Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon is one of North Carolina’s most coveted allocated whiskeys. The NC ABC system gets a shipment of Blanton’s about once every quarter, and most ABC stores will only get about 6 or so bottles at a time. Blanton’s is a 93 Proof (46.5% ABV) Single Barrel Bourbon — allegedly the first standard Single Barrel offering. It is distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Why Is Blanton’s Hard to Find in NC?
Blanton’s retails across the state for $59.95 plus 7% tax. The rumor is that the NC ABC Board doesn’t have the best relationship with Buffalo Trace Distillery. That, plus the fact that NC ABC is seen as a single entity, means our allocation of some Buffalo Trace products is extremely limited. The central warehouse distributes the limited quarterly supply of Blanton’s to the various boards across the state, and then the local boards decide how they will get them in the hands of customers. These bottles fly off the shelves, if they even make it that far, or are held back for loyal patrons, friends, or sometimes just those that are bold enough to ask. You know the saying… “got anything in back?” Many counties or town ABC boards will let them go in a lottery.
How to Buy Blanton’s in NC
Your best bet for buying a Blanton’s inside the state of North Carolina is to do the following:
- Keep an eye on the NC ABC Warehouse Stock Status page. This will let you know if Blanton’s is delivered to the state warehouses in Raleigh or Clayton. Store Managers and ABC boards will order from there, so you can expect stores to get things usually within a couple weeks (this may be different for heavily allocated products like BTAC).
- Build a relationship with your local ABC Store employees and managers. Be their friend and a loyal consumer. Chat it up. Let them know when you see Blanton’s pop into the state warehouse and let them know you’re keeping an eye for a bottle for a special occasion.
- Be patient. It may take several quarters of shipments to land one. Your local board might distribute Blanton’s in a lottery or through a list system.
Know that this process may not work for everybody. Blanton’s is highly sought after in North Carolina and it will be tough to get your hands on a bottle. You’ll need a flexible schedule and a lot of patience. Your board may not help you the way you want. Don’t be afraid to go hunting and stop in at different stores around the state. Join some local Facebook groups; they can help you know when Blanton’s is hitting the delivery trucks.
You can also try driving out of state. Check Virginia’s ABC website and see if they have any in stock in stores near the border. South Carolina and Tennessee don’t have centralized systems, so you’ll have to drive around and see what stores have on the shelf (they may be marked above NC retail prices, though).
Buy Blanton’s Online in North Carolina
If you’re really desperate to buy Blanton’s for a special occasion (or you just really love the juice), you might be able to find it through some online retailers. It goes pretty fast there, too, though.
Nestor Liquors is an online retailer that ships to NC, and they often have a selection of Blanton’s products. You can see what they have in stock and if it’s worth the price.
1-877 Spirits partners with various retailers, so they seem to always have some in stock — but it can be marked up to exorbitant prices. You can definitely buy a bottle there, but the price will shock you. Check the current price, now.
Another favorite online retailer is Reserve Bar. I don’t often see Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon in stock there, but maybe you’ll get lucky. They have a great selection of other bourbon at reasonable prices. Shipping for one bottle is pretty high, but if you buy multiple it doesn’t increase too much.
Buy Blanton’s Online
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Be aware, too, that Blanton’s Gold will be making its United States distribution debut in Summer 2020. Read more about the Blanton’s Gold U.S. release here.