Showing posts with label Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kentucky Straight Bourbon Review. Show all posts

Jim Beam Black Extra-Aged


”Black Is Black( I Want My 8 Years Back)”


Whisky Review # 899

Country: USA
Brand: Jim Beam Black Extra-Aged
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: NAS (Around 6 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: New Charred American White Oak Barrels
Charcoal Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 18-25 (January 2021)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👍 Good at around US$ 20
Buying Advice: 😐 It's good enough if you're after a cheap basic Bourbon.

Colour
:


Deep Golden with shades of Orange

Nose:

Sweet. The Alcohol is noticeable. Sweet Grain, Caramel/Vanilla & Ripe Fruit lead the way. Simple Basic Bourbon Aromas. Nothing special really. No Off-Notes.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Grain, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Very Ripe Banana, Dried Fruit like Apricot and Raisins, Sweet Apple, Charred Oak, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Butterscotch, Sugar, Citrus Peel, Bounty Candy Bars, Nuts, Dried Herbs, Pepper, Cloves, Mint and Glue.


Palate:

After the decent Nose, the Palate slightly disappoints as it's rather on the Thin side despite the decent ABV. The Flavor profile follows the Nose confirming this is a Kentucky Straight-Forward Bourbon. Not quite good enough as a sipping Bourbon but thoroughly enjoyable over Ice.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Grain, Caramel, Vanilla, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Charred Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon. The impression of saddling a horse!

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Demerara Sugar, Banana Ice-Cream, Mint, Coriander, Nutmeg, Cloves, Mixed Nuts, Orange Peel, Glue and Leather.

Finish:

Middle-Long and a little on the Thin side. Mainly Sweet but with a little Bitterness from the Oak towards the Medium-Dry end. I find Sweet Grain, Caramel, Vanilla, Nuts, Orange Peel, Charred Oak, Cherry-Flavored Cough Syrup, Nuts, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cloves, Glue and Leather. The Alcohol is noticeable.

Drinking Advice:

I added some Water and that helps calm down the Alcohol of course. You'll get more Spice in the Finish this way. You can enjoy it both ways but I actually prefer Jim Beam Black over ice!

Rating: 83

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21  - Finish: 20  - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good. On the Thin side.

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good

Conclusion:

Jim Beam is produced in Clermont in the state of Kentucky. In the early part of the last decade Jim Beam Black was called Double Aged and matured 8 Years according to the label. In 2015, the Age statement was dropped and the name changed to XA or Extra Aged. Halfway 2016 Jim Beam rebranded the portfolio and changed labels and bottle design. During this process the XA in the name disappeared and Black was subsequently called "Extra-Aged". It is generally accepted that the new Black matured for around 6 Years as was the case with the bottle I purchased in Brazil in 2011 and reviewed here. The Mash bill for the Extra-Aged consists of Corn (77%), Rye (13%) and Malted Barley (10%).

Jim Beam Black Extra-Aged is a basic inexpensive Bourbon and as such it's okay. Don't expect miracles though. I really enjoy it over Ice but I wouldn't recommend it as a sipping Whiskey. I rated the similar Black a little higher back in 2011 but I was just starting to review at that time. As far as Jim Beam is concerned I have a slight preference for the Bulleit although it's a bit more expensive of course. My preferred day-to-day Bourbon remains the Maker's Mark 46. Cheers, Jan.

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                      January 6, 2021

Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer


”Red Red Wine”


Whisky Review # 896

Country: USA
Region: Kentucky
Brand: Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer (Master's Collection)
Distilled at: Woodford Reserve/Brown-Forman Distillery, Versailles, Kentucky
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45.2%
Maturation: New Charred American Oak casks + Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Finish
Chill Filtration: N/A
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: Around US$ 120 (December 2020)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎 Way too expensive for what it offers.
Buying Advice: 👎The overlong Red Wine finish leaves this Woodford unbalanced. 

Colour: Brown with hues of Orange and Red (Natural Color)

Nose:

Sweet but pleasant Nose with lots of Caramel, Spices and Dark Berries. The Alcohol is slightly noticeable as well as a distant Iron-like off-note. Nothing serious though. The Red Wine slightly overpowers the Bourbon but on the Nose this is not a big problem.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Corn, Buttered Toast, Caramel, Vanilla, Dark Red Fruit such as Blackberries, Cherries and Blackcurrants, Red Wine, Sweet Apple, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove and Charred Oak.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Brown Sugar, Toffee, Treacle, Seville-Orange, Nectarine, Coconut Milk, Dark and Bitter Chocolate, Pepper, Leather, Tobacco and Licorice. A distant hint of Cheese with Mustard as my mother used to make on birthday parties when I was young.


