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Blanton’s 2023 Limited Edition

Blanton’s 2023 Limited Edition

The Project
Special limited edition packaging for one of the world’s most iconic single-barrel bourbons.

The Objective
Create a Luxurious Brand Experience.
Blanton’s Single-Barrel Bourbon is the apex of luxury in amber spirits. Each year, Parisian luxury beverage purveyor La Maison du Whisky (LMDW) selects a few barrels for a special bottling to be showcased at one of the world’s premier beverage events—Whisky Live in Paris. And each year, Blanton’s partners with COHO Creative to design the packaging for it.

The objective is twofold—tell the Blanton’s brand story in luxurious packaging that both enriches the collector’s experience and does so in a way that lives up to the superb spirit within. COHO and Blanton’s have told this story together, one unique visual chapter each year. Previous editions have been themed upon the craft of bourbon distilling, horse racing in Blanton’s home state of Kentucky, the brand’s legendary founder, Colonel Blanton, and its storied Warehouse H, where this spirit is so perfectly aged.

The Opportunity
Envisioning Premium Bourbon for a Younger Connoisseur.
Like every other consumer segment, bourbon aficionados are experiencing generational turnover as Millennials and even a few Gen Zers begin filling the ranks of aging boomers. Bourbon has a long and hallowed heritage of tradition and craft. And while younger enthusiasts value this as much as those before, they perceive these values differently, and their unique expectations are driving change in the category.

This year, Blanton’s made a significant visual course adjustment with the LMDW special edition, seeking to connect with a more youthful energy while continuing to elevate premium luxury and style.

The Creative Solution
A Tale of Two Rivers
Nothing is more important to quality bourbon than the character of the water that starts its journey. And while Paris, France, and Frankfort, Kentucky couldn’t be more different, flowing through the heart of each is the cool soul of a river. This year’s LMDW special edition tells a story of the riverine spirit shared by two cities.

Moving on from long-standing visual cues of amber and traditional letterpress printing, it adopts a distinctly contemporary and youthful aesthetic. It’s simple and bold, yet rich and powerful. Design elements are limited, and each is thoughtfully chosen for clear visual communication.

We’re immediately taken with the impression of a river embossed in vibrant blue foil, making its way across the sophistication of a rich, matte varnish backdrop. Its languid flow is portrayed in articulated meanders and subtly echoed in gloss varnish flow lines.

Reinforcing a sense of aquascape, holographic foils of undulating blues, greens, and violets are engaged. It is used on a tape that conveys the package concept and wraps the upper corner, illustrated with diagrammatic bridges on the Seine and Kentucky rivers. The product masthead is also rendered in holographic foil, as is the flowing 2023 edition logo, both leaping from the dark background.

On the back panel, the story of two cities and two rivers is told both visually and verbally. And when the package is opened, surprise and delight await as the entire upper neck of the bottle and its iconic horse stopper are staged in a shining showcase of holographic foil.

The bottle labels pick up and repeat contemporary elements from the carton and yet emphasize the authority of tradition and craft in the hand-written distiller’s notes.

The impression overall is one of uncompromising luxury, appropriate to all bourbon lovers, both welcoming new arrivals and rewarding old friends.

Shelf Impact
Unique in a Unique Category
The LMDW special edition package is a collector’s item and does not compete on-shelf at mass retail. It is, however, designed to stand out in the bourbon category, where so many premium spirits leverage a very hard-edged, amber-toned feel. It holds an unmissable space among its competitors, as does Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon.

Market Performance
The LMDW edition of Blanton’s sells out very quickly at both Whisky Live Paris and Singapore, as it does at the LMDW store, making the secondary market of sales between collectors key to positioning and design intent. While the initial offering at the events and store price of the special edition at around 150 Euro, the equity impact of the release is the brand’s key driver. At the point of this submission, numbers from the Whisky Live, Paris event are still coming in. If prior years are any indication, though, the secondary market will quickly make this one of the most desirable bourbons available, driving more than €1M in economic impact.


  • Agency/Creative: COHO Creative
  • Article Title: Blanton’s 2023 Limited Edition
  • Organisation/Entity: Agency
  • Project Type: Packaging
  • Project Status: Published
  • Agency/Creative Country: United States
  • Agency/Creative City: Cincinnati
  • Market Region: Global
  • Project Deliverables: Packaging Design
  • Format: Bottle
  • Industry: Food/Beverage
  • Keywords: WBDS Agency Design Awards 2023/24

  • Credits:
    Founder & Chief Creative Officer: Jon Shapiro
    Senior Design Director: Annie Ledford
    Design Director: Chris Combs
    Designer: Sarah Balog
    Partner & Chief Innovation Officer: Ronald de Vlam
    Director - Realization: Shonda Leen
    Senior Designer Rendering Development: Kevin Bova


Relevance: Solution/idea in relation to brand, product or service
Implementation: Attention, detailing and finishing of final solution
Presentation: Text, visualisation and quality of the presentation