Age: 6-8 Year Old
Distillery: Bulleit Distilling Company, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Master Distiller: Tom Bulleit
The bottles that Bulleit Bourbon are sold in are as beautiful as the liquid gold that they contain. Although Bulleit bourbon is aged fairly briefly (between 6 to 8 years, and released at the discretion of Master Distiller, Tom Bulleit) its taste and texture is very well structured. The secret lies in the original formula concocted by Augustus Bulleit, a Louisville tavern owner, around the year 1830. Bulleit’s Bourbon has a high percentage of rye in the mash bill, around 28%.
Bulleit is aged for around six years in high toast American oak barrels. According to folklore, Augustus disappeared while transporting his whiskey to New Orleans in 1860, but the formula was revived by his Great, Great Grandson and Master Distiller Tom Bulleit.
Bulleit has done a masterful job of navigating the rapidly changing bourbon landscape. Through consolidations and growing pains, Bulleit Bourbon has become a high-quality and low-cost industry leader!
I had heard great things about Bulleit since I first began enjoying bourbon. At around $4 a pour here in Louisville, I was a little apprehensive about the positive reviews. You know how it is: guy gets a bourbon for cheap and so that’s what he learns to like. Then you come along looking for a decent whiskey and he hypes the cheap stuff up as if it were the Kings wine. But I can honestly say that Bulleit lives up to the hype – dare I even say that it is under priced at $25 for 750/ml here in Kentucky.
I first tried Bulleit in a simple rocks glass (didn’t feel the need to break out the Glen Cairn). I sip and swish and am greeted with a great, medium bodied texture, much to my surprise. Most younger bourbons tend to sting and dissipate fairly quickly, but Bulleit was delightfully textured.
The first note that I am greeted with is spice. Not surprising, considering the high rye composition in the mash bill. As the spice note recede, I’m hit with notes of apricot and peach. A very nice surprise that finishes in caramel and vanilla.
Bulleit is by no means a top shelf bourbon, but it’s not a well whiskey either. For the price and quality, every bourbon drinker should have a bottle of this on the shelf. It’s a great standalone bourbon, but versatile enough to be used in Manhattans or whiskey sours. I give Bulleit a…