Monday, March 21, 2011

Faster than a Speeding Bulleit: A New Rye from Bulleit

Bulleit has been making its signature bourbon for a dozen years since founder Tom Bulleit resurrected his family's namesake brand and product.  This month, the company launched Bulleit Rye, made with 95% rye mash and 5% barley.  Rye whiskey only has to be 51% rye mash to be called rye, so Bulleit is not shy about its very high rye percentage, calling it out three times on the label.  The rye is 90 proof, 45% ABV.  The rye bottle has the same embossed lettering on it as the Bulleit bourbon and a similar label too, except green in color.

The liquid itself is amber colored and has some spice to it.  It is quite smooth but lacks some of the intensity and wallop of products like Rittenhouse 100 or Old Overholt.  It has a sweeter flavor profile than most ryes I have tried.  This rye whiskey worked nicely when I used it as a base for an Old Fashioned.

I am a big fan of Bulleit Bourbon as it is delicious, a good value and has good distribution (you can even find it in Trader Joes), so I was excited to try their rye.  The rye's smoothness and mellow character makes it work as a sipping spirit, in a way that most ryes do not.  Will it replace one of my default's?  No.  But it will now have its own spot in my liquor cabinet.  The rye resurgence continues.  Long may it live.

Available in California at Hi Time: $19 and K&L: $22 (for the 750 ml bottle).

Note: I am friends with Hollis Bulleit, namesake of the brand & Global Brand Ambassador, but I liked the product long before I knew her.

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