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Blanton's Whiskey

Blanton's Bourbon was launched in Kentucky in 1984, majoring on its credentials as a single barrel bourbon. Master Distiller at the time Elmer T. Lee was challenged to create an exceptional bourbon. Near retirement, Lee took inspiration from his time working in the 1940s working under Colonel Albert B. Blanton, who was president of the distillery until 1952. Blanton would hand-pick barrels and bottle the bourbon one barrel at a time, and so Blanton’s Single Barrel was created as a tribute to these previous bottlings. The expression was introduced to the market only one year before he retired.

Blanton also determined what kind of warehouses would be used. In 1933, after the repeal of Prohibition, production went into overdrive, though with this came a shortage of storage space for barrels. Blanton offered a solution - to use metal warehouses as it would take the shortest time to build. However, this resulted in a unique ageing process for the bourbon, as the temperature change inside the metal warehouse was much more drastic, and so the oak interacted more with the liquid inside it. Still, Blanton’s only uses metal warehouses to age its whiskey.

Now, we return to the story of Elmer T. Lee. After retiring, Lee served as Master Distiller Emeritus and Ambassador for Buffalo Trace Distillery, and continued until his death in 2013. The distillery changed hands several times during its history, and was renamed by its current owner, the Sazerac Company, and became the Buffalo Trace Distillery in 2001. Buffalo Trace claims that Blanton’s was the first single barrel bourbon to be released to market. The horse and jockey sported on the bottle stoppers are now a charming trademark of Blanton’s bourbon, paying homage to Kentucky heritage.

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