Today, we’re excited to dive into the story and bottles of Blanton’s, one of our favorite distillers of bourbon. Produced in Kentucky, the bourbon capital of the world, Blanton’s is known for its Original Single Barrel, a citrus and oak-tasting bourbon with notes of vanilla. Blanton’s Original Single Barrel was once designated for ambassadors, dignitaries, and Colonel Blanton’s family and friends—but is now available to all. In this post, we’ll take a look at Blanton’s rich history and some of its other world-class bottles.

The Story of Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon

Blanton’s is the originator of Single Barrel Bourbon, which was first produced in 1984 by master distiller Elmer T. Lee. Elmer T. Lee recalled the earlier days of his career in the late 1940’s, when he worked under the president of the distillery, Colonel Albert B. Blanton. Colonel Blanton would handpick “honey barrels” from the center cut of Warehouse H and have that bourbon bottled one barrel at a time while he was entertaining dignitaries and other important guests. Calling on this tradition, Elmer T. Lee did the same and named this new bottle “Blanton’s Single Barrel”. He retired a year after its creation.

Many bourbon aficionados believe Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon revolutionized bourbon, creating the industry’s “super premium” category of bourbon with the world’s first single barrel bourbon. Today, most distilleries offer one or more single barrel bottlings, but Blanton’s was the first, (and one of the finest) single barrel bourbons on the market.

blanton’s bottles of bourbon

While Blanton’s is best known for its Single Barrel Bourbon, the distiller also has a few other bottles. Blanton’s Gold Edition is on par with the world’s finest whiskey, and was created for discerning bourbon aficionados who appreciate exceptional smoothness and complexity in their bourbon whiskey. This bottle has notes of oak, honey, rye, and tobacco. Blanton’s Gold Edition is only sold to select non-U.S. markets and some domestic duty-free stores.

Similar in taste profile, Blanton’s Straight From the Barrel has enormous depth of flavor only found in the rarest of spirits. This bourbon has notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and butter with earthy undertones of walnut and hazelnut. Its high alcohol content is powerful, yet inviting, creating flavors that make for a legendary bottle. Blanton’s Straight From the Barrel is also only available in select non-U.S. markets and some domestic duty-free stores.

Last, but certainly not least, Blanton’s Special Reserve is ideal for those who are new to single barrel bourbons. It has notes of vanilla and cedar, and its smooth consistency is ideal for mixing into a premium cocktail. Blanton’s Special Reserve is only available in select non-U.S. markets and some domestic duty-free stores.

A picture of Blanton's bottle tops with various horses

Before we go, we’ll leave you with one final fun fact about Blanton’s: its bottle stoppers feature a horse and jockey in different strides resembling the stages of a horse race, from beginning to end, and spell out Blanton’s when the set has been completed. We’ll be pulling special bottles of Blanton’s Single Barrel bourbon onto the floor at Wines Off Wynkoop this holiday season. Come stop by and see which bottle stoppers you can spot!

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Whether you’re a new wine drinker or a seasoned connoisseur, you may have noticed that there seems to be just as many shapes of wine glasses as there are wines. And, newsflash: there certainly is a reason for it all. While you’re free to drink wine from whatever vessel you’d like, certain glasses work well for certain types of wine if you’re actually looking to taste your wine. In this post, we’ll explain how to choose the proper wine glass for your wine—so you can look like a pro in front of your fellow wine drinkers.

White Wine Glasses

White wines should be served in glasses with smaller bowls (bowls are the rounded receptacles in which wine can be poured and held). These smaller glasses preserve floral aromas, maintain cooler temperatures, and express more acidity—all great attributes for bringing out the nuance in your white wine. Full-bodied white wines and orange wines are better with glasses that have larger bowls, while light-bodied white wines are better with glasses that have smaller bowls.

Source: Wine Folly

You can also enjoy rose wines in white wine glasses. Narrower bowls are better for bringing out the fruity aromas of rose, and glasses with long stems will help maintain the cool temperature rose should be sipped at.

Red Wine Glasses

Source: Wine Folly

Red wines should be enjoyed from glasses with a wide opening. This helps mitigate the bitterness of tannins and spices to deliver a smoother, more pleasant tasting wine. Use a large, Bordeaux glass (pictured as #1) for bold red wines. The large surface area of the glass lets ethanols evaporate so you can taste and smell more aromas (rather than the burn of ethanol). 

The standard red wine glass (pictured as #2) is perfect for medium to full-bodied red wines with spicy notes or high alcohol content. The smaller opening of the glass allows spices to soften as the flavors hit your tongue.

Lastly, the aroma collector “Burgundy” glass is a great choice for lighter, more delicate red wines with subtle aromas. Its round bowl is the perfect shape for collecting and showcasing all the aromas of a lighter wine. 

Sparkling Wine Glasses 

Similar to still wine glasses, the shape of sparkling wine glasses will shape your perception of how different sparkling wines taste. Glasses with smaller openings and bowls are less expressive than glasses with a larger bowl shape. This means you should drink more affordable sparkling wine in a flute-style glass (which will hide flaws and make the wine taste more spritzy), and more expensive sparkling wine in a tulip-style glass (to bring out the nuance in the flavors).

Source: Wine Folly

Dessert Wine Glasses 

Last, but certainly not least, port wine should be enjoyed in port glasses, which have a small and slender shape. The design of this glass brings out the fruit, oak, and spice flavors of port wines, and lessens its heavy alcohol flavors.

For ice wines and dessert wines, use a dessert wine glass with a highly tapered rim. This rim makes for easy swirling, and helps to keep the wine to air ratio balanced. This glass also emphasizes the acidity of the wine, preventing its sweetness from being overwhelming. 

Overall, there are countless options of glasses to choose from for consuming your wine—a few glass manufacturers even offer “universal glasses,” a good option for practical wine enthusiasts who don’t want to bother with all the different wine glass shapes. However, if you’d like to show off your wine knowledge, or appreciate the best, most detailed flavors in your wine, we recommend choosing glasses that suit your wine. We hope you learned a thing or two about choosing proper stemware in this post. Happy sipping!