Blanton’s Straight from the Barrel is a barrel-proof Blanton’s expression that is sold overseas and distilled by Buffalo Trace for Age International. I’ve often lamented this expression isn’t available in the US as it would be near the top of my list of go to bourbon that isn’t extremely allocated/limited. This particular bottle clocks in at 65.15% ABV.
Nose: Freshly sawn oak, cherries, dark chocolate, heavy/musty earthy note, and a hint of vanilla.
Palate: Great thick mouthfeel. Oak is rather potent up front wit hthe bitter chocolate notes persisting. Powerful earth notes (think root vegetable) with a hint of tart cherries. The high ABV is readily apparent and makes it a bit difficult to pick out individual notes.
Finish: Heat fades very rapidly leaving you with most of the notes from the palate but they become a bit clearer here. A bit of strawberry and citrus appear as the alcohol fades.
Rating: 89/100 – great bourbon overall. Love the nose for a high proof bourbon as sometimes the finer notes are lost in the overpowering alcohol fumes. Palate is quite hot though, but I’ve had other Straight from the Barrel bottles where the heat is much more manageable. Overall, if you like big, barrel-strength bourbons, I think the Straight from the Barrel is one of the best bang for your bucks for bourbon that is available at retail (overseas).
Value for the money: You can find these from European sites that ship to the US, but with shipping added in they often approach $150-175 which is a bit high. If these were available in the US for $70-80, I think it would be about impossible to keep them in stock.