Annnnnnnd, continuing my tour of Blanton's offerings, this time with a very beautiful bottle of Gold Edition. This is a "special edition" in the sense that it is harder to find than the standard 46.5% bottling and is not sold in the USA (except at duty free shops, supposedly). There was also a Silver Edition at 49% abv that I reviewed some time ago but is discontinued: I know these are single barrel bottlings and can vary from bottle to bottle, but from my experience, I can understand why they discontinued the Silver and went on with the Gold
Nose: pretty nice wood expression, a loooot of cinnamon with a powerful yet mastered alcohol presence. It is actually almost shy, quite delicate and elegant for a bourbon, very enjoyable. WIth time you get some pruneaux (nice !), chocolate cake, some mint chewing gum (that would the very forward minty presence of the SIlver Edition but here it is pleasantly on the background instead of overhelming your nostrils) and very big bursts of nutmeg.
Palate: 51.5% abv, you can't pretend this is watered down Yet it is not overly aggressive. Lots of walnut and rye (rye spiceness although maybe not as spicy as the standard edition or the Straight from the Barrel), and some very cognac-like flavour ! As a cognac fan, this is very welcome !
Finish: this is sweeter, caramelised corn (finally a bit of corn !) with rye bread (lots of rye here, you can't ignore this is a high rye bourbon), touches of coffee and almonds. Medium length but there again quite pleasant.
This is not your usual bourbon, actually this is venturing into cognac territory and with quite a bit of success imo. However it looses on the usual boldness/corn/caramel you're expecting from a bourbon, as a friend made me notice. If you like your classic bourbon, you might find it just ok, if you're like me you'll give that guy a 90 and think pretty hard about getting yourself a second and a third bottle In my perfect world, this would be Blanton's standard offering...
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Nice to know you guys are getting good Bourbon on the other side of the pond. Have you tried it with a splash of water or do you drink it as is? Typically with whiskey, I will add a small amount of water and let it sit for about 10 minutes or so. Bourbon can be quite aromatic, which is nice!!
Good question, I'm getting slowly more confident with water in my spirit Since I really enjoy this as it is, I haven't felt inclined to make the experiment, but I'll probably give it a try and post and edit (and find out about this "opening up the flavours" thing !).
A good way to do this is to grab two Glencairn glasses; add about 10ml to both glasses and then a tiny splash of water to one. Wait ten or fifteen minutes then let your nose go to work. Typically, water makes it become much more fragrant while calming the fire down a bit. Like anything else, it's easy to add too much water. Also, Bourbon is fantastic over ice. On these hot summer days, I recommend filling a small tumbler glass with crushed ice, and adding about 50ml of Bourbon. Though I readily admit that I would try this once or twice with Blanton's Gold....Woodford is a great choice.