Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Nose: The nose on this is spicy and has hints of cinnamon. Later sniffs bring out a bit of a very light medicinal smell. Palate: The first sip has a sharp, spicy quality to it. It has a little bit of warmth, but it isn’t overwhelming and, although it lasts into the finish, it doesn’t really seem to last that long. Later sips continue the rye spiciness, which is pretty prominent. It has a very nice mouthfeel that lands right in the middle of the spectrum. I found it a bit difficult to pick out individual flavors because of the dominance of the rye spice. I’m not sure if that is a result of it being not overly complex or if it is just the spice overpowering. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It does have some oakiness that comes across mostly as dryness in the finish. In still later sips, an underlying but light sweetness comes through…but just barely. There’s also a bit of pepper on the finish that I didn’t get in earlier sips. Comment: This is one of the most affordable, easy-to-get bourbons (both at the store and in a bar) and as such is both popular and well liked by the masses. But it isn’t just the price and availability. It is a tasty, if slightly simple, bourbon. It is pretty easy to drink and lends itself to “having another”. It also works well in a cocktail. This clocks in at 90 proof. The mashbill is reported to be 68% corn, 28% rye and 4% malted barley. The story goes that this was sourced from Four Roses for years and I’ve had this particular bottle for a few years, so it is likely that this is Four Roses juice. At some point, the sourcing moved to another distillery (undisclosed) and Bulleit opened their own distillery in 2016, so they are probably close to bottling their own juice. I think if you like rye spiciness in your bourbon, for the money, you may not do better. If you like a more complex bourbon with a larger variety of flavors, or a sweeter bourbon, then you will probably keep this on the “mixing” shelf. Luckily, this is often on sale, so you can pick it up in the mid-$20 range if you shop wisely. Either way, this is a keeper.