Another bourbon from Blanton's, having previously enjoyed their Gold Edition.
It's nice to see that when it comes to their single barrel offerings, Blanton's clearly label each bottle with the barrel details - worth bearing in mind, given that the bourbon will vary from barrel to barrel.
Blanton's Straight From The Barrel is the high end offering from Blanton's, both in terms of price and ABV - a bold, cask strength 65.7% ABV. Although my sample bottle doesn't include any barrel information, the ABV (and the timing) leads me to assume it's from barrel #566.
The nose is heavy with alcohol, but it's not overwhelming. Buckets of dark honey, warm wood and a little light toffee. Water just opens up the woody notes further.
In the mouth there's lots of sweet buttery fudge and golden treacle, slowly yielding to a distinct citrus bite. The alcohol is powerful throughout, but it's restrained enough to work with the other big flavours present. Underneath is lots of old oak, just a hint of tannin and a touch of spice.
Watered, it's a little softer and perhaps more buttery. The alcohol is tamed, but there's still the sweetness blending with citrus notes and the spicy finish is more pronounced.
Powerful with or without water, but with a splash it becomes fantastically drinkable with it. Deeply impressive, this is one of those times you really regret only having a sample bottle - 4.5 stars!
Many thanks to Master of Malt for providing their excellent Bourbon Advent Calendar this year.
This review was originally published 23rd December, 2015. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.