In 1984, the world's first single barrel bourbon to be marketed commercially was released under the label, "Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon." Named in honor of Col. Albert B. Blanton, it seemed a fitting tribute to a man who spent a lifetime preserving the tradition of handcrafted bourbon.
Colonel Albert Blanton devoted his career to producing fine whiskey. Col. Blanton began working at the distillery as an office boy and, by 1921 he was president of the whiskey plant. For more than 55 years, Col. Blanton devoted his career to preserving and enhancing the heritage of the company through some of the most trying times of the 20th century. Under Col. Blanton's guidance, the distillery was one of only four in the U.S. (and the only one in Kentucky) to continue making whiskey during Prohibition (1920-1933) with a special government permit. With his leadership, the distillery survived the lean times of the Depression. To compound those economic pressures, the rising waters of the Kentucky River engulfed the distillery during the Great Flood of 1937. Miraculously, after the floodwaters receded, Col. Blanton restored the distillery to normal operations within 24 hours. It was also Col. Blanton's leadership that kept the distillery operating during World War II.