At the Malt Impostor, we really love it when companies produce their miniatures in painstaking imitation of the full-size model. You see, before our enterprise grew to the groaning behemoth that it is now—before we opened the bank account in the Seychelles and offshored the IT department—we were a leaner outfit that had to carefully determine which miniatures it could afford. Whenever we searched through the sofa cushions and pooled enough to buy a 50 ml bottle, it was a big deal. We would put the bottle down on the table, don our Malt Impostor glasses, and then, down on our knees, squint at the bottle until it almost seemed to us that it was full size. Some of the Japanese distillers make their miniatures into beautiful replicas of the real thing, like carefully-cultivated little bonsai bottles. And yet Blanton’s may win the prize for their miniature. We love the Monopoly playing piece topper and wish we could collect them all.
Of course, the topper on the full bottle is bigger, but it’s also better: each one sports a letter, and if you collect all of them so as to spell “Blanton’s,” you can get…um, no, never mind. You cannot get anything for spelling “Blanton’s,” and um…we hear the apostrophe is especially difficult to find.
This is a classic bourbon, with great legs and a delightful nose of Karo syrup taffy presented by a man in a corn silk muumuu. Navelino oranges erupt with aggression on the nose. [Stephen: On the drinker’s nose that is, not the oranges’…] Imagine a Fruit Ninja game played in real life with tragic results, or the green nipple of a Sriracha sauce jar jammed into the side of the fruit and squeezed angrily. The mouth is bright and strong and peppery all at once, not unlike a perfectly ripe orange going on a first date with a Thai chili (it went well). The finish lingers gently like a Tempurpedic tongue pillow wrapped in sheets of incalculable refinement. There is also the presence of corn husk oar used in an improbable escape from prison and then lashed to the back of a getaway fanboat.
The Blaton’s Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is Hugo Grotius’ 1621 escape from Loevestein–He hid in a book coffin and his last words in 1645 were “By understanding many things, I have accomplished nothing” (Door veel te begrijpen, heb ik niets bereikt). Wait, what? What is a book coffin?
–Our thanks to Jobie Smith and Sazerac for the sample!