Bulleit Bourbon is a distinctive Kentucky whiskey that has, since its launch in 1987, grown to become one of the default premium bourbons stocked by leading bartenders throughout the region. A complex, approachable and silky whiskey crafted to be savoured on its own or over a chunk of ice, its layered complexity also makes it the perfect component for a variety of creative and classic cocktails.
The commercial story began in 1987 when Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr. risked everything to fulfill his lifelong dream of reviving the ancient family bourbon recipe and opened the Bulleit Distilling Company, inspired by his great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit, who made a high-rye whiskey between 1830 and 1860.
A tavern keeper in 1830s Louisville, Kentucky, Augustus Bulleit was dedicated to a single goal: the creation of a bourbon with a unique flavour and, after countless experiments, he finally settled on the bourbon recipe that inspired Tom over 150 years later.
The recipe might well have produced a 19th century whiskey empire but Augustus mysteriously vanished in 1860 while transporting his bourbon from Kentucky to New Orleans and his delectable masterpiece was almost lost forever, had it not been for Tom’s inherited passion.
The subtlety and complexity of Bulleit Bourbon is derived from its blend of rye, corn and barley malt, along with special strains of yeast and pure Kentucky limestone-filtered water. Aging is in charred American oak barrels that add a subtle smoky character. Due to its especially high rye content, Bulleit Bourbon has a bold, spicy character with a finish that’s distinctively clean and smooth.
Taken on its own, the palate is smooth with tones of maple, oak and nutmeg with a long, dry finish and a light toffee flavour. Medium amber in colour it features complex spiciness and sweet oak aromas making Bulleit Bourbon the perfect component for enticing classic cocktails.
Classic Bulleit Bourbon Cocktails
With its deep flavours and superb complexity Bulleit Bourbon is a favourite amongst the region’s bartenders who use it to create an array of classic and new connections. Here are a couple to make at home or ask your bartender to whip up.
Light and long the Bulleit Bourbon Lemonade is a sweet and tangy combination that highlights the spicy bourbon
- 40ml Bulleit Bourbon
- 120ml cloudy lemonade
- Lemon for garnish
- Simply combine the bourbon and lemonade in a Collins glass filled with ice and garnish with a slice or round of lemon.
Light and refreshing, a complex combination of Bulleit Bourbon, sugar and bitters.
- 38ml Bulleit Bourbon
- 2 bar spoons simple syrup
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Slice of orange peel
- Combine the ingredients in a Rocks glass, add ice and stir gently until the levels of ice and liquid appear equal. Zest orange peel over the glass and drop the twisted peel into the drink.