Why Blanton’s Bourbon Has a Horse on Top of the Bottle
Any fan of Blanton’s Bourbon is well aware of the charming little silver figurine of a horse and mounted jockey that graces the top of both the 750- and 375-milliliter bottles.
These eye-catching stoppers definitely make bottles of the Sazerac-owned Bourbon producer stand out on back bars and liquor store shelves around the world, but what is the story behind them?
These silver — or gold in the case of Blanton’s Gold — metal stoppers are collectible items. Blanton’s horses have been around since the company was created in 1984 and have captivated loyal brand enthusiasts since then. So much so, in fact, that these little horses have quite the fanatical fan base. There are entire Reddit communities devoted to hunting and trading for Blanton’s horses, including the group Horsey Toppers, which has about 1,200 members.
Now a recognized trademark of Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon, the horses pay homage to the brand’s Kentucky heritage. Starting in 1999, a collector’s set of eight different stoppers was made and released. Each stopper has a different pose meant to capture a horse race from start to finish and is marked with a single letter. Once united, the toppers combine to spell “Blanton’s.”
According to Vinepair, the encircled letters are engraved on the lower left side of each stopper. Since there are two “Ns” the second has a colon next to it.
Lucky drinkers who complete their collection can send their figurines off to the Buffalo Trace Distillery and get them mounted for free to a barrel stave used during the bourbon aging process.
Some fans claim the company releases different amounts of each letter, but Buffalo Trace insists that the company makes the same exact number of each letter, per The Bourbon Babe.
The hunt for these stoppers continues to get harder with each passing year, especially as the brand receives more exposure and demand for Blanton’s continues to increase. Some postings on whiskey forums and Reddit list complete collections selling for $1,200.
Fans who want to skip the hunt can purchase a set of the eight stoppers for $68 from the company’s website. Yet for many collectors, the thrill is all about finding the stoppers at random, hearkening back to the Pokemon collector’s craze in the ’90s. So much so, in fact, that many social posts and TikTok videos of completed Blanton’s horses collections have captions that read: “Gotta catch ’em all.”
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