Blanton’s Black (Japan)

It’s Monday Hawks! We all know what that means! That’s right, an excuse to have a glass of whiskey and a fine smoke to help relax from the beginning of the week. This week we take a look at our second installment of the Blanton’s series. Today is all about taking it Japanese, with Blanton’s Black!

Blanton’s Black and Red are distilled in Kentucky with the rest of the Blanton’s labels, but only distributed to the Japanese market. Even in Japan these two are harder to find. I spent a whole week in Tokyo and was only able to find two bottles of the Black and none of the Red. I got lucky a couple of weeks ago and won a raffle for a bottle of the Red.

So let’s dive right in to this delicious bottle of rare and forbidden juice.

Blanton’s Black comes with a minimum of 8 years aged, unlike the regular Blanton’s the US gets. The regular Blanton’s doesn’t come with any kind of age statement, but it’s speculated that it’s 6 years minimum.

The mash bill on this bourbon is Buffalo Trace’s mash bill #2, which has the higher rye content. However, BT doesn’t disclose the exact mash bill.

ABV on this variation of Blanton’s is 80 proof. The Red is 93 proof, just like the original. The Black, however is slightly watered down to help bourbon drinkers that don’t want the heat of the higher proof pours.

The color of this fine juice is a golden dark brown.

This bourbon is not particularly expensive at about 30-40 dollars USD in Japan. However, on the secondary market these bottles are like gold. Running somewhere between 200-300 dollars.

The nose on this bourbon is stunning. Floral notes with cherry and apple on the front, with caramel, vanilla, and oak on the back end.

The taste is smooth. A very easy drinker. Little to no burn on the tongue. Fruit and sweet on the front of the tongue make way for the oak of the 8 year aged juice. The oak is not overpowering, but it’s definitely noticeable.

The finish on this bottle was medium at best. It doesn’t linger. It’s tasty and makes a great sipping drink.

My final thoughts on this bourbon are that it’s great! One of my favorites! However, for the price on the secondary, it’s just not worth it. If you happen to be in Japan and find it, buy a bunch. I personally wouldn’t pay what people are asking for this bottle.

An interesting side note- Blanton’s in the US and Japan comes in the standard 750ml bottles. Blanton’s released to European market only come in 700ml bottles.

#Blantons #blantonsblack #japanese #bourbon #whiskey #Buffalotracedistillery #Traficante #spirits #cigarhawk

Blanton's Black (Japan)

It’s Monday Hawks! We all know what that means! That’s right, an excuse to have a glass of whiskey and a fine smoke to help relax from the beginning of the week. This week we take a look at our second installment of the Blanton’s series. Today is all about taking it Japanese, with Blanton’s Black!

Blanton’s Black and Red are distilled in Kentucky with the rest of the Blanton’s labels, but only distributed to the Japanese market. Even in Japan these two are harder to find. I spent a whole week in Tokyo and was only able to find two bottles of the Black and none of the Red. I got lucky a couple of weeks ago and won a raffle for a bottle of the Red.

So let’s dive right in to this delicious bottle of rare and forbidden juice.

Blanton’s Black comes with a minimum of 8 years aged, unlike the regular Blanton’s the US gets. The regular Blanton’s doesn’t come with any kind of age statement, but it’s speculated that it’s 6 years minimum.

The mash bill on this bourbon is Buffalo Trace’s mash bill #2, which has the higher rye content. However, BT doesn’t disclose the exact mash bill.

ABV on this variation of Blanton’s is 80 proof. The Red is 93 proof, just like the original. The Black, however is slightly watered down to help bourbon drinkers that don’t want the heat of the higher proof pours.

The color of this fine juice is a golden dark brown.

This bourbon is not particularly expensive at about 30-40 dollars USD in Japan. However, on the secondary market these bottles are like gold. Running somewhere between 200-300 dollars.

The nose on this bourbon is stunning. Floral notes with cherry and apple on the front, with caramel, vanilla, and oak on the back end.

The taste is smooth. A very easy drinker. Little to no burn on the tongue. Fruit and sweet on the front of the tongue make way for the oak of the 8 year aged juice. The oak is not overpowering, but it’s definitely noticeable.

The finish on this bottle was medium at best. It doesn’t linger. It’s tasty and makes a great sipping drink.

My final thoughts on this bourbon are that it’s great! One of my favorites! However, for the price on the secondary, it’s just not worth it. If you happen to be in Japan and find it, buy a bunch. I personally wouldn’t pay what people are asking for this bottle.

