Color: dark amber
Nose: cinnamon, toast, spice
Taste: cinnamon, vanilla, light caramel, spices
Finish: hot & smooth
Value: Good bang for the buck.
Let me just start by saying that “Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey Kentucky Straight Bourbon” is *REALLY* excessive naming. Heavy-handedly verbose in the product labeling department. (see what I did there?)
As for “let’s not mince words”: Bulleit Bourbon is tasty, hot, and complex.
It’s tough not drawing parallels between Bulleit Bourbon and Buffalo Trace. They are both heavy rye bourbons. They are both small batch bourbons. They are both full of barrel notes and complexity.
Bulleit Bourbon is tasty, hot, and complex.
But where the parallels stop is in the overall flavor profile and heat. Bulleit Bourbon has all those barrel notes you want, but not overly so. Bulleit Bourbon has a lovely caramel sweetness to it, but not overly so. What it does have in spades is good old-fashioned rye bite! Spice and pepper take charge with this high-proof bourbon, and they do it in a good way.
That “whiskey burn”… yeah, Bulleit does NOT disappoint! Heat hits your tongue and never stops, all the way down. No, this is not a painful heat, but a polite one. The burn here lets you know you’re drinking a 90 proof whiskey. The second you stop feeling a burn with Bulleit, that’s when you should stop drinking for the night. It’s what I call a “Polite Drink” in that it let’s you know when it’s time to stop. (Thank you, Lee Marvin!)
While the barrel notes may be a bit dialed back, this is still a flavorful and complex bourbon. I am fan of any whiskey that makes me sit up and take notice, and in that regard, Bulleit delivers.
The second you stop feeling a burn with Bulleit, that’s when you should stop drinking for the night.
But, as I’ve noted in a few other reviews, no: Bulleit is not the Be-All/End-All of Old Bourbon Terroir. The flavors are just a tad too timid. While the heat and the rye certainly do their jobs, the corn is left in the background… leaving me wanting just a touch more molasses flavor. Yes, I can be picky… can’t I?
Now, the brass tacks: Bulleit is in the same price point as Buffalo Trace. Is the more pronounced bite a contender for the “Best Straight Bourbon at $22 or Less” crown? In a word: No. Buffalo Trace offers more across the board than the extra bite Bulleit offers. Ah well… maybe we’ll find a more impactful bourbon later…?
How would I mix Bulleit Bourbon? Glad you asked:
Bulleit is a pretty versatile bourbon and with its decent price, you shouldn’t shy from mixing it!
Final Rating: 90 out of 100