What Makes Blanton's Bourbon So Special? Is it Worth the Hype?

Written by Peoples Bourbon Review Staff |

Blanton's has been around since the 1980s but has become truly popular in the last decade. If you are a whiskey enthusiast or even a fringe bourbon lover, then you know that Blanton's is one of the most popular bourbons in the United States. So, what makes Blanton's bourbon so unique and highly sought after? Many things make Blanton's unique, including:

Rich Taste

One of the things that initially made Blanton's so special early on was its great rich taste. It was nicely balanced and delicious right out of the bottle with nothing added. This whiskey had a pleasing aroma and blended well with other flavors. If you were to drink it neat or if you decided to make a cocktail with it, you were guaranteed to enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, many bourbon enthusiasts say that today Blanton's Single Barrel is not the same quality that it once was.

Nevertheless, the taste of a whiskey is often not enough to make it as popular as Blanton's. Other things are needed.

It is the Original Single Barrel Bourbon

Blanton's is considered the original single barrel bourbon in the modern market. It uses Buffalo Trace's famous mash bill #2, a slightly higher rye mash bill than their mash #1.

Special Packaging

One of the primary things that make Blanton's so special is its packaging. While the drinking experience is essential in whiskey popularity, good packaging and bottling can make a bourbon legendary. In the case of Blanton's, the bottle is unique and of top quality. It features a racehorse on the top, a rustic-looking label, and an almost spherical bottle that creates a striking decanter-like container.

Blanton's Bottling Line

The emphasis put into Blanton's packaging impacts the price and, of course, its demand.

Descriptive Labeling

Blanton's script labeling is also very unique, and it distinctively describes the features of the whiskey and its warehouse specifics.

Aged at the Famous Buffalo Trace Warehouse

Another unique thing about Blanton's is that all barrels used have been aged in Buffalo Trace's warehouse H, specifically built from metal instead of the traditional brick and wood. This unique warehouse increases temperatures inside, thus boosting the interaction between the wood and whiskey.

History of Blanton's Bourbon

During the 1980s, whiskey was not that popular in the United States, and any distillers were closing their businesses. In the United States, clear spirits like Vodka started to dominate the market. However, two businessmen named Bob Baranaskas and Ferdie Falk, who spent a large portion of their career in the beverage industry, saw an opportunity and decided to quit their jobs and bought the Ancient Age brand and George T. Stagg distillery. They came up with another strategy: not to focus on the American market but rather to export the whiskey overseas.

They also created a new line of bourbon with no mixing or blending of contents of the barrels, which made the bourbon of superior quality. The new Blanton's bourbon was first released in Japan in 1984 and was the first generally available single barrel bourbon. It performed very well in the overseas market. It later made its way into the United States market.

Blanton's continued to record huge success in the United States. In fact, over the last decade, the demand and popularity of Blanton's have increased significantly to the point where the demand for this whiskey is higher than the supply. This has led to it becoming hard to find and the price of Blanton's tripling.

What are the Different Versions of Blanton's?



Label color

Blanton's Single Barrel



Blanton's Special Reserve



Blanton's Gold Edition



Blanton's Straight from the Barrel

103 (varies)


Blanton's Paris by Night

120 Blue

Blanton's Paris by Day



Blanton's Silver Edition



Blanton's Black Edition




Is Blanton's Bourbon Worth the Hype?

Although people have differing opinions about this, The People's Bourbon Review believes Blanton's is worth the hype. Why? While Blanton's Single Barrel may only be an average-tasting bourbon at best, it is a conversation piece and forms a nice centerpiece on any liquor cabinet. Owning a bottle will allow you to impress your friends who are fringe bourbon drinkers. Think of it as a rite of passage. Every respectable bourbon drinker should buy at least one single barrel to see what it's about. However, do not pay too much. You will not find it at MSRP prices, but if you take your time and search, you may be able to acquire a bottle well below secondary prices. 

Author: Peoples Bourbon Review Staff
The People's Bourbon Review - The ultimate Bourbon reviews and tasting notes by enthusiasts and the people.


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