Palate:

The balance between Bourbon and Pinot Noir was quite good on the Nose but on the Palate it's a different story. Here the slightly Sour Red Wine takes the lead and that leaves a bit of a mess. No coherence at all in this department. This is always a risk with Red-Wine finished spirit. You can easily overdo it and that's clearly the case here.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Corn, Vanilla, Dark Red Fruit like Blackcurrants, Cherries and Blackberries,  Seville-Orange, Dark Bitter Chocolate, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Licorice and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Brown Sugar, Buttered Pastry, Toffee, Treacle, Fruit Cake, slightly Bitter Almonds, Coconut, Dry Earth, Tobacco and Leather.


Finish:

Middle-Long and rather Un-balanced. The slightly Sour Red Wine notes completely dominate the Bourbon at this point. We can safely state that 10 months Wine cask was too much for the Woodford Spirit. I find a mix of Sweet, Sour, Earthy and Green notes such as Sweet Corn, Dark Red Fruit (Berries), Red Wine, Dried Herbs, Seville-Orange, Forest Floor, slightly Bitter Almonds, Charred Oak, Resin, Licorice, Menthol, Charred Oak, Dark Chocolate and Christmas Spices.

Drinking Advice:

Due to the small size of the sample, I only tasted this Woodford neat. I do believe it probably won't take a lot of Water.

Rating: 83.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Conclusion:

This is the 9th release in the Master's Collection. It has been finished in casks that previously held Pinot Noir Red Wine from the well-known Sonoma-Cutrer Winery in California's Russian River. The Mash Bill is said to contain Corn (72%), Rye (18%) and Malted Barley (10%). The standard Woodford Reserve matured for roughly 7 years in new charred American Oak casks before being finished for 10 months in the wine barrels.

Red Wine Cask Finishing is a tricky thing when you talk about Whisky or Whiskey for that matter. It's a total art to find the fine balance between the Spirit and the Red Wine casks. Woodford did not succeed in finding this balance with the Sonoma-Cutrer Finish. The Whiskey overstayed its time in the Wine barrels leaving the end-product too Winy. At least for my taste. So it's back to the drawing board for Brown Forman I'm afraid!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                                   December 9, 2020


Woodford Reserve Cherry Wood Smoked Barley Review


“Too Hot To Trot”
Whisky Review # 844

Country: USA
Region: Kentucky
Brand: Woodford Reserve Cherry Wood Smoked Barley (Master's Collection)
Distilled at: Woodford Reserve/Brown-Forman Distillery, Versailles, Kentucky
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45.2%
Maturation: New Charred American Oak casks
Chill Filtration: No
Sample provided by Mauricio from Brazil. Many Thanks!
Average Price: Around US$ 100 (December 2019)
Price/Quality Ratio: 👎The Cherry Wood extra does not justify the high price.
Buying Advice:  See Price/Quality Ratio

Colour: Dark Amber (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Please give this Woodford some time in the glass before Nosing. Even if you do that though, the Alcohol remains noticeable. There is a little Cherry and Smoke to be found but it's certainly not overpowering. It's a little bit closer to Scotch Whisky thanks to the relatively high Malted Barley content. This limits the Sweet Corn Aroma on the Nose. I'm not sure if traditional Bourbon fans will appreciate that.

Main Aromas:

Butterscotch, Caramel, Demerara Sugar, Sweet Grains, Malted Barley, Yeast, Resin, Orange, Salted Nuts, Damp Cellar, Cocoa Powder and Fresh Herbs like Mint and Coriander.
    
Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Honey, Glue, Smoke, Maraschino Cherries, Apricot, Blackberry Muffins, Forrest Floor, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Pepper.


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet and quite strong. The Alcohol is very present. It kind of misses that soothing Sweet feeling that standard Bourbons can give you. Although, the regular Woodford is also more Edgy and less Sweet than say Maker's Mark, one of my favourite affordable Bourbons.

