Thursday, December 19, 2013


Blanton's is a brand owned by Age International Inc.  In 1991, Takara Shuzo Co., Ltd. acquired a stake in Age International and later gained complete control of the company. Takara Shuzo is a Japanese company that makes all sorts of beverages, including sake, bourbon and scotch, and has subsidiaries around the world.

Even though the brand is owned by Age International, Buffalo Trace Distillery actually produces Blanton's and distributes it in the United States. All Blanton's comes from Warehouse "H," a metal warehouse that Colonel Blanton thought produced the best bourbon.

In addition to Blanton's, Buffalo Trace produces several other bourbons for Age International using its lower-corn Mash Bill #2. These brands include Ancient Age, Elmer T. Lee, Hancock's Reserve and Rock Hill Farm.

Blanton's markets itself as the first single barrel whiskey. In the United States, only Blanton's Original Single Barrel is widely available. In Japan, and much of the rest of the world, however, five, six or even seven varieties of Blanton's are available:

NameLabel ColorProofNotes
Special ReserveGreen80For markets that tax alcohol based on proof
Single Barrel BourbonBlack80Japan only; 8 years old
Single Barrel BourbonCream93Japan only; 8 years old
Original Single BarrelBrown93Standard U.S. Release
Silver EditionSilver98Discontinued Duty-Free Bottling 
Gold EditionGold103No actual label. The text that normally appears on the label is etched onto the glass in gold.
Straight from the BarrelBrown130"Uncut and unfiltered"

Most Blanton's is bottles at about 6-years-old. The two Japan-only releases, however, are bottled at about 8-years-old. Aside from that, there is no barrel selection. That is, barrels from Warehouse H selected as fitting the Blanton's profile are simply bottled at different proofs to create the various expressions. For example, the only difference between Blanton's Gold Edition and the Original Single Barrel is the amount of Kentucky limestone water added before bottling. Because this is a single barrel bourbon, however, there will  differences between bottles.

In addition to the above bottlings, there are various limited edition bottlings of Blanton's for La Maison du Whisky, a specialty liquor store in Paris. These are simply store selections of Blanton's, but each edition has a special label that departs dramatically from the standard Blanton's monochrome labels.
Warehouse H

No comments:

Post a Comment