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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Bulleit Bourbon

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The Bulleit family arrived in New Orleans from France in the early 1800s


At some point in the early 1830s  Augustus Bulleit brought his brandy making skills to Louisville, where he set up a tavern and started producing small batches of bourbon.


Augustus was a perfectionist, as his constant experimenting with different bourbon recipes has shown.


However by creating these bourbons of many different types and tastes, he came upon a bourbon with the character he had been seeking.


During the great migration Travellers passing through Kentucky and Indiana discovered Bulleit’s Bourbon and began taking it with them on their westward trek, giving it a reputation as the bourbon of choice for frontiersmen.


The Legend Almost lost forever

In 1860 While transporting barrels of his bourbon from Kentucky to New Orleans, Augustus Bulleit vanished. What happened to him is still unknown, and his creation could have passed into history as well.


However after more than a century, his great-great -grandson Tom Bulleit resurrected  the bourbon. A lawyer by profession, Tom's lifelong dream had been to revive the family’s bourbon legacy, started more than 150 years ago.


It appears that the Bulleit family had been keeping a close eye on the original recipe and began making bourbon inspired by the original recipe


Ever-true to the way Augustus made it . Bulleit Bourbon still starts with the same high rye content (the precise ratio of corn rye and malted barley is called a bourbon’s “grain bill” and distillers are careful about sharing it)


However it uses proprietary grains and yeasts not available a century ago. The Bulliet grain Division - a rarity among bourbon makes even today - sources distillers grade grain grown and ground to their exact specifications.


Bulleit Bourbon is crafted in small batches and aged in single story   “rick houses” to ensure consistency across batches.


Each drop is aged in charred white oak barrels for at least six years, resulting in a noticeably mature, smooth character.


A bourbon this true to its roots deserves an authentic bottle, so the flask design with raised glass letters and real cork stopper recall the frontier range that spawned Bulleit Bourbon.

Bulleit Bourbon Tasting Notes

Russet Hue with a rich oaky aroma


Dry, clean character is mellow and smooth.


Complex taste with hints of vanilla and honey, yielding to a long, smoky finish.


Bulleit Bourbon Awards

Gold Honours at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2004

Silver Honours at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2005


At the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the most prestigious in America, Bulleit Bourbon has been consistently awarded medals.


In 2007, Bulleit Bourbon earned its second gold medal — its fourth consecutive medal — besting other premium, small-batch bourbons.


In 2008, the Annual International Review of Spirits labelled Bulleit Bourbon as "Exceptional" and gave it the Gold Medal.


Judges described Bulleit in these words:


"Deep amber colour.


Highly polished aromas of creamy vanilla, pickling spices, and buttery pralines.


A delicate, silky entry leads to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body of honeyed grain, sweet baking spice, vanilla bean, and pralines.


Finishes with a long, rich fruity caramel, peppery spice and mineral accented fade. An elegant sipping or mixing bourbon."


In the Spirit Journal, expert F. Paul Pacult awarded Bulleit Bourbon the Superb Rating (4 out of 5 stars). He described Bulleit Bourbon as follows: "A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED distilled spirit whose attributes, in the opinion of the author, are of exemplary quality and character within the established standards of its category. An outstanding product which is worthy of a search.


" Only you can tell which bourbon best fits your palate. But upon tasting Bulleit, you may find that the search for the last of the great bourbons has come to an end”.

Tom Bulleit

Tom founded Bulleit Bourbon with an unwavering dedication to using only the finest ingredients to create truly exceptional bourbon. After winning numerous awards and accolades, Bulleit Bourbon has clearly reaffirmed its standing as one of America’s finest whiskies.  


After earning his B.A. from the University of Kentucky in 1966, Tom served his country in Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Marine Corp from 1967-69.


On funding from the G.I. Bill, Tom went through law school upon returning home. Tom also began working in Kentucky distilleries between school terms. That experience served him well and he developed a passion for the art of making Bourbon.


In 1971, Tom earned his law degree from the University of Louisville School Of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1972.  He would later add an advanced law degree (LL.M.) from Georgetown University.  


Although he enjoyed a successful law career for 30 years, Tom’s passion for Bourbon-making never waned. In 1988, Tom formed the Bulleit Distilling, Co.  


Initially the business was run from Tom’s house as he perfected the Bulleit family style of Bourbon making started by his great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit.


Two decades after Tom resurrected the business, Bulleit Bourbon is the fastest growing “Small Batch Bourbon” in America, and is proudly owned by Diageo.