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Blanton's Substitutes / Alternatives: 7 Bourbons Similar to Blanton's

Whether you believe Blanton's is overrated, it's definitely tough to find

Whether or not you believe that Blanton’s is overrated, I think we can mostly agree that it’s not particularly easy to find at the $50-60 MSRP (or even close to it). Even worse, I don’t think it’s going to become any easier to find any time soon.
Don’t despair though because I think that there are some bourbons similar to Blanton’s that may be great Blanton’s substitutes / alternatives, or at least are be close-ish. As for finding horse toppers and letters…I can’t help you there.
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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.
   2. Find bourbon better than Blanton’s, regardless of whether it’s anything like it. This is far more difficult to write about since “better” is subjective and far too broad for this topic. I’m going to avoid this, because this will quickly take me off-track and it’s less helpful for you.
When I say bourbon similar to Blanton’s, I mean whiskeys that herbal licorice and fennel, and fruity green grape, apple, orange, and cherry that I usually find in Blanton’s. I’m not claiming that these substitutes will be the exactly the same or that you’ll even agree with my assessment, but based on my experience, I think this is a good place to start the conversation.
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.
   2. Under $70 – MSRP is around $50-60, so I’ll add a little buffer. I also don’t think it’s useful to recommend $100+ substitutes.
3. Not / minimally allocated – The point of this article is to provide easier to find alternatives. That said, this doesn’t mean that you’ll find these bourbons everywhere, just that they’re just easier to find than Blanton’s. That also means that I’m excluding everything from Buffalo Trace.
4. I’ve reviewed it – This list is more helpful when I can personally attest to a whiskey and actually recommend bourbons like Blanton’s. That said, there are bourbons I haven’t reviewed yet that probably belong on this list.
And after all that, here’s my current (and not at all definitive or finalized) list of Blanton’s alternatives that I believe provide a similar-ish experience based from lowest to highest price. That way, you can explore further based on your own budget and preferences. You may not agree with some / all of this list, and that’s fine by me.
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The tasty list of Blanton's alternatives

Bourbons like Blanton's

Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #1

Details: Heaven Hill, 43% ABV, 7-8 years old, $25-35 Why it’s like Blanton’s: 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. Rating: Mid Shelf+ Availability: Pretty much everywhere **Link to Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon Review**

Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #2

Details: Jim Beam, 54% ABV, NAS, $30-40

Why it’s like Blanton’s: 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.

Rating: Mid Shelf+

Availability: I’m not entirely sure, but I would expect this to be in most stores with a good to decent bourbon selection

**Link to Jim Beam Single Barrel 108 Proof review**

Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #3

Details: Heaven Hill, 47% ABV, 12 years old (this particular pick), $30-40

Why it’s like Blanton’s: Some picks have a little more licorice, fennel, apple, and clove than the standard small batch release. Older picks may also bring more dryness, fragrant oak, and effervescent citrus that are more similar to Blanton’s Red.

Rating: Mid Shelf+

Availability: Small Batch is everywhere, but store picks are tougher to find

**Link to Elijah Craig Single Barrel Bourbon review**

Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #4

Details: Four Roses, 50% ABV, 7-8 years, $40-50, OBSV (“delicate fruit and rye”)

Why it’s like Blanton’s: 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”.

Rating: Mid Shelf+

Availability: Many stores with decent / good bourbon selections should have it

**Link to Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon review**

Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #5

Details: A. Smith Bowman, 50% ABV, 8-9 years, $50-60

Why it’s like Blanton’s: 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).

Rating: Mid Shelf+

Availability: Regional, not everywhere

**Link to John J Bowman Single Barrel review**

Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #6

Details: Wild Turkey, 55% ABV, 10 years (this pick), $55-60

Why it’s like Blanton’s: While it has some similar herbal and fruit-forward traits, it’s far more complex and varied sweetness, fruitiness, oak, tobacco, and more put this on a completely different level. You could just replace Blanton’s with this

Rating: Top Shelf

Availability: Many stores with good bourbon selections should have it, but store picks are becoming more uncommon

Note: I reviewed a Total Wine Pick, so I can’t confidently say that this is representative of other Russell’s Reserve Single Barrels

**Link to Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon review**

Bourbon Similar to Blanton's #7

Details: Four Roses, 52% ABV, 6 years, $60-70

Why it’s like Blanton’s: Has darker herbal and fruit with more cherry, oak, spice, dark fruits, cola.

Rating: Top Shelf

Availability: Distribution is still somewhat regional, but it’s expanding

**Link to Roses Small Batch Select review**

You have some great options for bourbons like Blanton's

There you have it: recommendations for bourbons similar to Blanton’s at various price points, thus making them good Blanton’s substitutes / alternatives. I swear it’s a coincidence that most of the bourbons are also single barrel.
I hope you find this list useful (minus the craving for horses). Whether you believe that Blanton’s is overrated, there’s nothing quite as perfect as the real thing, regardless of whether the alternatives are better. This list will probably be updated from time to time as I review more whiskey, so take this as version 1.0 and not final. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading!

Alex author

Meet the Author: Alex

I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.

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