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)

128 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! !!!!

    • thebourbonbabe says:

      Hi, Sonnie – I somehow overlooked your question, and I apologize. I do, however, have the answer: The stoppers are made from a zinc alloy. And I got that straight from the horse’s mouth, you might say. Cheers!

  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.

  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 😀

    • Mark says:

      John Wick was drinking ‘Green Label’ Blanton’s. It is on the International market and NOT sold domestically, that being said – Everything has a price and can be obtained… I just started looking too.

      • thebourbonbabe says:

        Mark, you’re right – John Wick drank Blanton’s in the first movie and the Green Label, available only overseas, in the second. I wonder if he’ll go for the Gold in Wick III?

  11. Robert Clark says:

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

  12. Angelo Fields says:

    While I’ve drank my fair share of Blanton’s, I’ve just started to collect corks – would love to trade an “s” for any other letter other than “b.”

  13. Jenny Srygley says:

    I have an “N” to trade for any other letter!!!! I can trade the entire bottle in the box for another entire bottle in the box or just the topper! Let me know if anyone is interested!!!

  14. Gary Hailes says:

    Ok, I just started collecting the stoppers and have three. Would much rather collect the Bourbon, it’s wonderful

  15. On our cruise last year, the bourbon specialist was able to find all of them for us! We managed to get them home unscathed! He told us that Blanton’s would mount them on a stave free when you mail in your stoppers. We just finished the last bottle and I contacted them, only to learn that this is a rumor! The stave is $100!

  16. James says:

    I have an extra L and an extra second N. I need an A, T, or S. If anyone is willing to trade?

  17. Pete Miller says:

    I have 3 L’s and 3 O’s. I would trade for an A. Anyone game?

  18. Jamie Langstaff says:

    Buffalo Trace does mount the Blantons tops on a barrel stave for free. I’ve collected them all and mailed them in after speaking to the gift shop. There is a 3 week wait for th em to return and the tops must be from a bottle. No cheating by buying them at the gift shop.

  19. Katarina Köster says:

    So hey, does anyone keep their interesting empty bottles and display them? I love glass in all shapes and forms and some of my boyfriend’s bottles of Irish Whiskey and bourbon are so cool, but he thinks displaying them is too childish and college-dude like, haha! So we’re trying to come up with an artistic way because I really like the way they look. Thanks in advance if you have any ideas to offer! About the stoppers—we’re just getting started but great to know we can come here to trade.

  20. Shannon Keuper says:

    Need L N N:
    Have an S for trade

  21. Don Hedrick says:

    Regarding all the talk about the N letters I’m surprised that no one mentioned that the horses on the tow Ns are in a different pose.

  22. dthomas6133 says:

    Does any know for sure if the stoppers on the 750ml bottles are a different size from those stoppers on the 375ml bottles?

  23. Brian says:

    I have an unopened bottle of
    Blanton’s connoisseur sauce, 16oz. It seems to be a really rare find these days since Blanton’s does not make it anymore. Is it worth anything?

  24. Joseph botelho jr says:

    All just a heads up there are 2 N’s the 1st is N 2nd is N: amen just finished my 8 now i need to drink them.

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