Things You Need To Know About Blantons Single Barrel Bourbon
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. Blantons single-barrel bourbon wasnt always so hard to find. It made its 1984 debut in the U.S. at a sweet price of $24 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 Blantons.
Which Bourbon Has A Horse On Top
Have you ever seen a bottle of bourbon with a horse on its top and wondered what it was? Chances are, what you saw was an intriguing and highly-collectible whiskey known as Blantons Single Barrel Bourbon. Blantons has long been known by connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike for its iconic horse and jockey bottle stopper, which is the visual high point of its otherwise unique bottle.
Q: Why Blanton’s What Did You Start With
I’m all in on Blanton’s. I may have two other bourbons in my house at most I’m not a well-rounded bourbon collector. My boss suggested it to me, gave it to me as a gift and I liked the horse toppers and collecting the letters like most people.
That brought me to the internet and Googling it. When I stumbled into photos of the other varieties, and some of the Japanese releases, it was over. I travel to Japan for work so I thought I’d bring some home. I found the standard lineup the Red, Gold and Black at the time and I was bringing them back in huge quantities. I think one time I brought back 28 bottles in one go.
At that point, I didn’t think I could own them all so I thought I could document them. Eventually I started hunting them down like Pokémon.
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Q: What’s The Most Valuable Or Rarest Bottles You Don’t Own But Are Hunting Down
There’s five LMDWs I need. The ’98 and ’99 Paris By Day & Paris By Night as well as some others. There’s something called the Frankfurt 200th Anniversary bottle, and it’s supposed to be the first special bottling of Blanton’s ever, done in celebration of Frankfurt, Kentucky’s bicentennial. It has a unique topper and doesn’t even say Blanton’s on the label.
There’s one that was sold or given I don’t know the true story to readers of a German magazine I can’t pronounce well . It’s hard to find, for sure. We just call it the German Bottle.
There’s also the My Only Blanton’s bottle. In 2006, Takara released a private barrel program. You could buy a barrel yourself or you could buy an allotment of a barrel with a group of 20 people. Both of those labels are extremely unique. The shared offering is actually more rare now. I only know of one bottle.
Increasing Demand Steady Supply
There is a shortage for Blanton’s bourbons because the demand for this single barrel bourbon exceeds its supply. Although Blanton is all about quality over quantity, the liquor brand can only supply so much at a time.
Even if the supply has increased since 2013 , collector demand has skyrocketed. As a result, Blanton’s is the strange bourbon that rarely surfaces on secondary market forums at inflated prices and is the whiskey thats been vulnerable to hoarding.
For its part, Buffalo Trace has started scanning driver’s IDs at the distillery gift shop so that buyers can only buy one bottle every three months. In addition, duty-free purchases at American airports have increased in the larger market.
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Q: Are You The Most Prolific Blanton’s Collector Out There
Not necessarily, but I am probably the merch guy. There are “box guys” who obsess and collect the packaging exclusively. There are of course bottle guys who have basically every bottle. I’m a merch guy. Again, with the Japanese tie-in, a significant amount of the marketing they’ve done for Blanton’s has been in the Japanese market. I’ve got all sorts of chotzkies watches, signs, mirrors, keychains, Zippo lighters and all sorts of other stuff. In these groups I’m in if someone is going to sell something they immediately tag me because they know they can empty my pockets for it. I paid $1,000 for a Blanton’s watch. It’s not Cracker-Jack cereal box quality, but it’s definitely not a Rolex. It’s ridiculous but I had to have it I’d never seen it before.
All in all, though, there are probably four or five ‘uber’ collectors that Im aware of. My collection has holes and several others have more depth, but they are missing the super-rare ones that I have, which is what elevates me into one of the top five or so collectors. Im aware of one person who has 99 percent of the bottles I track on my website. She is the ultimate collector!
Q: What’s The Most Valuable Or Rarest Bottle You Own
The first thing you should know is it’s not like Pappy, where bottles comes out once every year. Most of these bottles came out of one or two barrels in one place 10 or 20 years ago it’s a different kind of thing.
Most Blanton’s collectors would call my Sterling Silver the unicorn. A lot of people call it the ‘Starling’ because the name tag was printed with a misspelling of ‘sterling’ on it, but the documentation that comes with the bottle calls it the ‘Sterling.’ The story is that there’s fewer than 100 bottles ever in existence, but there’s not much in the way of verifiable proof of that.
