A Kentucky gentleman and bourbon aristocrat in the mold of E.H. Taylor, Jr., Col. Blanton devoted more than 55 years to producing, protecting and promoting fine Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Under Col. Blanton’s direction, the Distillery survived and even thrived through Prohibition, the Great Depression, a devastating flood and numerous other challenges throughout the early 20th century.
Born on an adjacent farm, Blanton joined what was then George T. Stagg Distillery as an office boy at the age of 16. Over the next several years, Blanton was promoted and given experience in every department at the Distillery. In 1921, Col. Blanton was promoted to president of the George T. Stagg Bourbon Distillery. He never looked back.
Col. Blanton kept the Distillery alive through Prohibition, obtaining a special government license to produce “medicinal whiskey.” It was one of only six distilleries in the country to obtain this special permission. After a disastrous flood in 1937, Col. Blanton had the Distillery back to normal operation in just 24 hours. He was also responsible for much of the aesthetic growth of the Distillery throughout his tenure, building a clubhouse and several gardens as well as his own personal property, the Stony Point house that overlooks the Distilling grounds.
Col. Blanton’s invaluable contributions to the Distillery and the industry as a whole are now honored with Blanton’s Single-Barrel Bourbon. Introduced in 1984, it was the world’s first single-barrel bourbon, a concept that Blanton himself originally utilized for his own private stock and entertaining.