Blanton’s is one of the more popular and specialized bourbons across the portfolio of various Buffalo Trace whiskeys. One of the more unique aspects of this particular brand is that a number of tantalizing variants of it are released overseas, never to see the light of day for most American drinkers.
Thus, for whatever reason, it is fascinating to take note that a release known as Blanton’s Char No. 4 2022 Limited Edition is popping in some domestic liquor retailers.
Information on Blanton’s Char No. 4 is non-existent on the official website as of the writing of this story, likely owing to the fact this looks to be an import (note that Blanton’s, while distilled at Buffalo Trace, is a brand that’s actually owned by Age International and not Buffalo Trace parent company Sazerac). The only immediate non-retail reference to it that can be found is on Warehouse H, a Blanton’s Bourbon fan site, which indicates this was a 700 ml offering that dropped late last year in Greece. Just four barrels were produced, with 832 bottles in total being made available. There’s also mention of a barrel 665 and a proof amount of 127.8 proof (at least one domestic retailer makes mention of 128.6 and 128.8 proofs, though it is not clear what that’s tied to).
More information found with relation to what seems to be a promotional video (you can see that below) indicates these barrels were hand selected “from Colonel Blanton’s famous Warehouse H” and that the name Char No. 4 is “a tribute to the wood charring process and its impact on bourbon’s taste and color.”
Also of note is some information available from those retailers carrying this, including copy from inside the display box for this special Blanton’s release. It says specifically that “nothing effects an aging whiskey’s flavor and color more than its time in the barrel. The charring process caramelizes the natural sugars in the wood, and acts as a filter for the impurities left over from the distilling process.
“Char levels range from 1 to 4. Blanton’s Bourbon was uses Char No. 4, the highest level of char. How long the barrel is charred contributes to the whiskey’s final taste.
“The charring of new oak barrels is an essential part of producing bourbon.
“Blanton’s Bourbon uses Char No. 4 because it extracts the most delicious flavor and aroma from the wood, including sweet vanilla and caramel notes.
“Smokey and earthy notes are also enhanced by Char No. 4. All of these flavors come together in the final taste of aging Blanton’s Bourbon barrels.
“This diverse combination of flavor and aroma contribute to the complexity in every bottle of Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon.”
This 2022 Special Release includes a “custom art label and gift box.” As for pricing and availability, it is hard to say how many bottles are actually going to be for sale this month. Pricing is steep though at around $2,200 a bottle, again at the time of this writing.
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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...