But the true unicorn is the 2012 Le Maison Du Whisky release. They only made one barrel’s worth of bottles in those days, so they’re far more rare. The bar didn’t even hang onto one. They’ve got most of the old ones in there, but not the old one.
The third bottle is the Tazuka 100 year anniversary. There are only seven bottles we know of in the collecting community, and I’ve got two of them.
The 2007 LMDW with the handwritten label was called the Private Stock, that one is very rare as well.
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Theres A Risk Of Inconsistency From Bottle To Bottle
Thats part of the magic and curse of a single-barrel product. Bourbons are typically created by blending whiskey from multiple barrels to reach a desired flavor profile. But as you now know single-barrel bourbons like Blantons take a different approach. Every individual barrel ages differently, even when aging in the same warehouse with others. Thus, the final product might taste unique from bottle to bottle.
Granted, youre still operating in bourbon territory, so there are fairly limited elements at play . The range of possible flavors is nothing too crazy. However, each barrel might showcase varying degrees of brown sugar, smoke, caramel, clove, vanilla, hazelnut, orange peel, and other flavor notes.
Unique And Rare Design
Blanton’s Bourbon is one of the most famous whiskeys in the world. It is complimented for its flavor and the edgier aspects of the brand. A single letter is embedded at the base of each bottle topper, which when combined spells “B-L-A-N-T-O-N’-S.”
A handwritten “dump date” is also placed on each label. Blanton’s is one of the few brands that list the date the barrel was emptied, which draws collectors looking for specific bottles to mark wedding anniversaries or birthdays.
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Whisky Bottle With Horse On Top
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Why Is Blanton Hard To Find
Recently, Kentucky bourbons have been increasingly scarce. Aside from Blanton’s bourbons, other varieties such as Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare 10, Colonel E.H. Taylor bourbons also reported that their bottles have been running out. Here are several reasons why Blanton’s whiskey have been in short supply:
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Q: How Long Have You Been Collecting Blanton’s
It’s been about two years with the past year-and-a-half going full steam ahead, all-in. The pandemic definitely accelerated it. I’ve gone in pretty quick, driven mostly by my OCD and desire to get as many as I can. I see something go for auction in Europe and I think “I have to get it before it goes away.”
I don’t think of it as an investment, but these bottles do hold their value. I’m not seeing it as a growth opportunity, but it could be worse. Two years ago I was asking anyone would listen about this stuff now they’re asking me questions about valuation and rarity and what company makes the stoppers.
If you looked at my site and said I want all these bottles. I would think it would be $75,000 to $100,000. I’ve sunk something like $50,000 into it so far.
When Blantons First Launched It Was A Flop In The Us
Its hard to believe a product made in the U.S. wasnt originally appreciated by people living there. But its true. In fact, Blantons creators designed it that way. Young Americans in the 70s rebelled against their parents drinking habits and opted for vodka.
Similarly, Japanese youth wanted something different than the Scotch their elders were drinking, so bourbon it was. Blantons marketing plan to reach Japanese drinkers was a success, and it became a favorite export in the country. Reverse psychology at play, Americans eventually envied the Japanese bourbon trend. Soon enough, Blantons took off in the country it came from.
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These Charming Collectible Horse
By: Kim Izzo | October 6, 2021
There is something about bourbon and horses that go together. For starters, bourbon is made in Kentucky, the home of the Kentucky Derby with the crème de la crème of thoroughbred breeding stock grazing upon acres of rolling hills of bluegrass.
For bourbon connoisseurs, one brand that has risen to almost mythological status is Blantons. Youll find much debate among those who love Kentucky whiskey about just how good Blantons is some say its overrated hype, others say its as good as it gets.
But for horse lovers, its not about what is inside the unique bottle, its whats on top: the horse and jockey stopper. The highly sought-after metal stoppers are found on the 375- and 750-milliliter bottles of Blantons Single Barrel Bourbon, Blantons Gold, and Blantons Straight from the Barrel.
Buffalo Trace Distillery and Sazerac Company own Blantons, and they created the horse stopper campaign in 1999. There are eight different stoppers and each has a circled letter on the lower left side that will spell B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S. The set features the horse and jockey in different strides meant to resemble the various stages of a horse race from start to finish, with the S signifying the winning ride. The idea is to collect all eight.
