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Blanton's Bourbon set showcases magic of "Warehouse H"

Warehousing is one of the biggest influences of a bourbon's flavour and quality. You see, when whiskey is placed in a barrel, the barrel wood to repeatedly absorbs and releases the spirit, giving the resulting whiskey its characteristic oak notes and amber colour. This process is affected by the rate of temperature fluctuations.

 

 

Because hot air rises and cold air falls, where the barrel of whiskey is placed in a warehouse really influences the rate of temperature fluctuations.

 

Warehouse H

 

 

Buffalo Trace Distillery – the makers of Blanton's Bourbon – takes this one step further by constructing their famous "Warehouse H" for intense maturation of their bourbon. 

The distillery often makes a song and dance about how its Blanton’s Bourbon is specially aged in Warehouse H. What’s special about this building is the thin metal walls. External temperature changes- Kentucky’s mercurial weather and four seasons - are immediately felt inside. Because of the high fluctuation in temperature, bourbon aged in Warehouse H ages faster and absorbs more complex notes from the wood. This led Albert B. Blanton, the distillery’s president from 1921 to 1952 to put his favourite batches of bourbon in Warehouse H. And yes, this is how the Blanton’s brand eventually received its name.

The first single barrel bourbon to be bottled in 1984, Blanton’s continues to be matured in the famous Warehouse H. Selection is a meticulous process and only 20% of casks will be stamped Blanton’s.  

 

A tribute to Warehouse H 

Warehouse H is enveloped in metal, a material that conducts heat better than the brick traditionally used in the US, leading its whiskeys to mature in a very unique fashion. It was in this building, built by Colonel Albert Bacon Blanton at the end of Prohibition, that the very first single bourbon barrels were selected in 1984.

 

 

This year's La Maison du Whisky selection features four new releases from Blanton's casks. Two of which are cask strength and a single barrel bottled at 97° proof.

Of course, these single barrel whiskeys were all matured in Warehouse H. Through the labels depicting Warehouse H’s façade, this new series pays tribute to the historic building. The Magnolia on the box — whose branches bloom with abundant flowers and green leaves that then turn red and return to the ground – denotes the passing of time and the patient ageing of whiskeys as they experience intense temperature changes within Warehouse H’s steel-lined walls.

 

Blanton's Single Barrel #1 Bourbon - 63.35% ABV

(LMDW exclusive) 

 

 

Matured on the third floor of this warehouse, this particularly complex cask strength version alternates between warm and refreshing sequences of flavours and aromas. Its elegance and noble expression are amazingly natural.

This has an outrun of 210 bottles.

 

Tasting Notes
 
Colour
Burnished gold with copper tinges.
 
Nose
 
Noble, heady.
 
The magnificently oxidative first nose (mango, bramble, coffee, beeswax) is also nobly spicy (cinnamon, cardamom, saffron). Allowed to breathe, softly chocolate flavours and candied citrus fruits (orange, mandarin) mix together in harmony. Then, gradually, aromas of maize, rye and malted barley take over.
 
Taste
 
Clear, slender.
 
The fresh and elegant attack is like a vanilla ice cream. Unlike the nose, the flavour palette is incredibly fibrous (liquorice stick, ginger) and herbaceous (lucerne, lovage). The delicate mid-palate is heady (geranium, iris) and mentholated. At the end of the palate, notes of eucalyptus and savoury highlight this Blanton’s empyreumatic character.
 
Finish
 
Long, very energetic.
 
The salty start of the finish is at the same time candied (apricot, date) and tertiary (chestnut, sweet chestnut). At the end of the finish, iris butter and lavender honey form an extremely harmonious pairing. On the retro-nasal olfaction, white peaches release their fresh and syrupy juice across the taste buds. The empty glass reveals flavours of new oak and latte.

 

Blanton's Single Barrel #76 Bourbon - 63.05% ABV

(LMDW exclusive) 

 

 

This cask strength version matured on the second floor of Warehouse H at the Buffalo Trace distillery contrasts the minimalist classicism and elegance of the Single Barrel no. 1 also found in this creation catalogue with a completely assumed originality of tone. Taking more uneven paths, its aroma and flavour palette blithely cross the border into Kentucky to fill up on medicinal and oriental flavours.

This has an outrun of 204 bottles.

  

Tasting Notes
 
Colour
 
Burnished gold with copper tinges.
 

Nose
 
Full-bodied, deep.
 