Main Flavours:

Malted Barley, Demerara Sugar, Salted Nuts, Smoke, Cocoa Powder, Maraschino Cherries, Yeast, Ashes, Butterscotch, Ginger and Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Caramel, Sweet Grains, Vanilla, Honey, Apricot, Orange, Wet Rock, Damp Oak, Tea, Leather and Pepper.

Finish:

Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet and quite Edgy. The Alcohol bites a little. Quite Dry towards the end. The Cherry Wood influence is certainly more clear at this point. But in a kind of medicinal way. I can't say I like it a lot. I find Barley, Grains, Oat Biscuits (I know it shouldn't be there!), Demerara Sugar, Butter, Vanilla, Yeast, Resin, Salted Nuts, BBQ-Smoke, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Damp Wood, Cocoa Powder, Ashes, Pepper, Ginger, Menthol and Nutmeg.

Drinking Advice:

I added a little Water and that helps to calm down the Alcohol on the Nose. The Malt and Fruity Aromas (Peach, Apricot) develop. But other than that it is really starting to smell like Pizza Dough. Palate and Finish benefit as well from the fact that the Alcohol retreats.The Finish becomes one big Cherry/Menthol flavoured Cough pastille though. A little water gets rid of the strong Alcohol and gives some extra Fruit on the Nose. But it does not develop the Palate and turns the Finish in a medicinal treat. It's up to you as always to find your preferred level. You can certainly add a few drops though!

Rating: 80

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19 - Overall: 20

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay.

Conclusion:

The Master's Collection (Limited Editions) started in 2006 and the Cherry Wood Smoked Barley is the 12th release in the meantime. According to the distillery it pays tribute to past distillery industry leaders Oscar Pepper and James Crow. The Cherry Wood differs from the regular Woodford where it exclusively uses Corn(70%) and Malted Barley (30%). No Wheat and/or Rye therefore. The 30% Malted Barley content is much higher than in your regular Bourbon (15-20%). The Malted Barley for this Whiskey has been smoked with Cherry Wood during the kilning process.

I'm not a huge fan of Woodford although I love their bottles! But their regular Bourbon is also a bit harsh and less comforting Sweet as Bourbons like Maker's Mark. The Cherry-Wood Smoked Barley does in fact reinforce that issue. The Malted Barley clearly controls the Sweet Corn and bridges the gap with Scotch Whisky. So it ends up in No-Man's land if you ask me. The Cherry Wood is not a failed experiment but I can't see it reaching out to many Bourbons fans as it's more edgy and less comfortable than your usual day-to-day Bourbon. And the really high price does not help either. Limited Editions are meant to be a bit special and in that respect Cherry Wood certainly scores. But for many Bourbon fans it might be a bit too special. To me it is!

Cheers!

Jan van den Ende                                                              December 6, 2019


Booker's the Barrel Review


“Great Balls of Fire”

Whisky Review # 657

Country: USA
Brand: Booker's Bourbon Batch # 2015-02 The Barrel (True Barrel Series)
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Age: 6-8 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 63.7%
Maturation: New Charred American White Oak Barrels 
Filtration: No  
Price Range: Around US$ 75 (October 2017)
Buying Advice: 😈 Hotter than Hell! I dare you to try it! Good Stuff! 

Colour: Deep Amber with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)

Nose: Sweet and Pleasant despite the high ABV. At first I get the familiar combination of Glue, Acetone, Vanilla, Orange, Caramel and Banana. It might not be everybody's cup of Tea but I find it rather addictive. A sort of Guilty Pleasure if you know what I mean! After a while In also find Fresh Peach, Corn Syrup, Milky Way Bar, Dusty Road, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Syrup, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, a mix of Dried Fruits and Nuts, Floral tones, Menthol, Charred Oak and hints of Leather, Aniseed and Tobacco. From time to time I pick up some Dark Red Fruit Aromas as well but it's hard to pinpoint them.      

Palate: Wow! This is not for the Faint of Heart! Extremely strong delivery thanks to the high ABV. I'm usually not a fan of adding Water but in this case it's almost mandatory. My eyes started crying a bit. Not from sadness though as I quite like the Palate of this Booker's. It roughly follows the Nose with Vanilla, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit and Nuts, Banana, Cherry, Acetone, Glue, Orange, Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Menthol, Aniseed, Herbs, Salted Peanuts and hints of Leather, Resin and Tobacco.