An interesting side note- Blanton’s in the US and Japan comes in the standard 750ml bottles. Blanton’s released to European market only come in 700ml bottles.

Local Company Spotlight. BroadBranch Distillery

So a few months ago while my wife and I were out exploring our new city we cam across this distillery downtown. We went in and Don gave us a lesson on their spirits and a round of samples to try. At first I was a bit skeptical about it. Blueberry infused whiskey? First thought was Bird Dog sweetness and “not really my thing”. And then I tried it. Certainly unique and very good. Then I switched over to some of the others and each time it got better and better.

Fast forward a few months and a few back and forth emails and my buddy Gonzo and I took a tour last week and learned more about the company, the spirits and the people behind it all.

Broad Branch: Our story

“The relentless, uncompromising pursuit of high-quality whiskeys & spirits will always reign supreme.

Broad Branch is rooted in Old World craft heritage and traditional Blue Ridge Mountain distilling methods. From mash to barrel to bottle, our focus remains absolute- meticulously crafted, superlative spirits worthy of your time, attention, and taste.

At the core of our process and everything we make are exceptional ingredients. We work with top quality neighboring grain farmers, an accomplished local malter, and a handful of specialist growers who share our commitment to responsibly craftd and produced goods. We do all of this and more from an old tobacco warehouse on historic Trade Street in Winston Salem, NC. Every day is an adventure.”

I do not want to spend a lot of time recreating the wheel and taking tons of info from their website and sharing it here so I will direct you to their website. http://www.broadbranchdistillery.com/

You can find everything you need to know about them along with some great drink cocktail recipes. I will, however tell you about our time there.

We were greeted by our host for the day, sat down and went straight to samples. These guys don’t mess around and neither do their products!

The Smashing Violet (award winning) again was great as a stand alone but mix in some of the Sunshine Energy drink (next door to the distillery) and now you have a terrific summer drink. I plan to do these when we move into the house for sure. Add some mint and a touch of lime over ice and that is danger all dressed up.

We moved on to the Nightlab 1.0 and while I am no huge fan of clear/white liquor, this one has a very unique flavor. Floral and citrus which I did not expect. (I did not get a photo of this one, my apologies)

Now the fun part (for me anyway). First up, the Nobilium 2 year aged in European Oak barrels and non-chill filtered, this small batch offers hints of maple, dried apples and vanilla.

Finally, the newest release of the group, the Supercollider. Single Barrel, Premium Cut, Non-Chill Filtered. “A handcrafted collision between 100% WA State Rye Whiskey and HoneyCrisp and Fuji apples, mashed and fermented together, then distilled. Rested in new oak and finished in brandy barrels, the result is delicious, refined spirit with gentle flavors of cooked fruit, maple and spice”. As someone that does not drink a lot of Rye, mostly because I haven’t found many I enjoy, this one impressed me.

Once we finished tasting and discussing these great spirits, we took a tour of the distillery. I encourage you to do the same when you visit Winston Salem. It may be small but there is a ton of information given out about the product and the process. I never fully understood just how much goes into making each bottle just right. Very impressive process.

A beautiful sight of sleeping beauties.

You dont get any better than straight from the barrel!

Look at that golden goodness!

Oh yeah!

We ended our tour with a new appreciation for what goes into making all of these great products. The folks at Broad Branch really do a great job of taking the time to explain the process to you. You can certainly tell that they enjoy what they do and it comes through in their products.

They are located at 756 Trade Street Winston Salem North Carolina. (336) 602 – 2824

Follow them on Social media.

I would like to take a second to say “Thank You” to everyone at Broad Branch Distillery for having us and allowing us to spend some time with them. Please visit their website (above) and if your local ABC store does not carry them, make sure to ask for them. I am sure we will be reviewing these throughout the summer. Be sure to check back often for updates.

Almost time to get back into cigar reviews and look for new cigar and spirit pairings coming soon!

Until next time, Long Ashes and Full Glasses friends.

Changes on the way…Stay tuned

As we continue to expand and grow I have decided to bring on some help. If you are not yet a member of our Facebook group, hit us up and join the club. I will be bringing on reviews from other people to keep content coming. I am also working with a couple of people to bring in reviews of craft beer and spirits (mainly whiskey/bourbon). My goal is to bring as much content to you as possible and keep thing interesting.

If you have any suggestions on content you would like to see, please feel free to reach out here and let me know. I look forward to what’s next and I hope you will keep up the support.

Thanks for the support! Long ashes and full glasses friends!