In the 1830s, as a tavern keeper in Louisville, Augustus Bulleit set himself on a mission: to create a bourbon unique in flavour. Unfortunately he died suddenly (or rather vanished) and his bourbon adventure was lost as well, until in 1987 his great-great-grandson Tom Bulleit revived the brand (currently under the wings of Diageo, that is). As of 2008 the brand is also being exported to certain European markets and Australia.
Bulleit bourbon is distilled at the Four Roses distillery in Kentucky and aged in small batches. First they only had a NAS version (said to be around 6 years old), known for its relatively high share of rye in the mash (about 30%). In 2011 a Bulleit Rye was introduced (95% rye). Obviously the modern Bulleit recipe isn’t related to the original one, which would have contained about two-thirds of rye.
At the beginning of 2013, this Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year Old was launched.
Bulleit Bourbon 10 yo (45,6%, OB 2013, Kentucky straight bourbon)
Nose: a nicely elegant nose with lots of fragrant cinnamon and vanilla, as well as some dry herbal notes. Plenty of toasted oak with traces of polished furniture. Hints of dried fruits as well. Marzipan. There’s a uplifting, spicy rye element, but it’s very well balanced and an attractive ensemble.
Mouth: a big spicy kick now. A lot of oak, mint / eucalyptus, pepper and this special rye touch. Herbal tea. Liquorice. Less elegant than on the nose, this is very oak-driven and there’s just traces of fruity sweetness.
Finish: moderate length, really dry and oaky. Returns to cinnamon and vanilla in the very end.
This is a very spicy and oaky bourbon. I love the nose for its dry / sweet balance and overall elegancy, but the palate is a little too much. I hear a lot of people actually prefer the NAS version. Around € 75.