June 22, 2007

Bulleit Bourbon Review

We love bourbon, and although we’ve said it before, it’s worth another look (and taste).

First a bit of education and then we’ll get to the drinking since we are just as much about improvement for our minds as imbibement for our flesh.

Bourbon is the official spirit of the United States via Congress, as of 1964 when legislative types could be proud that they toss back some good ol’ frontier whisky. Bourbon is the most stringently dictated form of spirit out there. Although a common misconception is that all bourbon must come from Kentucky, actually bourbon can legally be made anywhere in America. However, it must be at least 51% corn and the rest of it wheat, rye or barley, plus it must be aged in new charred oak barrels. With all those restrictions you can see that bourbon is a very unique liquor.

So where does Bulleit Bourbon fit in to the Bourbon-osphere?

Bulleit Kentucky Bourbon
90 Proof (45% ABV)
Typical Price: $25-$35 for 750ML (Available at Internet Wines & Spirits)

The Company Line:

“Bulleit Bourbon is uniquely crafted inside and out. From the 1800s Americana frontier-look of the bottle to the cork-finished top, this is not your ordinary bourbon. Each stage of Bulleit Bourbon’s creation has individual elements that ensure quality. The result is an award-winning, distinctive Kentucky bourbon, hand-crafted for the discerning explorer in all of us.”

Well, let’s get down to it. Today we’ll be drinking Bulleit (check out their cool website and register to win a free mountain bike while you are at it). The company says “Bulleit Bourbon uses only the highest quality ingredients and follows the 175-year-old recipe of Augustus. Bulleit Bourbon is produced with a high rye content and proprietary grains and yeasts.”

The bottle is quite simple, but nice-looking (and useful later on as an uber-sized flask).

This bourbon (in its current form) has been out for around 7 years, and was an addition to the top-shelf bourbon market. Most likely this bourbon was made to compete with Woodford Reserve and Knob Creek (going off on a tangent, Knob Creek is a Jim Beam product and it is overpriced, just like all Jim Beam products).

Bulleit has the highest rye content of any bourbons at ~30%. This does not however make it a rye whiskey, which must have at least 51% rye. Although a rye bourbon is impossible, rye whiskeys abound. For a more complete explanation of these terms, check out the wiki.

Because Bulleit is high in rye it will have a sharper taste than a wheaty bourbon such as Maker's Mark. This can be good or bad, depending on your taste. We certainly recommend trying it and judging for yourself, but be careful because at 90 proof it can sneak up on you quick! We found this out after drinking this bourbon on the rocks during a sporting event which seemed to never end, likely because of the ensuing blackout. Up until that point the terms “ten foot tall and bulletproof” applied, which is the sign of any good liquor, no?

The Verdict:
For our money, Bulleit has a nice honey bite on the nose and a lasting finish of oak which makes it worth the $32 per fifth, although if you are short on cash there are many comparable options for less money, such as Elijah Craig.

(Thanks for the review, Josh)

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at June 22, 2007 6:45 AM
Recent Comments

I bought a big bottle of this today, I'd never seen it before. It is a wonderful sipping whiskey, straight up. I would definitely not want to water it down. I tasted the honey on the first sip, it has a sweetness sugar doesn't. This is top shelf. At under $25.00, a bargain.

Posted by: Richard at April 3, 2012 2:15 AM

In Mississippi we get this for 18 to 23 dollars a fifth.

Posted by: sam at March 2, 2012 11:14 PM

Spotted this stuff at the PX a while back, delightful. This is now my drink of choice.

Posted by: Jamie at December 20, 2010 9:45 PM

Give me back my Bulleit!! B.L.T. Bulleit plus lemon and tonic oooh la la. My wife never knew what hit her. After twelve years she never looked so good.

Posted by: Kevin at May 6, 2010 1:03 AM

All my bourbon drinking friends drink Woodford Reserve. I don't like to follow the crowd so when I found Bulleit I made it my bourbon of choice. I love the sharp, clean taste the extra rye gives it. I always drink my bourbon on ice with a splash of water (mostly I add the water so I can drink it longer without getting plastered).

Posted by: Paul at April 28, 2010 7:45 PM

bulleit well it was a very pleasing surprise. i am a straight forward jd drinker but really enjoyed bulleit wiskey. not to sweet with a nice bitter after tast also not a burnner going down will keep in my cabinet as a stapple stock.

Posted by: mike at February 6, 2010 8:46 PM

Bulleit was involved. I blame the high rye content.

Bulleit is delicious on the rocks. I gang up on it with a lot of ice from a freezer on max setting and let it sit for 5 minutes until a frost forms on the sides. Then, after about 9 or so I go out back and start looking for the pretty horses.

Girl horses, of course.

