Elmer was the first to create a single barrel brand in the U.S., Blanton’s Single Barrel, when he named his new label after retired, former, distillery-president, Colonel Albert Blanton, in 1984. Blanton would allegedly bottle unique single casks for VIPs during his own stewardship of the distillery. According to the distillery, in homage, Blanton’s label selects from Warehouse H, Blanton’s favorite. The story goes that Elmer found his own favorite spots on certain floors in other warehouses and in his retirement chose casks for his own namesake label until his passing in 2013.
If you like the typical single barrel releases, you’ll love this one. Right after I opened it I immediately regretted not opening it sooner. If your mouth is starting to water, trust me, it’s as good as you think it’s going to be. Here’s a great example of a whisky that eschews a numbered age statement (straight is still an age statement of sorts) and manages to put out a stunning whisky at a great value.
Nose: Pretzels, Luxardo cherries and snowy breeze. Loads of honey over green hay bales and Stove Top stuffing mix. Buttery waffles with syrup and peanut brittle crumbles. Pink bubblegum and a trace of light molasses.
Palate: Way more vanilla than the regular barrels. Bolder with dried apples. Cocoa early on and then on to thai chillies on the tongue, blasting past baked pretzel skin that creeps in through the back of the nose. The chocolate is now dark chocolate and smothering the cherries. The buttery flavor serves as a nice unifying backdrop.