Food - Drink
Why 1984 Was Such A Special Year For Rare Bourbons
By RYAN CASHMAN
Wine may not be for everyone, but it does have some useful concepts, like “vintage,” which is used to denote the year in which the wine’s grapes were grown, but the concept also implies the growing conditions and weather of that particular batch. The world of bourbon might not have the fancy term, but its “vintage” is just as important, and 1984 was a particularly good year.
In the ‘80s, bourbon was suffering from a bit of a 30-year low when Baby Boomers coming into adulthood dismissed bourbon as the antiquated drink of their fathers. However, this soon changed because, in 1984, Elmer T. Lee developed a single-barrel bourbon that could stand amongst the likes of fine cognac or single-malt scotch.
Lee called his creation Blanton’s — inspired by his predecessor Albert Blanton — and it was the first bourbon of its kind. This bourbon helped change the perception of the drink, and since then the liquor experienced a continuous upward trajectory lasting until 2010. In fact, 1984 was such a good year that four bottles of rye from that same year sold for $200,000.