Posted by: DarkSock at January 1, 2010 8:58 PM

I peed in a horse once.

Posted by: DarkSock at January 1, 2010 8:55 PM

Excellent bourbon! Smooth, spicy, a little smoke, not too sweet. Makes a superb Manhattan. Will have to try The Revolver above. :)

Posted by: GB at October 3, 2009 5:16 PM

From the first taste I knew I had found a gem. The taste is great and just sweet enough to satisfy. It is a recommendation I make to friends with confidence. The bottle looks like it is fresh off a western movie set. The "squeek" of the cork signals good things a comin..by far my favorite.

Posted by: R McCann at September 25, 2009 1:58 PM

I'm a long time fan of Maker's Mark, but the jump in price this past year has gotten me to explore some alternatives. Picked up a bottle of Bulleit tonight and am looking forward to cracking it open. Just wanted to say that those of you looking for a decent wheat heavy bourbon should give W.L.Weller special reserve a try. I also agree with the snob's comment about Elijah Craig. It's good! These are both best on the rocks.

Posted by: Mark at May 18, 2009 9:22 PM

Oh, The Revolver. Bourbon and Branch in SF makes this cocktail. From the website:

2 ounces bourbon (recommended: Bulleit)
1/2 ounce Tia Maria coffee liqueur
2 to 3 dashes orange bitters (recommended: Fee Brothers)
Orange peel for garnish


Posted by: Not RIck at May 11, 2009 1:56 PM

This stuff is part of one of the greatest drinks in cocktail history, The Revolver.

Posted by: Rick at June 30, 2007 12:43 AM

please elaborate.

Posted by: jon at April 1, 2009 9:08 PM

After many years in the wilderness searching for the perfect vodka I've 'come home' to bourbon, like a good Southerner. But I no longer mix it with Coke. What's the point of ruining the taste of good whiskey? I'm working on a bottle of Elmer T. Lee now, and Bulleit will be my next purchase. I can get a litre bottle for $20 and some change. Looking forward to it...

Posted by: Boe at January 10, 2009 11:12 AM

I've oftem picked it up but never purchased it, but I bought some Bulleit Bourbon tonight for the first time. I'm glad I did. It will be added to my top shelf with pleasure! Bart.

Posted by: Bart at January 9, 2009 6:13 PM

lets just say my friends and I call it the Kissing whiskey.
one night, a few months after I discovered this heavenly bourbon, my wife and I served to a few couples we know and the effect was interesting. lets just say everyone was in a kissing mood.
Since then many have sworn of of it, but for me its the best!

Posted by: kashube at November 28, 2008 10:47 AM

I used to prefer what you astutely refer to as the more "wheaty" taste of Maker's. But, out here in California anyway, the price of Maker's has increased significantly ($4 overnight!), forcing me to try out some other bourbons that never got a fair trial with my palate.

I can finally say I've found a new brand, and it's Buelleit. It's not so much on the sweet side like Maker's, but it's smooth enough with a beautiful copper gold color, medium body with smoky hints. I usually drink it straight, but its dryness makes for a damn good Bourbon Old Fashion.

Price point: I don't know if all Trader Joe's sells Buelleit, but my local one does for $19.99. Best deal in town!

Posted by: Jack D. at October 1, 2008 4:10 AM

Best on the rocks on a quiet relaxing night. 90 proof is nice and high, yet it sits nicely on the palate, making two or three the perfect night-cap. Not the best of the best, but recomended to anyone. (and the price-tag is nice)

Posted by: Chris at August 3, 2008 10:27 PM

One day i was going for my normal bottle of Makers Mark and saw this neat old fashion looking bottle with the name of Bulleit on it. I saw the rating was either similar or very close to Markers Mark and it had a cheaper price tag. So i decided to get and haven never gone back. Love the stuff,

Posted by: Mkie at August 1, 2008 7:47 PM

couldn't agree more robert, i sleep like a baby after a couple glasses of this stuff. smooth as hell and damn nice on the tongue.

Posted by: graham mcdevitt at September 30, 2007 6:21 PM

Man, it's good thing it's Friday...you're making us reeeeal thirsty.

Posted by: Liquor Snob at September 21, 2007 3:08 PM

When I indulge in whiskey sipping, Bulleit seems to take me to a place where I can feel comfortable and relaxed. Those times when I know I am in for the evening, I reach for Bulleit to sooth the pressures of the day, it takes only two or three shots and life returns to acceptability. I sleep like a baby when I have that nice nightcap. Kudos to a fine bourbon. Robert Copple.........

Posted by: Robert Copple at September 21, 2007 10:37 AM

This stuff is part of one of the greatest drinks in cocktail history, The Revolver.

Posted by: Rick at June 30, 2007 12:43 AM
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