Finish: Middle-Long but quite Powerful. The Alcohol is really strong. Quite Tannic as well. Mainly Sweet but with a few Bitter - and Sour notes as well. I find Vanilla, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Acetone, Glue, Milky Way Bars, Sweet Corn, Charred Oak, Cinnamon, Ginger, Pepper, Aniseed, Licorice, Menthol, Orange and Grapefruit Juice. Hints of Leather, Dried Herbs and Tobacco. Dry in the end. 

Drinking Advice:
I advise you to add a little Water in this case. You won't change the general Aroma and Flavour profile and it makes it easier to enjoy this Booker's.

Rating: 86 

Nose: 22 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21.5


General Remarks:

Booker's Bourbon is part of Jim Beam's Small Batch collection and is named after Booker Noe, the former Master Distiller. It was first released to the general public in 1992. Each barrel selected for Booker's is aged in the centre of the rack houses where temperature and humidity are ideal. Booker's is Unfiltered and bottled at Cask Strength.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: This is what good Bourbon is all about. When you take a small sip you can easily imagine those old black and white Cowboy movies where the hero would enter a saloon and demand a shot! When I'm perfectly honest I would have preferred a slightly lower ABV of around 55% as the heat nearly gets out of control at almost 64%. I normally drink my Whisky or Bourbon neat but in this case I advise you to add a little Water. Other than that I really liked this Booker's. If you're not into Bourbon at all this is certainly not the way to start your voyage. But if you are a seasoned Glue and Acetone addict you will love this Booker's. It's Hot, it's Strong, it kicks like a wild mule and it gives no quarter. It's not at all complex but it's well-made and there's an authentic feel to it that I love. It's not cheap but it's well worth the ride. Rollin', Rollin', Rollin', Rawhide! 

Jan van den Ende                                                                 October 24, 2017

W.L. Weller 12 Years Review


“Pappy Van Weller”

Whisky Review # 626

Country: USA
Brand: W.L. Weller
Type: Kentucky Straight Wheated Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 12 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 45%
Maturation: Charred New American White Oak Barrels     
Price Range: US$ 25-35 in the USA (July 2017). An average US$ 100 elsewhere. 
Buying Advice:😄 You should buy it if you can get it under 35 US Dollars. No need too spend more. Go for Maker's Mark as an affordable alternative!

Colour: Bronze with a shade of Red (Natural Colour)

Nose: Sweet and Pleasant. Reminds me of Maker's Mark. Thick layers of Sweet Corn, Vanilla and Caramel. It clearly misses the punch of the Rye but it's quite nice in its own right. I also find Toasted Oak, Buttered Toast, Banana, slightly Sour Blackberry-flavoured Yogurt, Freshly Baked Apple Pie, Honey Nuts Cereals,  Peach Jam, Cinnamon, Ginger, Fresh Mint, Sugared Almonds, Acetone and a few traces of Orange, Dirt Road, Rum and Leather. Not overly complicated but quite delicious! Could smell this for hours!

Palate: Medium-Sweet with a few Sour, Herbal and Spicy notes. I find Sugared Cereals, Buttered Toast, Toasted Oak, Vanilla, Caramel, Toffee, Caffe Latte, Rum, Orange-Flavoured Chocolate, Toasted Nuts, Leather, Tobacco, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Ginger, Dirt Road, Fresh Mint, Aniseed, Honey Nuts and Herbal Tea. A bit of Tutti-Frutti Bubble Gum after a while. It's not bad but it's a lot less Sweet than you would expect after the Nose. A bit disappointing quite frankly!   

Finish: Bitter-Sweet, Herbal and quite Dry in the end with Honey Nuts, Toasted Oak, Caramel, Toffee, Vanilla, Orange-Flavoured Dark Chocolate, Blackberry Muffins, Dried Herbs, Leather, Cinnamon, Pepper, Nutmeg, Rum and Herbal Tea. The Alcohol and something that reminds me of Varnish spoil the fun a bit in this department. A bit too dry for my taste as well. This is the weaker part of this Bourbon.

Drinking Advice:
No Need to add Water to the Weller 12 Years. It's quite nice over Ice as well but you should at least Nose it neat!

