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Bulleit Bourbon

A Serviceable Work-a-Day Bourbon

7 484

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

25th Jan 2020

0

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    21
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    84

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Bulleit's marketing blah blah starts like many other companies' spiel:

Inspired by his (Tom Bulleit's) great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit, who made a high-rye whiskey between 1830-1860

Yadda yadda yadda. How convenient that Four Roses seemed to have found ol' Gus' secret recipe and was willing to sell some barrels to Bulleit/Seagram's/Diageo to bottle under the Bulleit brand name. The rumour on the internet (and the internet never lies) is that Augustus Bulleit's recipe would actually be considered a rye whiskey today, since it was comprised of about 2/3 rye grain.

I've had Bulleit many times but I've never really properly assessed it. A friend left a bottle here after our New Year's Eve party, and while I've used it mostly for cocktails (Whiskey Sour and Old Fashioned) I've done 3 focused tastings to see what's going on.

Tasting Notes

Two tastings were neat from a Glencairn and one was from a Libbey Bourbon Glass

  • Nose: cinnamon, peaches, floral vanilla, brown sugar, nutmeg
  • Palate: light bodied (I'd even use the 's' word here), sour cherry candies, barrel char, buttered corn on the cob
  • Finish: medium length, rye spice (cinnamon and nutmeg), oak char, a touch of summer flowers

I was surprised that there were no significant differences in my notes from the Glencairn and from the Libbey glass. The aromas were slightly stronger from a Glencairn, but it wasn't a wildly different experience.

Bulleit is a good bourbon. This one isn't great, but there's nothing off or out of place either. It's really good in a cocktail, if that's your thing, and it won't break the bank either. I don't think I'll purchase a replacement bottle since Wild Turkey 101 is about the same price and that one is more my style.

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4 comments

@CanadianNinja
CanadianNinja commented

I like the cut of your jib.

Haha! Great stuff.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, thank you for your review.

Because Bulleit Bourbon was known to have been sourced from Four Roses for a number of years, almost everyone seems to assume that it still is. Back in about 2015 there were rumours that Four Roses was no longer the source for Bulleit bourbon. Is that true? There is no certain explanation or confirmation one way or another. I can say that I liked the Bulleit Bourbon I had in the period 2010-2013 better than I liked the Bulleit Bourbon I've had more recently. The recent stuff I would rate about as you have rated it in your review. The earlier period stuff I would rate 3 or 4 points higher. Is the current Bulleit Bourbon from Four Roses? I do not know.

But, wait a minute (a three or four year minute), and your Bulleit Bourbon will come from their actual new Bulleit distillery in Kentucky. It should taste quite a bit different then, different from both the 2011 Bulleit and the 2019 Bulleit.

This ephemeral nature of the sources and tastes of whisky brands is one of the reasons why I haven't had much interest in doing reviews for the last 3 years. Reviewing whisk(e)y is a lot like reviewing each breeze that passes you by on a windy day.

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor fair enough... one person's bottle will taste different than another’s. One person can taste different things from the same bottle.

But that does not take away from the value of reviews.

First, the review gives you a different insight into the whisky than you’d get if you were simply pouring a dram to watch TV.

Second, for some, it’s fun to do.

Third, some aspects of the review may be of interest to others. Some people like the story. Some like to use a gestalt of reviews to influence buying.

Some people, like me, don’t have e opportunity to taste as many and as often as others. And we live vicariously through reviews.

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@OdysseusUnbound - Nice review. This was somewhat of a gateway bourbon for me and I drank my way through a fair few bottles before, as you highlight here yourself, discovering WT 101. The latter sells for a few £'s more and is a step up for me but they do (or used to - I've not had a Bulleit in a few years) share a similar high rye profile.

I've never been let down by Bulleit and would probably score it as you do.

about one month ago 3Who liked this?

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