Chris KelleyThe Drink: Blanton’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The Comic: Batman and Two-Face (Robin) #24 published by DC Comics

The Bourbon
Colonel Albert B. Blanton began working at The O.F.C. Distillery (now known as The Buffalo Trace Distillery) in 1897. His first job there was as an office worker. In 1912, he was promoted to superintendent of the distillery, its warehouse and bottling shop. By 1921, he was president of the whiskey plant. During prohibition (1920-1933) the distillery was one of four that was still producing whiskey with a special permit from the government.

The Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon was launched in 1984. It was the first modern bourbon marketed as a single-barrel bourbon. A single-barrel bourbon is aged and poured from one barrel. It is not mixed with any other whiskeys from other barrels nor is it blended like many other Kentucky Bourbons. Each barrel of Blanton’s is dumped by hand.

My wife and I received a bottle of this along with a beautiful decanter from some friends as a wedding gift. I’ve been seeing this bottle on the shelf at liquor stores for a while and have always wanted to try it. This has a wonderful spicy nose with hints of orange and vanilla. It’s surprisingly smooth, rich and sweet to start. It has a nice medium finish leaving a nice spicy tingle with hints of caramel.

This is definitely something you pour neat or over a couple of ice cubes and enjoy for a while. You can pick this up for around $50 a bottle. It’s the kind of bourbon you bring out for a special occasion. It’s the perfect bourbon to warm you up during the holiday season.

The Comic
I have always been a bigger fan of DC than Marvel. Lately, it has been the other way around. I wasn’t as bothered by the DC re-launch as much as some people I know. Some of the books started out very strong, and I absolutely loved them. Now, that DC love is starting to fade, and it’s so sad. I gave it every chance I could and now my DC monthly pulls are starting to get the ax. Batman and Robin (or whatever they want to call it this month since there currently is no Robin) has been on the chopping block for a while. It’s not because I don’t like the creative team. I just don’t really care for the direction Batman went after the events of Batman Inc. #8. We all get it: He’s upset and will do anything to find a “cure” for his son. Give it time and I’m sure DC editorial will figure that out! If they want to keep me as a reader, they’ll leave him the way he is, and that’s coming from a huge Damian fan.

This month’s issue finally gives Two-Face (Harvey Dent) some page time. I love Two-Face. I love how evil and brutal he can be. This issue appears to be his origin story and it gets quite a facelift (pun intended). In this issue, we see Gotham’s crime families coming together to try to come up with a plan to rid Gotham of Two-Face, Batman and other masked “freaks.” The story centers on Erin McKillen and her return to Gotham to meet with the rest of the heads of the crime families. McKillen and Dent have a very complicated relationship, and Dent is very interested in her return to Gotham. Let’s hope Batman gets to her first. The story really doesn’t do too much for me here, but I am interested in seeing the inevitable showdown between Two-Face and the crime families.

The real star of this issue, once again, is Patrick Gleason. His art is absolutely gorgeous. The title page shows Dent sitting on a bed holding a gun to his head. The right side is dirty, broken and decaying. The left side is perfectly put together, nice and clean. It’s a wonderful way to show the two sides of Harvey Dent. In the middle of the issue there’s a panel of Commissioner Gordon screaming into a walkie-talkie that just leaps off the page. You can really sense the urgency of the situation. The end of the book is where it gets a bit confusing. The story becomes hard to follow and ends with no surprise or cliffhanger of any kind.

Like a lot of the DC books in my pull file, this one is on its last leg. I hope this arc picks up or it may not make the cut. I’ve been reading this book since Grant Morrison started his run in 2009. It would be a very sad day if I had to drop this. I have a bad feeling that day is quickly approaching.

Thanks for reading,
Christopher Kelley

Chris Kelley is Matt Baum’s cousin. We try not to hold that against him.