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)

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