Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Four riders behind me, 3 Bulleits left…

By: Keith Adams

Have you ever looked at a word and thought, “How the hell do I say that without sounding stupid?” That’s exactly how I felt when I came across Bulleit Bourbon. A wise man would have passed on principle alone but it was the Frontier Whiskey part that sealed the deal for me. There is some draw in believing I’m about to drink whiskey made from an old frontier recipe. The Gold Rush crew would probably love the shit out of this stuff, they live like frontiersmen.

On to the Bourbon… Since Bulleit offers 3 different whiskeys, (only 2 are technically bourbons) I decided to pick up the trifecta.

Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

This is a very good offering.  It has a nice caramel/vanilla nose with a taste to match.  Something I didn’t notice in the scent but could definitely taste was a heavy cinnamon, almost red-hot flavor.  The cinnamon and vanilla hang around as a nice aftertaste. It’s a little dry but not 1792 dry. It didn’t really remind me of the old frontier, but I’m not sure what I was expecting.  It would probably need to taste like dust and cobwebs or something. At this point I’m going to say the taste was preferable to a frontier flavor and it’s a must try bourbon.

Taste: Very Good/Good
Price: $25
Purchase Again: Yes

Bulleit 10 Year Old Bourbon Frontier Whiskey

This is like the original Frontier Whiskey on roids! It’s bigger, bolder and carries a lot more punch. It holds onto that vanilla, caramel flavor but the cinnamon is lost to me and replaced with a much more pronounced wood flavor. If the original Bulleit was dry, then I’d say this one could be used to mop up the floor when the kids spill shit on it.  Closer to the dryness level of the 1792 I tested. This one is definitely more complex and a much stronger offering. I’m not sure it’s really worth the extra bones for that added punch, but if someone’s offering it, definitely have them pour you a glass.

Taste: Very Good - Complex
Price: $45
Purchase Again: On the fence (Not sure it’s worth the premium over the standard Bulleit)

Bulleit 95 Rye

To round out the trifecta I broke into the Bulliet 95 Rye. The 95 is a reference to the 95% rye grain mash.  I’ve gotta admit, I can’t even look at rye whiskey without hearing Jim-Tom singing the rye whiskey song -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDjCOho_sKw. That alone made me want to add this one to the review. This one had me confused from the start. I thought I smelled a pine tree in the bottle when I opened it but that was quickly replaced with a minty cinnamon scent. That cinnamon stays true throughout the tasting and the finish, leaving you with the feeling that you just had some red-hots. I’m starting to think Bulleit is dissolving red-hots in their damn whiskey! I’d probably pass on a second bottle of this stuff; it’s not bad, rye whiskey may just not be my thing. My outlook on this may change by the time I finish the bottle.

Taste: Good
Price: $25
Purchase Again: No (Don’t let me sway you if you like a strong rye)
This brings me to the title of the article… Bulleit is pronounced like bullet, not boo-lay so it seemed only appropriate to include some frontier like song reference. Bullet The Blue Sky was an obvious choice but it was lacking that frontier punch I was looking for.  Instead I went with Marie by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk7QP4uNkSM) which may also be a good tequila drinking song. Give it a listen, if nothing else it will help get Jim-Tom out of your head.

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