One sip closer to completion

I finished off a bottle of Blanton’s the other night, which means I can now go shopping for a different letter.

In case you aren’t familiar with this stroke of marketing genius, each Blanton’s stopper is stamped with a tiny letter (see the “B” up there in the photo?) near the hoof of a racehorse. Collect all eight to spell out “B-L-A-N-T-O-N-S.” The legs of each horse are in a different position as well, which together represent the stride of a horse thundering down the stretch in the Kentucky Derby.

My collection of stoppers is pretty small. I love Blanton’s, but when you’re a bourbon blogger, there are so many brands to try that it takes a while to empty a bottle. And when I am in the market, it’s sometimes difficult to find the letters I need. I wondered if some letters are rarer than others – like in Scrabble. So I asked Amy Preske, public relations and events manager at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, where Blanton’s is made.

“There are equal numbers of all eight stoppers,” she assured me. “They are in random order when they are put on.  A lot of people think we must be doing only ‘Os’ or whatever on certain days, but that’s not true, it’s just random.”

You can purchase individual stoppers in the Buffalo Trace gift shop for $2.75 each or buy a complete set on a barrel stave (below) for $85. But Amy says most Blanton’s fans she’s encountered consider that cheating.

That’s not to say they don’t sometimes turn to her for a little help. “One poor guy at WhiskeyFest Chicago told me he had been searching for years and couldn’t find the second ‘N,’ ” she said. “I got his address and mailed him one when I got back to the distillery!”  

(Photos courtesy of Buffalo Trace)

105 Responses to One sip closer to completion

  1. Rob says:

    My buddy and I purchased 2 cases recently. One of the Jockeys with an ‘A’ letter has a headless jockey?? Is this just an anomaly? It’s like a mis stamped coin? I hope it’s worth something! What a great bit of fun to have with a great whiskey!

    • thebourbonbabe says:

      Hi, Rob,
      Unfortunately, I think that’s probably a jockey who suffered a fatal injury during shipping. Good try, though! The important thing is to enjoy what’s in the bottle.

  2. Ken says:

    I have a couple of older bottles that are from 94 and the stoppers don’t have any letters. Got any idea whether they are worth anything?

  3. Sonnie Mull says:

    Blanton is fine and smooth, but does anyone know what kinda metal is the stoppers made of. Happy drinking! !!!!

  4. Adam McDonough says:

    Is there an N’ or are only an N?

    • thebourbonbabe says:

      Hi, Adam – as mentioned somewhere in this thread, I think, there are two N stoppers – the N and the N’ that comes right before the S. So eight distinct stoppers. Cheers, Carla

      • Rebecca says:

        There are in fact 2 different letter N bottles..1 is a plain N..the other looks like this N: the 2 dots after it make it the 2nd is the finish line in the race when you line them up

  5. Mike says:

    I also have a bottle from 94 with no letter. I am curious if this might be a rare bottle

    • David says:

      They started making letters in 1999

    • thebourbonbabe says:

      Hi, Mike – David is correct: Blanton’s started making the stoppers with letters in 1999. I don’t know whether the earlier bottles are worth more, but nothing would surprise me these days, the way people are collecting bourbon. Carla

  6. Peter says:

    I have 5 N’s I would like to trade for anything other than B or L.

    • Bonnie Yu says:

      Hi Peter, I can trade you a B for N?

    • Keith says:

      I need the first N to complete my second set. I have several others to trade S,O, L, 2nd -N. If you have the first N, let me know we’ll trade. And oh yeah….I drink a lot of Blanton’s I’ve tried a lot of bourbon and so far this is my favorite. Haven’t had a chance to try Pappy yet.

    • Mike G says:

      I have an extra “L” to trade for a N’
      It has to be the second N’ as I already have the first N.

    • Richie says:

      I’d trade you an A for a N:

  7. Karen Caudill says:

    I have the complete set …do I trade therm in for something?

  8. Karen Caudill says:

    Thank you 😊

  9. Scott Christensen says:

    I was told that if I collected all the letters, Blantons would send you a display.
    Do you know if this is true?

  10. Jerry Amick says:

    I collect everything John Wick so of course I must track down one of these bottles like was in the movie.They are extremely hard to find 😣 Help please 😀

  11. Robert Clark says:

    Someone told me the two Ns were N. and N: not N and N’. Which is it?

Leave a Reply

The Bourbon Babe