Whether you believe Blanton's is overrated, it's definitely tough to find
Before we get started, I’m going to tell you how I think about Blanton’s substitutes, because there are multiple options.1. Find bourbon similar to Blanton’s, meaning it has similar characteristics. [I’m going to focus on this area.]
Since there’s a lot of bourbon out there, I’m adding additional criteria to narrow down the list.1. Only bourbon – It’s a little obvious, but there are rye’s out there that could probably serve as good Blanton’s alternatives.
The tasty list of Blanton's alternatives
Bourbons like Blanton's
Why it’s like Blanton’s:Evan Williams Single Barrel Offers similar gentle licorice, clove, apple, orange, and peach notes, but with more oak, wood spices, and chocolate. Admittedly this overall is a bit lighter and nuttier than Blanton’s.
Why it’s like Blanton’s:Jim Beam Single Barrel has a lot of brighter and vibrant dried apple, orange, licorice, and fennel, but also brings more oak, spice, and nuts. The ABV adds a little extra kick and richness, making this a fragrant and tasty option.
Why it’s like Blanton’s:While I wouldn’t say that the standard Elijah Craig Small Batch is a bourbon similar to Blanton’s, some Elijah Craig Single Barrel Picks have a little more licorice, fennel, apple, and clove than the standard small batch release that make it more similar to Blanton’s. Older picks may also bring more dryness, fragrant oak, and effervescent citrus that are more similar to Blanton’s Red.
Why it’s like Blanton’s:Four Roses Single Barrel has a similar focus on delicate and brighter apple and honey sweetness, gentle herbalness, but with a little more more fruit, oak, and spice than Blanton’s. You could also probably summarize Blanton’s as “delicate fruit and rye”.
Why it’s like Blanton’s:John Bowman Single Barrel is Also distilled by Buffalo Trace but aged in Virginia (since its owned by Sazerac). This has more or less the same herbal and fruity sweetness, but is far richer and developed in virtually every way, outdoing Blanton’s at its own game. This is the better version of Blanton’s (and Elmer T Lee).
Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #6
Rating: Top ShelfNote: I reviewed a Total Wine Pick, so I can’t confidently say that this is representative of other Russell’s Reserve Single Barrels
Why it’s like Blanton’s:Four Roses Small Batch Select is a nice developed bourbon with darker herbal and fruit traits with more cherry, oak, spice, dark fruits, and cola. In some ways, the cola and cherry notes remind me of dusty Blanton’s from the early 90’s. That’s a great compliment because old Blanton’s is incredible, and so much better than what is sold today. I would know, I’ve compared one from 1993 to one from 2018.
You have some great options for bourbons like Blanton's
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