Blanton’s Letters Display
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By almost every measure, Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Blanton Bourbon is one of the most sought-after American whiskeys in the world. There are hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to finding bottles at retail, showcasing full sets of horse stoppers or hunting down bottles with specific dates on labels to commemorate life events. By the numbers, it is one of the most searched whiskeys on Google, and
Blanton’s Letters Display
The most searched whiskey on the spirits pricing site Wine-Searcher has been around for several years. It’s also the poster child of the soaring whiskey price across America that no one can find except Dominic Guglielmi.
Bourbon Raffle 2022 Original
“I don’t even drink it or like it for the taste. It’s all about collectibles. I see people post about waiting in line all day and missing out on the bottle. If you want it, you just have to know where to look,” Guglielmi told me over the phone.
Based in Ohio, Guglielmi collects ultra-rare, one-sided Blanton expressions, many of which were never sold to the public in the first place: bottles celebrating the bicentenary of a small town, Japanese celebrating the life of Elvis. bottles, gift bottles to Japanese wine retailers and more. He’s been dubbed the “Ultimate Blanton Tater”—watch the video for tasting notes on some extremely rare Blanton—and he’s put together a list of rare Blantons on his website, Warehouse H. He estimates that his collection of Blanton’s is worth somewhere between $75,000. and $100,000. Here’s how one of the world’s most successful Blanton collectors pulls off the bottles you didn’t even know existed.
I’m on Blanton. There can be at most two other bourbons in my house; I am not a well rounded bourbon collector. My boss suggested this to me, gave it to me as a gift and I love collecting horse toppers and letters like most people.
This got me on the internet and googling it. When I stumbled across pictures of other varieties, and some Japanese releases, it was over. I go to Japan for work so I thought I’d bring some home. I found the standard lineup — red, gold and black at the time — and I was bringing them back in huge quantities. I think once I brought back 28 bottles at a time.
Blanton’s Straight From The Barrel Dumped 2012
At the time, I didn’t think I could own them all so I thought I might document them. Eventually I started hunting them like Pokemon.
Clockwise, from left: Memory of Yujiro, produced in 1991 in memory of Japanese actor Yujiro Ishihara; Silver edition and complete set of silver toppers; Le Maison du Whiskey Gold Promise and a complete set of stoppers.
It’s been almost two years in the past year and a half, which is absolutely moving forward. The pandemic certainly accelerated it. I went very fast, mostly driven by my OCD and a desire to get as much as I can. I see something up for auction in Europe and I think “I have to get this before I go.”
I don’t think of it as an investment, but these bottles hold their value. I don’t see it as a growth opportunity, but it could be worse. Two years ago I was asking if anyone would hear of this stuff; Now they are asking me questions about appraisal and rarity and which company makes stoppers.
Blanton’s “triple Crown” Display Real Bourbon Barrel Wood Blantons Stopper Cork
If you looked at my site and said I want all these bottles. I think it would be $75,000 to $100,000. I’ve drowned something like $50,000 in it so far.
I keep very detailed records so that I can understand my investments and what I have and need. Of the collectible-only bottles I probably have, about 42. They are not for drinking. At some point I’ve got some dust and others open as well.
The first thing you need to know is that this is not like Puppy, where the bottles come out once a year. Most of these bottles came out of one or two
Unicorn Many people call it a ‘starling’ because the name was printed with a misspelling of ‘sterling’ on the tag, but the document that comes with the bottle calls it ‘sterling’. The story goes that fewer than 100 bottles have ever existed, but there isn’t much in the way of verifiable proof.
Blantons Toppers Have Letters On Them, Collect Them All To Spell Out B L A N T O N S. In Order The Man On The Horse Dashes. Anyone Have Them All?
There are fewer than six known bottles of Blanton’s sterling silver in the world right now (only 100 were made so far), and one is vaulted at the Buffalo Trace distillery. The bottle was gifted to Japanese retailers in 1991.
But the real unicorn is the 2012 Le Maison du Whiskey release. They only made single barrel bottles in those days, so they are far more rare. The bar didn’t even hang on one. They mostly have old ones, but not out of date.
The third bottle marks Tazuka’s 100 year anniversary. There are only seven bottles in the collecting community that we are aware of, and I have two of them.
A 2007 LMDW with a handwritten label was called private stock, which is very rare.
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I need five LMDWs. ’98 and ’99 – Paris by Day and Paris by Night – plus a few others. There is such a thing as a Frankfurt 200th Anniversary Bottle, and it is believed to be Blanton’s first special bottling ever to commemorate the bicentenary of Frankfurt, Kentucky. It has a unique topper and doesn’t even say Blanton on the label.
Was sold or given to readers of a German magazine – I don’t know the true story – I can’t pronounce well (
There’s also a bottle of My Only Blanton. In 2006, Takara released a private barrel program. You can buy a barrel yourself or you can buy a barrel allotment with a group of 20 people. Both of those labels are extremely unique. Share offers are actually rare now. I know of only one bottle.
The 2019 Polish M&P Festival release was exceptional. It was wonderful. Everyone I’ve tried that has tried it agree that this is one of the best Blantons I’ve ever tried.
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, There are “boxers” who especially like packaging and collectibles. Of course there are bottle people who have basically every bottle. I am a trader. Again, with the Japanese tie-in, a significant portion of the marketing they’ve done for Blanton has been in the Japanese market. I have all kinds of chutneys; Watches, signs, mirrors, keychains, Zippo lighters and all kinds of other accessories. I’m in these groups if someone is going to sell something they tag me right away because they know they can pocket my money for it. I paid $1,000 for Blanton’s watch. It’s not Cracker-Jack cereal box quality, but it certainly isn’t Rolex. It’s funny but I had to take it; I had never seen it before.
However, in total, there are probably four or five ‘Uber’ collectors I’m aware of. There are holes in my collection and more depth in many others, but they are missing the ultra-rare ones I have, which elevates me to one of the top five or so collectors. I know of one person who has 99 percent of the bottles tracked on my website. He is the ultimate collector!