Rating: 86

Nose: 22.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 20.5 - Overall: 21.5


General Remarks:

The W.L. Weller 12 years is produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, owned by Sazerac Company Inc. The Mash Bill is undisclosed but is said to be the same recipe as the Van Winkle Lot B. The only difference seems to be that hand picked barrels are used for the Van Winkle. Therefore, the W.L. Weller 12 Years is very often called the "Poor Man's Van Winkle". As a result, prices have increased dramatically over the last few years, mostly in the secondary market. Corn is of course the main grain used for this Bourbon but it is followed by Wheat rather than Rye. A little Malted Barley completes the Mash Bill. William Larue Weller was said to be the first American distiller that used Wheat in the Mash Bill.

Drinking Experience: Good. Great Nose!

Conclusion:

It's quite amazing that such a nice Wheated Bourbon is available at around 30  US Dollars. If you can find it at that price of course. And that's not at all easy depending on where you live. On the Internet I've seen prices in the 75-100 US dollar range. Don't spend that kind of money though. Go for Maker's Mark in that case. But at an average 30 US Dollars, the W.L. Weller 12 Years is a must buy! If only for the Nose! If you like Sweet Bourbons, you will love this Nose! As so often, Palate and Finish can't maintain the same high level. They are not as Sweet as the Nose would let you to believe and the Finish is really too dry. At least in my opinion. Still, at 30 US Dollars this would certainly be my every day Wheat Bourbon if I could find it in Brazil. Unfortunately I've never seen it around here. Not even in the Duty Free Shop at the Sao Paulo airport. I'll have to stick to my Maker's Mark for the time being! 

Jan van den Ende                                                                        July 24, 2017

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Eagle Rare 10 Years Review


“And I Dream I’m an Eagle”

Country: USA
Brand: Eagle Rare
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Small Batch Whiskey 
Age: 10 Years
ABV: 45%
Whisky Review # 561

Colour: Copper with a touch of Orange.

Nose: Much Sweeter than the 17 years I tasted sometime ago. Less Oak as well. I find Sweet Corn, Apple Strudel sprinkled with Powder Sugar and Cinnamon, Buttered Toast, Toasted Nuts, Honey, Syrup, Vanilla, Caramel, Orange, Oak Char, Cocoa Powder, Banana Bread Dough, Acetone, Sweet Popcorn and a sprinkle of Nutmeg. It's a relatively Light nose and most of the Aromas are not
very pronounced. It's okay but it doesn't invite you to smell for a long time. The Alcohol is not fully integrated.  

Taste: The Delivery is a little Thin despite the adequate ABV. It's mostly Bitter-Sweet and it gets quite Dry towards the end. It's also more Spicy than you would expect after Nosing. I find Sweet Corn, Vanilla, Caramel, Brown Sugar, Buttered Toast, Orange, light Honey, Toasted Nuts, Cocoa Powder, Licorice, Pepper, Winter Spices, light Rye, Charred Oak and Dried Herbs.

Finish: Middle-Long, Bitter Sweet and quite Dry towards the end. The Oak is much more noticeable by now. I find Sweet Corn, Toffee, Tutti Frutti Bubble Gum, Acetone, light Rye, light Honey, Cherry Flavoured Cough Drops, Oak Char and a sprinkle of Cinnamon, Pepper, Cardamom and Dried Herbs.

The Eagle Rare 10 Whiskey does not improve with added Water. You do get a little extra Banana Ice Cream on the Palate. Otherwise it becomes too Thin.

Rating: 83 

Nose: 20.5 – Taste: 20.5 – Finish: 21 – Overall: 21


General Remarks: Eagle Rare is one of the many Whiskey Brands produced at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Today, this Distillery is owned by the Sazerac Company. Eagle Rare uses the Buffalo Trace # 1 Low Rye Mash Bill. Until recently it was sold as a Single Cask Whiskey. The ABV was lowered to 90 Proof (45% ABV) in 2005. It's mostly sold in the 25-40 US Dollar range.  

Drinking Experience Neat: Good but nothing special. 

Conclusion: There's nothing really wrong with this Eagle Rare 10 Years Whiskey but perhaps for the fact that it's a little Light and Thin on respectively Nose and Palate. It's perfectly drinkable, both Neat and on the Rocks and it's got a good Price/Quality ratio. It just completely misses the "Wow" factor. You will have forgotten all about it the moment you have finished your glass. It's also quite different from its 17 Year old brother. It is more comparable to the Standard Four Roses Bourbon. In short, a good day-to-day Bourbon but nothing really special.    

