Review: Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon is one manly looking drink. A chunky glass bottle that looks like it was blown during the American Civil War, along with some no-bullshit labelling that screams of hunting, the outdoors, and drinking at the office.

However, don’t let the bottle fool you – it masks a softy inside. A sweet, fruity Kentucky straight bourbon thanks to a mash bill of corn, malt and rye, bottled at a point-scoring 45% ABV and – the best part – insanely cheap, even on the far flung shores of South Africa. Check it out:

  • Colour:

Rusty amber.

  • Nose:

Powerful vanilla, caramel and spices. Glacé cherries. A soft, “incense” smoke. A whiff of banana, slightly salty (nice!) and sawdust.

  • Taste:

Punchy! Bulleit Bourbon is like drinking liquidised, fermented cherries smothered in wood chips. Without water the alcohol is pretty intense (that young whisky fire), but not overpowering. Sweet, fruity, spicy, a mild liquorice. There’s an umami saltiness that vacuum packs your tastebuds, and a really chewy quality like you could gnaw chunks out of the glass. Great!

  • Finish:

Oaky, smoky and sweet. A finish that goes on forever. “Hey honey, come smell my bourbon breath!”

  • Water:

Perfect. A few drops dials the saltiness down just enough to let you appreciate all those flavours. And as you’d expect… Bulleit is the perfect companion to make the MOTHER OF ALL OLD FASHIONEDS, of which I have forged and devoured many. YES. CHURN in the depths of my belly, Bulleit Old Fashioneds!


Bulleit is one of my favourite “baseline” bourbons. It’s shamefully good value, enjoyable, and obscenely versatile. In South Africa its one of the best options on the shelf (given that we don’t have the face-meltingly good Wild Turkey 101) and well worth owning a bottle at all times, if anything just in case you need an emergency Don Draper style Old Fashioned. Get one!

Bulleit Bourbon
Quality: Good
Price: Inexpensive
See my rating guide here

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