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Who Makes Blanton’s Bourbon? Resolved (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 21, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Blanton’s bourbon is undoubtedly one of the best, and the scarcity of the product just proves it. But do you know that apart from its outstanding quality, Blanton’s also has a long history? 

Let’s check out who makes Blanton’s bourbon and why bourbon collectors struggle to get their hands on this bottle.

All About Blanton’s Bourbon’s Real Manufacturer

distillery machine

Blanton’s bourbon is produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery. The distillery has a very long history.

First, Edmund Haynes Taylor Jr. purchased the Leestown Distillery in 1869, then named it OFC Distillery. It is where Albert Blanton first worked at the age of 16 in 1897.

The distillery then again changed its name to George T. Stagg Distillery in 1904 when Taylor sold it to new owners James Gregory and George Thomas Stagg.

The distillery is now named Buffalo Trace Distillery after Sazerac Company bought it.

Who Makes This Rare Spirit?

Original Maker

Colonel Albert Blanton [1] is said to be the original maker and the first to discover the greatness of the single-barrel bourbon at Warehouse H.

The long history goes back to when Colonel Blanton started to work in 1897 at the OFC Distillery and strived to be the president in 1921.

During the time of his management, it was said that Colonel Blanton would handpick a single barrel at the center cut of the famous Warehouse H to entertain important guests and dignitaries.

Current Maker

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is the current maker of Blanton’s Bourbon and its varieties.

It started in 1984 when Elmer Lee, a protege and former employee of Colonel Blanton and the master distillery of the George Stagg Distillery at the time, introduced the single-barrel bourbon.

The bourbon was named in tribute to Colonel Blanton and is distilled and processed the same way Blanton handpicked and selected single-barrel bourbon for his guests.

Does Buffalo Trace Make All Blanton’s Bourbon Bottles?

Yes, Buffalo Trace is now the sole producer of Blanton’s Bourbon and its various expressions and limited edition bottlings.

Since the time Sarezac Company purchased the distillery that first created the Blanton’s, they now have the exclusive rights to distilling.

How Is Blanton’s Bourbon Made?

Fermenting room and machine

Blanton’s Bourbon, the original single barrel, uses Mashbill #2, which is high rye (about 15% rye grain) and is aged around 6 – 8 years.

It is processed in the same style as when Albert Blanton chooses his special reserved and handpicked single barrels at the center cut of Warehouse H.

Read: Single Barrel vs Small Batch Bourbon

Where Is Blanton’s Bourbon Made?

Buffalo Trace Distillery building

Blanton’s bourbons were originally and still made at the Warehouse H located in Frankfort, Kentucky, under Buffalo Trace Distillery.

Warehouse H is a walled metal warehouse where it is said that the aging process of the barrels inside was aged more rapidly due to the extreme rise and fall of the temperature.

The Company Who Owns It

The ownership seems complicated from our point of view as it has a long history.

Still, it all began when Age International ( the former owner of the “George T. Stagg Distillery) sold the brand and its distillery to a Japanese company named Takahara Holdings.

Later Takahara Holdings sold the distillery to Sazerac Company (owner of Buffalo Trace Distillery) but not the brand name.

So the brand itself is owned by Takara Holdings, but the Sazerac Company’s Buffalo Trace Distillery is Blanton’s Bourbons’s current and sole producer.

Read: Is Blanton’s Bourbon Available At Costco?

FAQs

Is Blanton’s bourbon American-owned?

No, not entirely. A Japanese company, Takahara Holdings, owns the brand name, but Buffalo Trace Distillery, where Blanton’s is produced, is owned by Sazerac Company, an American company from New Orleans.

Is Blanton’s bourbon hard to find?

Yes, it’s hard to find Blanton’s Bourbon due to the increasing demand and steady supply, and it is rare to find a bottle of Blanton’s in the secondary market.

It even came to the point that fake bourbon bottles are popping up in stores due to product scarcity.

When was Blanton’s bourbon originally made?

Blanton’s bourbon was first introduced during the year 1984.

Although the original idea of the single barrel bourbon was made between 1921 -1943 by Albert Blanton, it was first introduced in 1984 by his protege and former employee Elmer Lee and was commercially sold during that year.

The tradition of the single barrel at Warehouse H is preserved and is currently used to make Blanton’s Bourbon.

To Sum Up

Elmer Lee, the master distiller of the George T. Stagg Distillery at the time, created a single-barrel bourbon in 1984 inspired by Albert Blanton.

It is said that Albert Blanton exclusively handpicked special single barrel bourbons at the center cut of Warehouse H. 

Lee created the Blanton’s Bourbon as a tribute to Colonel Blanton and processed it the same way how Blanton liked it for his dignitaries and important guests.

George T. Stagg Distillery, the distillery that first created Blanton’s Bourbon, is now owned by the Sarezac Company and was named Buffalo Trace Distillery in 1999.

Reference:

  1. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/68814288/albert-bacon-blanton

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