Jan van den Ende                                                             September 26, 2016

Buffalo Trace Distillery

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Review


    “Saddle Your Horses”

Country: USA
Brand: Bulleit Frontier Whiskey
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 
Age: NAS (Said to be around 6 Years)
ABV: 45%

Colour: Light Copper with a dash of Orange.

Nose: The first impressions include Artificially Fruit-Flavoured Bubblegum and Glue. That's not a great start and I decide to give the Bulleit more time in the glass. After an additional hour or so I put my curious nose to work again. The extra air contact certainly helped although hints of the above mentioned Aromas are still there. But I also find Sweet Corn, Vanilla, Charred Oak, Toffee, Sweet Red Apples, light Corn Syrup, Sugar coated Nuts, Orange, Cinnamon, Fresh Mint and some Floral tones I can't quite place. It's Sweet but not overly so thanks to the relatively high Rye content. After a while I get images of saddling a horse. It might be Leather but it's not just that. Odd! The Alcohol is not fully integrated.

Taste: The Delivery, while Hot Sharp and Spicy, is nevertheless a bit on the Thin side. The Rye is very noticeable though and the overall Flavour profile is Bitter- Sweet and Spicy. I find Sweet Corn, Vanilla, Caramel, light Syrup, Charred Oak,
Orange, Sugared Nuts, Red Apple, Cinnamon, Pepper, light Menthol and hints of Leather, Bitter Chocolate and Floral Soap. 

Finish: Middle-Long and Bitter-Sweet. Dry towards the end. The Rye Spices are quite evident as well as the Cherries and the slightly Metallic Alcohol Burn. I also find Sweet Corn, Charred Oak, light Menthol, Toffee, Dusty Road, Vanilla, Floral Soap, Sugared Nuts and Orange Liqueur.

The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey does not improve with added Water.  

Rating: 84.5 

Nose: 22 – Taste: 21 – Finish: 20.5 – Overall: 21



General Remarks: The original Bulleit was distilled between 1830 and 1860 by Augustus Bulleit. Only in 1987 the Brand was revived by Thomas E. Bulleit Jr., a great-great-grandson of Augustus. The new mash bill consists of Corn (68%), Rye (28%) and Malted Barley (4%). A Bulleit Distillery does not exist. At least until 2010 the Spirit was produced at the Four Roses Distillery. But Diageo, the owner of the Bulleit Brand since 2010, sold Four Roses to the Kirin Group. It's likely that at least a large part of the Spirit used for Bulleit is still produced at Four Roses but no one knows for sure. In the future, Bulleit will be produced in the new Diageo distillery that is being constructed in Shelbyville , Kentucky as we speak. Production is expected to start still this year. What we do know for sure is that all Bulleit Whiskey matures in the old Stitzel-Weller warehouses in Louisville. The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is priced between 25 and 45 US Dollars, depending on where you live (February 2016).

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good. I would love to see it a little Sweeter but I'm afraid they won't change the Mash Bill just for me!

Bulleit 40% ABV

In 2008, Bulleit was launched in the UK market. It was bottled at a lower ABV of 40% however. I tasted a sample that I bought at Master of Malt. As Bulleit is produced in relatively Small Batches, the quality may vary of course. Fact is I did not like it a lot. I'm not sure if it was just this sample but I got lots of Young Oak, Varnish, Alcohol and Cooked Vegetables on the Nose. On the Palate and in the Finish it was Thin, Dusty, Metallic and Mineral without pleasant Aromas. Like I said, it may have been just a bad Sample or a bad Batch. To avoid any risks however I would advise you to go for the 90 Proof only.  

Conclusion: A decent everyday Bourbon, especially if you like Rye Whiskey. Just be sure to give it some time in the glass when you have just opened your bottle for the first time. The Nose is the best part of the Bulleit and I'm still wondering why I got images of Saddling a horse! On the other hand, Whiskey and Horses were a common sight in the Wild Wild West! On the Palate and in the Finish the Bulleit is Bitter-Sweet, Spicy and a little Hot & Sharp. And there are a couple of slightly Artificial Aromas and Flavours that I don't care for too much. However, if my notes are in line with your preferred Bourbon profile you can't go wrong with Bulleit, especially when you can buy it at around 25 bucks. However, if you, like me, prefer your everyday Bourbon a little Sweeter I would like to recommend Wild Turkey 101 or Maker's Mark. 

Jan van den Ende                                                              February 18, 2016