You see that little number 5 on the key that’s wrapped around the neck of the bottle of Blade and Bow 22 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey in the above photo? Apparently, Diageo has gone the Blanton’s route by releasing five different keys that Blade and Bow lovers can collect as they work their way through many bottles of this Bourbon. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Blanton’s, every bottle is released with one of eight different bottle stoppers. Here’s what the makers of Blanton’s have to say about their bottle stopper collection:
Beginning in 1999 a collector’s edition set of eight different stoppers was produced. The set features a horse and jockey in different strides and poses resembling the stages of a horse race. Each stopper is marked with a single letter that spells Blanton’s when the set has been completed.
Once you’ve acquired all eight of them (and drank a whole lot of Bourbon!), here’s a creative and highly attractive way that you can display your Blanton’s bottle stopper collection:
Let’s face it, all of this “collectible” stuff is just an excuse for the obsessive compulsive whisky drinkers among us (I’m not mentioning any names, but you know who you are!) to buy more whisky. That being said, I am all for delicious whisky in pretty packaging (Blanton’s is definitely that!), and have definitely made a few purchases over the years that were solely based on pretty packaging.
Unfortunately, we didn’t receive a full bottle of Blade and Bow 22 for this here review and had to “settle” for a sample that was just big enough for two of us to share, so we can’t really tell you if the packaging looks as good in person as it does online, but we can tell you how the stuff inside the bottle tastes. Before we get to that, here is what Diageo has to say about the Blade and Bow 22:
The award-winning Blade and Bow 22-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a limited-release whiskey inspired by the passion and craftsmanship of the legendary Stitzel-Weller distillery. Inclusive of whiskies distilled at both the distillery historically located at 17th and Breckinridge in Louisville, Ky. and the distillery historically located at 1001 Wilkinson Blvd. in Frankfort, Ky., this limited release offering was most recently aged and bottled at Stitzel-Weller.
And now for our impressions of “the juice”…
- Appearance: Deep, dark amber color.
- ABV: 46%
- Limpd: Sweet with cane sugar and a good bit of dried fruits, a little menthol and some mild astringent notes.
- G-LO: Burnt sugar (once again, not to be confused with Burt Sugar), menthol, caramel, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Limpd: Viscous with a lot of syrupy sweetness (Lyle’s Golden Syrup) followed by a fair amount of spice (peppery on the tongue) and a burst of heat that lingers into a long, dry and somewhat mild finish.
- G-LO: Slightly oily mouthfeel. Some delightful sweetness at the start with lots of vanilla and caramel. Cinnamon and clove spice shows up in the middle. Gets quite dry at the finish with lots of oak and spicy sweetness. Leaves you with a slight pucker and a lingering heat.
- Limpd: All I can say is the 22 year old went down really easy. When we had reviewed the standard issue Blade and Bow back in November of 2015, I had found it to be a little flat. I was quite surprised that the two samples were at virtually the same ABV (45.5% for the standard issue vs. 46% for the 22 year old) as I had attributed some of the change in flavors to a possible increase in the ABV. The extra time in the barrel rounded out all of the imperfections that I had found in our first sample. There was some heft in the mouthfeel and some great balance between the sugars and the spice. This was well done!
- G-LO: This stuff was very nice! While it wasn’t super complex, I enjoyed the layered flavor effect of what was there. The 22 year old version of the Blade and Bow is much more interesting than the standard issue that we reviewed back in November of 2015. In a word: Yum!