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Bulleit 95 Rye

The New Kid on the Block

0 886

@VictorReview by @Victor

15th Mar 2011

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    86

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Bulleit 95 Rye Whiskey has just been very recently released by Diageo, which owns the Bulleit brand. Diageo itself distills neither bourbon nor rye whiskey. For a lively discussion of the mysteries surrounding the distillery source of this whiskey, and for that matter, Bulleit Bourbon, see Chuck Cowdery's blog: Diageo May be Dissing Me. The mashbill is 95% rye, 5 % malted barley. As Cowdery points out, the Bulleit 95 Rye appears to be distilled at the Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana distillery (LDI). This whiskey is reported to be aged between 4 and 7 years.

Nose: honey with rye spice, sweet orange

Taste: mellow, sweeter than most ryes, very smooth, very spicy but the spice sort of creeps up on you during the delivery. The delivery starts in a very understated way, almost disappointingly for about 4-5 seconds, then VROOOOOOMMMMM!, the spices kick in. This rye seems to be flavoured overwhelmingly with spice, without a signficant balance from wood flavours. The spices are strong, but to my palate, not as clear in character as the very best rye whiskies. There is vanilla and some caramel, but it is not of the intensity of the rye spice, when it finally arrives.

Finish: the flavour stays the same for a long time...spicy,spicy,spicy.

Balance: this is nice, and it has grown on me since my first tasting. Overall, my impressions thus far are that I actually prefer the Bulleit Bourbon over this Bulleit 95 Rye whiskey, because, oddly, it seems to me to have more flavour. You would not expect a 30% rye whiskey to have more flavour than a 95% rye whiskey, but there are many factors involved in the distillation and storage in addition to the grain content that also influence the final resulting flavour. In this case I like that you can really taste the oak flavours in the bourbon, but they are not very present as a desirable balance in this Bulleit 95 Rye Whiskey. In summary, this whiskey has an abundance of rye spiciness, but I do not find it to be well balanced. It is, however, very drinkable, and is a very enjoyable rye whiskey, despite a relative lack of balance among the flavours.

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8 comments

@LeFrog
LeFrog commented

Hot off the press! Very exciting stuff @Victor

8 years ago 0

@JeffC
JeffC commented

Sounds very interesting. I wonder if the mashbill has the second highest rye content next to Alberta Premium which is 100%?

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@JeffC, there are other 100% rye whiskeys, such as all 3 of the Old Potrero rye whiskeys and Whistlepig. There may also be other Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana ryes at 95% rye content in addition to the Bulleit source-rye.

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Comments on this reviewed bottle after almost 8 months of the bottle opened: 1)the nose is stronger, spicier and better, quite excellent, in fact, 2) the palatal delivery is more quick to manifest and the rye spicey flavours are more focused than when the bottle was first opened, which is quite nice, 3) wood flavours remain vague, amorphous, and muddy, still unbalanced, as far as I am concerned, 4)a lot of LDI version buttery sweet mint flavour is in evidence now. I consider this to have taken four points forward and three backwards, after the bottle has been opened. The nose is now great, and the palatal delivery improved in speed and spice focus. The wood is still deficient in my mind. And while some may like that sweet buttery LDI mint flavour, for me it is a profoundly strange flavour to find in a rye whiskey. So for me, this is now an 87 whiskey. If I liked the mint, it would be a 90 whiskey.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I have liked Bulleit 95 Rye ok from the first, but have been relatively lukewarm on it compared to other ryes, all along. I must say, though, that oxidation has been very kind to the Bulleit Rye. Now that my bottle has been opened for 13 months the nose is truly excellent, and the palate has gotten so good that I don't really even mind tasting the spearmint anymore. Now, at 13 months, I would rate this bottle 91.

7 years ago 0

@Alanxv
Alanxv commented

I too like the Bulleit bourbon more than the rye for the same reason. The woody flavors are more defined. My bottle of Bulleit rye I found to be less intense than described in your review. I found the Russell Reserve 6yo to be more of a vroom of spice delivery. I have also found that it sometimes takes a few tastings for me to really begin to detect all the subtleties and nuances of the whiskey's flavor profile, and I have only had a couple drams from the Bulleit rye where as I'm onto my second bottle of the Bulleit Bourbon.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Alanxv, once again, I have always been a little lukewarm on the LDI Ryes. Jim Murray describes the LDI ryes as soft and hard at the same time. I get the soft part, but I do not experience them as at all hard, or pointed/defined, in their flavours. I must say, though, that the Bulleit 95 Rye does get richer and improved in flavour with oxidation, as I have previously noted in my comments above. I'll bet that your bottle will taste much better to you in about another 8-10 months' time. But the improvement will be mostly in the rye-related flavours, and not so much with respect to the wood flavours, so you may still find that it comes up short with respect to your taste preferences.

6 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

In the 'Oxidation effects' category, this reviewed bottle of Bulleit 95 Rye, from the first Connosr review of this product, is at its very best now 20 full months after it was opened. The fruitiness of the nose, and of the palate as well, is quite amazing for a young rye. Usually it takes a very aged rye to get this effect. I am a fan of Bulleit 95 Rye in a way that I have not been before. I would rate this same reviewed bottle at 92 now. US Straight Ryes often show excellent improvement with long oxidation, I have found. I have seen it with Van Winkle 13 yo Rye (very very good to start with) and Old Overholt Rye (quite variatble to start with according to the year batch, not too vibrant in the last three years). This particular bottle of Bulleit 95 Rye was rather locked up for a VERY long period of time, but now is in full beautiful fruity blossom.

6 years ago 0

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