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Blanton’s Single Barrel vs Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Blanton’s Single Barrel vs Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel in this head to head comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Blanton’s Single Barrel

NoseVanilla, caramel, oak, old leather
PalateCreamy vanilla, honeyed, baking spice, oak
FinishLong, honey, brown sugar, caramel
Alcohol content93 proof (46.5% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toEagle Rare, Weller 107

Blanton’s is crafted by Buffalo Trace using a mash bill a bit higher in rye than other releases from this distillery. The barrel comes from warehouse H which Colonel Blanton discovered to be the place to age whiskey.

Nose is rich in honey and caramel, with an old leather hint and a whiff of oak coming behind.

On the palate, Blanton’s offers traditional bourbon flavors, is rich in butterscotch, vanilla and moderate rye spice only than richer and creamier than your typical bourbon.

The Blanton’s Single Barrel is just so smooth with the right amount of sweetness and oak making a super easy yet complex and interesting pour.

The finish is long, sweet and pleasantly warm with a bit of a NyQuil note coming late to the party.

Blanton’s is worth the hype, this is a super smooth and perfectly balanced bourbon with a creamy body making an entirely rewarding sipper; the best of all is that it is still reasonably priced and widely available.

Blanton’s Single Barrel drinks beautifully neat with no need to add water or ice to it.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Blanton’s Single Barrel:

  • Mash bill is undisclosed but apparently carries 15% rye in the mash.
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel does not have an age statement but is typically aged for 6 to 8 years.
  • Earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012.
  • Named “liquid gold” in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
  • Earned the Chairman’s Trophy as the world’s best bourbon at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge in 2012 and 2013, scoring three points higher than Pappy Van Winkle’s 23 Year Old Bourbon in 2012 and two points higher than Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 Year Old Bourbon in 2013.

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel

NoseCherry, vanilla, brown sugar, oak
PalateFruity, baking spices, vanilla, charred oak
FinishLong, spicy, with notes of citrus and charred oak
Alcohol content110 proof (55% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water, rocks
Similar toKnob Creek Single Barrel, Russell’s 10

Russell’s Reserve is crafted by Wild Turkey using the mash bill and using the same highly charred barrels.

The difference lies in the casks are hand-picked by Jimmy and Eddie Russell exclusively from the center of Wild Turkey’s rickhouse, which they believe is the best area for maturing bourbon; not to mention a higher price.

The Single Barrel is made from the same mash as the Russell’s Reserve but does not provide an age statement.

The biggest difference lies in this bourbon being pulled from a single barrel, bottled at proof (no water dilution) and is not chill-filtered providing a more flavorful experience.

The nose is rich and complex, with a nice cherry note, along vanilla, brown sugar and charred oak.

The palate hits with an enjoyable fruity flavor, rich in baking spice, vanilla custard and charred oak with a creamy feel to it.

The finish stays with you nice and long, is tasty, pleasantly warm, rich in spice, orange zest and toasty oak.

The Single Barrel is similar to the 10 YO but better in every way as it displays more character and a richer flavor profile. The additional proof makes it warmer yet quite pleasing striking a very nice pour.

It drinks nicely neat yet a dash of water is enough to tame it down if you feel it a bit warm. Overall, the Single Barrel is not only an upgrade over the 10 YO but the Best Russell’s Reserve to buy!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Russell’s Single Barrel:

  • The Single Barrel is aged between 8 to 10 years in American oak casks that have been charred with a #4 char, also known as the Alligator Char.
  • Each bottle is filled from a single cask before being labeled by hand.

Blanton’s Single Barrel vs Russell’s Single Barrel: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Blanton’s Original Single Barrel$125
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel$70

Blanton’s Single Barrel vs Russell’s Single Barrel: Which is better?

Russell’s provides great value for the money

WhiskeyBlanton’s SIngle BarrelRussell’s Single Barrel
  • If money is not an issue treat yourself with the Blanton’s which is not a hyped pour as it makes one of the best bourbons you can buy today. Blanton’s Single Barrel is just as good or better than many Pappy Van Winkle’s offerings which are even more expensive.
  • If you are a price conscious buyer taking it easy in these hard times, Russell’s Single Barrel is an incredibly good bourbon ticking all the right boxes of what a top-shelf bourbon should offer.
  • Personally, I’m quite fond of Wild Turkey’s charred oak note while the high-proof adds a great deal of value to this pour.

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