USA
BOTTLE STRENGTH: 46.5% / 93 PROOF
BOTTLE SIZE: 70CL
Blanton’s Original Single Barrel, dumped 16th September 2002 from Cask 245, with original box.
First released in 1984 by Elmer T. Lee who was the master distiller at Buffalo Trace distillery, which was then known as George T. Stagg Distillery, Blanton’s Original Single Barrel was the first single barrel bourbon commercially released.
Tasting Notes; sweet, citrus, oak, creamy vanilla and baking spices.
Please note that the seal around these bottles is prone to cracking in transit. This does not affect the liquid.
A sequel to the very excellent 17yo ‘Islay Cask’ from around 2004 (WF 90). By law, the non-Islay brands can’t use the appellation ‘Islay Cask’ anymore, but they can use ‘Pomerol Cask’, ‘Sauternes Cask’ or ‘Barolo Cask’ at will, how weird is that? Anyway, this baby has been finished (or maybe fully matured, not sure) in some casks that had previously held some peated whisky, but how much peated whisky was remaining in the wood? Let’s find out… Colour: dark gold. Nose: great! It immediately reminds me of the older version, with this very subtle combination of Balvenie’s usual honey, dried apricots and juicy ripe plums with a dry and even sooty and ashy smokiness. At times, this combination can create some faint soapy, or rather paraffiny notes but nothing really unpleasant, it’s all rather funny. There’s also an earthiness and quite some vanilla, even a little smoked ham. Blanton’s Original Single Barrel 2002
Mouth: once again, there’s something extra-terrestrial here. Imagine some plum eau-de-vie that you’d have put into a smoker oven. Funny (I insist). There’s even something briny and coastal, very un-Balvenie, as well as quite some toasted bread and even raw coffee beans. Also something medicinal (antiseptic). Gets then sootier and sootier, maybe a little bitter and certainly very dry. Harder. Finish: not its best moment, I’d say, with the bitterness growing bolder and bolder. I must say I’m a bit lost now. Comments: interesting in-cask vatting. Worked very, very well for a good while but it became a little difficult on the palate, especially the finish wasn’t too pleasant in my opinion. Good whisky nonetheless – and it’s not boring!
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