On the first nose, aromas of flowering lime tree, courgette, coriander, turpentine and apricot highlight the complexity of a very original opening gambit. Allowed to breathe, the aroma palette becomes more powdery (cocoa, ginger) and rooty (gentian). It then gradually becomes increasingly honeyed (lime blossom), medicinal (elastoplast) and fruity (William’s pear).
 

Palate
 
Energetic, distinguished.
 
On the attack, vanilla pod and pecan create a truly delicious first sequence. Staying on the same theme, the mid-palate is filled with maize, fresh walnut and curry. The oriental end of the palate reveals notes of musk, ylang ylang, rose petal and Turkish delight.
 

Finish
 
Long, concentrated.
 
The rich start of the finish invites us to enjoy a carrot cake. Increasingly heady (lily, freesia), it is creamily vanilla and exotic (coconut). At the end of the palate, bourbon vanilla pod gradually takes over. The tangy retro-nasal olfaction reveals subtle notes of bitter orange, lemon and candied ginger. The spicy empty glass reveals aromas of cinnamon, Russian leather and ginger.

 

 

 

Blanton's Single Barrel #22 Bourbon - 50% ABV

(LMDW exclusive) 

 

This Single Barrel No. 22 was matured on the third floor of Warehouse H and bottled at 50% ABV and is more introverted than the Single Barrel No. 29 also found in this creation catalogue and bottled at the same strength. With a remarkably deep expression, the range of autumnal shades that tactfully nuance its palette of flavours and aromas are the perfect example. Yet, from the midpalate, there is a change of scene and this relative discretion is shattered, making way for a full expression of the infinitely heady, fruity, vanilla and rich temperament usually found in this iconic bourbon whiskey.

This has an outrun of 240 bottles.

 

Tasting Notes
 
Colour
 
Burnished gold with copper tinges.
 

Nose
 
Full-bodied, deep.
 
The very complex first nose is characterized by notes of ripe apricot, Corinthian raisin, cashew nut, salted butter caramel and precious wood. Allowed to breathe, the aroma palette develops a stunningly mature autumnal register. Lime blossom honey, squash, dill and coriander pay witness to this bottling’s incredible richness.
 
Palate
 
Stately, powerful.
 
In osmosis with the nose, the attack is tangy (orange, lemon) and rich (quince jelly). On the mid-palate, enveloping and heady (petunia, geranium, orchid) floral notes completely transform the course of the tasting. The end of the palate is then deliciously vanilla and spicy (cinnamon, candied ginger).
 
Finish
 
Long, dynamic.
 
Inseparable from the nose and palate, the start of the finish is a delicious pretext for enjoying a Paris-Brest cake. Revealing particularly expressive maize notes, the end of the finish is also candied (ginger, pear, Mirabelle plum). On the retro-nasal olfaction, one fruit in particular gains the upper hand: apricot. The empty glass is deeply chocolatey, resinous (Oregon pine), medicinal (ointment) and roasted (coffee).

 

Blanton's Single Barrel #29 Bourbon - 50% ABV

(LMDW exclusive) 

 

 

The especially extroverted aroma palette of this Single Barrel No. 29 — matured on the fourth floor of the renowned Warehouse H — presents Blanton’s trademark chocolatey, spicy, fruity, cereal and hot notes. Revealing a very pleasant menthol and vanilla freshness, its palette of flavours is then particularly smooth and rich.

This has an outrun of 162 bottles.

 

Tasting Notes
 
Colour
 
Orangey copper.
 

Nose
 
Rich, concentrated.
 
The powdery (cocoa) and spicy (ginger, clove) first nose is also medicinal (tiger balm, arnica). Allowed to breathe, very noble notes of maize develop. The aroma palette then becomes hot (Cayenne pepper, Espelette pepper), before dried fruit and nuts (walnut, almond, apricot) exquisitely punctuate the first stage in the tasting.
 

Palate
 
Lively, sharp.
 
The floral (lily, iris) yet vanilla attack highlights the deliciously honeyed (lime blossom), spicy (saffron) and mentholated distillate. On the mid-palate, notes of precious wood and beeswax underscore the flavour palette’s slightly empyreumatic character. The refreshing end of the palate is like a vanilla ice cream.
 
Finish
 
Long, rich.
 
The start of the finish opens with a delicious quince jelly and a just-as-tasty apricot jam. Sprinkled with cocoa, the texture is silky and fresh. The retro-nasal olfaction reveals new nuts (cashew, pecan, chestnut, almond). The empty glass is spicy (star anise, nutmeg) and vegetal (ivy, cut hay, straw).

  

 

@CharsiuCharlie