Blanton’s Gold is a higher proofed version of Blanton’s that is only available in International markets and duty-free outlets (if you are lucky). Truth be told, Blanton’s is my favorite higher end bourbon and pretty much my standard when trying something new. Not necessarily on taste and flavor profile but more along the lines of value and bang for my buck. For example, if I come across a new bourbon that costs $100/bottle, would I rather have a bottle of Blanton’s and a bottle of something else or even a bottle and a half of Blanton’s or would I prefer to spend my money on the new $100 bottle. The Gold version is bottled at 51.5% while the standard version is bottled at 46.5%. The additional 5% makes a huge difference. The bottle is the same, but the label is different. The Gold version has no paper label, and the text is printed in gold directly on the bottle. The Gold version also has a gold colored bottle topper instead of the standard pewter topper that sits on top of the standard release.
- Name: Blanton’s Gold
- Proof: 103
- Age: NAS (Non Age Stated) Estimated between 4-6 Years
- Barrel Number: 115, dumped on 9-1-15. Warehouse H (like all Blanton’s), Rick No. 39. Bottle 147
- How I Drank It: Neat, in my buddy’s fancy new crystal rocks glass that he got for a wedding gift
- My Nose Noticed: Brown sugar, caramel, some vanilla, Possibly a hint of maple syrup or butterscotch, not much alcohol vapor. I expected more with the proof at 103. I’ve seen bottles of Gold at lower proofs, so I was looking forward to this one being a bit higher proof.
- First Sip: There is the alcohol. At first sip, this smells much better than it tastes. It has some heavy oak notes and a nice little burn to it. The finish lasts on both the tip of the tongue as well as the back of the palate for at least 30-45 seconds. All of the amazing smells that were on the nose were not nearly as noticeable as the oak and alcohol on the first sip.
- The Burn/Finish: Once I dove back in for my second sip, I gave it the full “Kentucky Chew” treatment and things weren’t that different. There was much more of a burn on the tongue when I coated my entire mouth with it, but not in a bad or unpleasant way. It was more of an alcohol tingle. The oak is still there; it’s up front and not going away.
- Neat, Splash or Rocks: I drank this neat. I wouldn’t water this down. Ever.
- Share With: Someone who knows and appreciates good bourbon. Especially someone who can understand how hard this bottle is to get.
- Worth The Price: I purchased this bottle for $65. It is worth the price. However, the price doesn’t include the trip out of the country that it was purchased on.
- Bottle, Bar or Bust: Bottle if you ever come across it in the wild.
- Personal Note: In all honesty, I love Blanton’s Gold. It is pretty much my all-time favorite bourbon. It is very hard to get and not available in the US. Most of the bottles that I’ve had were amazing. The problem was that this barrel wasn’t all that great. It was a very good bourbon, but not amazing like most of the other bottles of Blanton’s Gold that I’ve had. Compared to the others, this was by far the worst. But in saying that, it’s still much better than 97% of anything that you can get on the shelves. I am hoping that this barrel (115) was an outlier and not the new standard for Blanton’s Gold. I will be doing a review of a different barrel of Blanton’s Gold in the next few months to compare.
This review was originally posted on August 18th, 2016.