A decent high rye bourbon of the old school.
Notes: This whiskey was originally made between 1830 -1860, resurrected in 1987, and finally re-launched in 1999. Originally made by Augustus Bulliet and sold in Kentucky and Indiana until his death in 1860. The recipe was revived in 1987 by Tom Bulliet and made mostly for friends at first and while well received in some quarters, it puttered along with little market presence. Now part of the Diageo portfolio it is gaining more traction and presence in the market.
This bourbon uses a higher proportion of rye than most, propriatery yeast strains and single story warehouses – all of which contribute to the uniqueness of the bourbon. This is a straight (unblended) sour mash bourbon. Bulleit also now produces a Rye that has just been released.
Appearance: Copper gold in the bottle, dark wheat straw in the glass.
First Impression: Deep rye grain influence amidst the corn, caramel, vanilla, ginger,.char/oak Interesting lack of phenols and other off smells you get with some grain distillates.
Taste: Drier start than many, medium body slightly astringent, nice interplay of sweetness,oak and rye. Medium to long finish.
Drinks: A excellent choice for a Manhattan or any drink calling for a rye.
Bottle: Basic clear flask-type shape (the kind that fits and rides well in saddlebags/messenger bags or vests. Name of whiskey is pressed into the glass. Old-style script is printed on the label with three colors. Simple layout on rectangular label gives it a antique feel. Real cork closure gives it a both authentic and upscale feel -more than can be said about its competitors screwcaps in that price range.
Final Thoughts: A good bourbon of the heavier rye, drier style, that is not as common as it used to be. Some may consider it a bit light in body or find the dryness not to their liking. But, if you want to try new and different bourbon for not a lot of money this one is certainly worth considering.
It is a good bargain for someone seeking a better whiskey for under $30. Also as noted above it is a great substitute in a rye cocktail as many of the ryes commercially available in its price range are, frankly almost undrinkable.