Whereas the original Blanton’s bourbon – produced at Buffalo Trace distillery – is bottled at 93 proof (46,5%), this Blanton’s Gold Edition is bottled at a stronger 103 proof (51,5%) and composed with barrels from the esteemed middle racks of warehouse H. It has the same mashbill of corn and around 10-12% rye – more than for the Buffalo Trace brand.
You can recognize the Gold Edition by its gold coloured full-metal topper, which has the usual Kentucky horse rider in different (collectible) positions. It is not available in the US, only in European markets and duty free shops.
The wax around the topper of my bottle arrived cracked and partly stripped. Apparently this was a common problem around 2014-2015 which is supposed to be resolved by now.
Blanton’s Gold Edition (51,5%, OB 2015, barrel #490, warehouse H, rack #44, dumped 15/01/2015)
Nose: vanilla syrup and brown sugar at first, but in a very smooth way, with a classy oakiness and fresh minty notes to balance it. Newish leather. Hints of apricot pastry with cinnamon. A lighter floral hint and some lemon zest too, which gives it a great fresh appeal.
Mouth: apricots, with even more citrusy notes now, and again a big wave of minty notes and eucalyptus. Interesting because I expected more vanilla. Moves towards plums, roasted notes, spices (pepper, clove), dark chocolate and a slight earthy edge in the end. Very nice – too bad there is also a raw hint of alcohol to it.
Finish: long, oaky, minty, with lingering chocolate.
I love the fresh, minty side in this Blanton’s, a nice deviation from the usual vanilla / caramel profile. The balance is more towards wood and (subtle) rye here. Around € 65.