And while the company claims that the same amount of each letter is produced every year, customers insist some letters are nearly impossible to find.
Why Is The Blanton Horse So Iconic
Blantons is a respectable whiskey in its own right, with a distinctive flavor palette that characterizes the best bourbons. But much of its iconic status is due to the trademark bottle stoppers, which are considered collectible items by whiskey aficionados.
What is the story behind these toppers? These were inspired by Kentuckys rich and colorful history, a large part of which revolves around horses and bourbon.
Blantons Bourbon is one of the earliest single barrel bourbons on the market. Each bottle is aged in a single barrel instead of blended from bourbons from different barrels. This is the reason for Blantons reputation as super-premium quality bourbon.
Of course, the demand for top-quality bourbon is much higher than any distillerys production capacity. As word of Blantons quality spread, more and more thirsty bourbon drinkers wanted to get their hands on the product. This, in turn, helped boost the brands collectible status.
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Where Can You Buy Blantons Bourbon
In the U.S., wholesale and retail distribution of liquor is limited to only 17 states. This limits the number of retailers where you can get high-quality bourbon of Blantons caliber. In any case, you should be able to find Blantons in the following states:
Furthermore, existing laws in the U.S. prevent Blantons from selling their liquors directly to consumers. Consequently, you can only purchase this super-premium bourbon from authorized resellers.
There are fewer restrictions for the distribution of liquor on the international market. But the high demand and aging requirements mean that Blantons is only available to select distributors and resellers worldwide.
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I Have An Old Brown Bottle With A White Horse On The Front
i have an old brown bottle with a white horse on the front ,imprinted at the top a horse in the glass bottle. under the bottle imprinted is distillers 120 something then below that it stay glasgow scotland can you tell me anything about ythis bottle and how mych it is worth
Wow!Its a HW-Highland Ooler- 1957- one of the rarest TP-Vattings ever and apparently really good and worth any amount.You might have heard the true story, that the one and only present of of Prince Rainer of Monaco for his 18th birthday was one of these fillings!Too expensive for private investors though.If you dont find a sheik that will pick it up in person at your place contact me at our National Collecter Center as shown below.As a historical chance we would of course like to buy that bottle, wont be able to spend more than 15 000,- Euro though.Please contact uns in any way. We would like to take photos and register the bottle, you will be rewarded of course.
Blantons Barrels Are Also Mildly Tortured
With the bourbon inside, Blantons barrels are aged for several years in Warehouse H. Since metal conducts heat, the walls of Warehouse H act like an amplifier for Kentuckys temperature fluctuations, increasing the impact of heat and humidity changes all of which encourages the barrels to absorb and then flush out the bourbon more often over the course of aging. The more interaction between bourbon and barrel, the more flavor in the end.
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How To Enjoy Blantons Whiskey
If youre new to the world of bourbon, Blantons Special Reserve or Single Barrel are the best places to start. They offer the best balance of strong, spicy, and sweet. To enjoy them in their most traditional forms, pour into a short, wide-mouthed glass. This will allow the aroma to open up the flavor even more, allowing you to experience the citrusy, woody notes with more clarity.
Beware Of Blantons Scammers
Blantons isnt cheap these days, with demand outpacing supply and causing price hikes by retailers. Those willing to pay the premium price will do just about anything to get their hands on a bottle. Online scammers jumped at the opportunity to take advantage of them.
Blantons was one of two Buffalo Trace bourbons that fell victim to an online scam in which consumers bought bottles that never came. Social media ads and several fake websites drove purchases. In a press release, Buffalo Trace warned Blantons fans to be vigilant and reminded them that none of the companys products are for sale online.
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You Can Collect The Horse Stoppers And It Will Drive You Mad
Theres an adorable horse stopper atop every bottle of Blantons single-barrel Bourbon. Each one has a letter inscribed on it that you can find in a little circle on the lower left part of the stopper. Collect all eight and you get B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S . FYI, the S shows the horse crossing the finish line you can tell because the jockey is fist-pumping. But dont join him in the winners circle just yet double-check that your Ns arent identical. The first is a regular old N, but the second should have a colon after it, as shown here.