Bulleit Bourbon

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Bulleit Bourbon
Bulleit logo.png
Bulleit Bourbon Bottle
Type Bourbon whiskey
Manufacturer Diageo
Country of origin United States
Introduced 1999
Alcohol by volume 45%
Proof (US) 90
Color Russet (dark brown)

Bulleit Bourbon is a Diageo brand of Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey that is characterized by having a high rye content for a bourbon (at approximately 28% of the mash bill) and being aged at least six years.[1] The bottle is clear glass with raised lettering[2] and an orange label with black print, and is sealed with a cork stopper in most markets. The Bulleit brand is owned by Diageo, and the bourbon is produced at the Kirin Brewing Company Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. It is bottled at 45% abv (90 proof) for the US, Canadian, British, Dutch and Mexican markets. For Australia and Danish markets, it is bottled at 40% abv. It is also sold in Germany,[3] Norway[4] and Sweden.[5]

In the U.S. and other markets, the Bulleit brand name is also used for a rye whiskey as well as a bourbon.


According to Tom Bulleit, who created the modern brand, the first batch of Bulleit bourbon was made around 1830 by Augustus Bulleit, who continued to produce it during the 19th century – but its production was discontinued after his death in 1860.[6] The current recipe is substantially different from the original by Augustus Bulleit, which used about two-thirds rye and one-third corn in the mash bill (which would make it a rye whiskey rather than a bourbon using modern product labeling terminology).[6]

In 1987, Tom Bulleit, the great-great-grandson of the original creator, oversaw the distillation of the first batch of the modern-day Bulleit bourbon.[3] In characterizing the recipe, Bulleit remarked on its relatively high rye content and its relatively lengthy aging, and has said that the bourbon has an absence of phenol.[1] The low phenol content is attributed to the use of a filtering process.[6]

In 1997, the Bulleit brand name was bought by Seagram, and began being distilled in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.[2]

The brand was introduced to US markets in 1999, and to Australia, UK and Germany in 2000.[3][7]

Following an acquisition of various Seagram's assets, the Bulleit brand is now owned by Diageo and is produced at the Kirin Brewing Company Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. The Four Roses distillery had also been a Seagram facility, and was briefly owned by Diageo before being sold to Kirin.


The current mash bill contains 68% corn (maize), 28% rye, and 4% malted barley.[6]

Bulleit Bourbon Barrel Strength is a blend of barrels which are 5 to 8 years old. As it is being bottled straight from the barrel the ABV varies by batch, ranging from 118-125 (59 to 62.5 ABV). The product is only available in Kentucky for now.[citation needed]

Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year is the only age dated Bulleit whiskey. It is bottled at 91.2 U.S. proof and has the same mash bill as the original Bulleit Bourbon. It won a Double Gold Medal at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.[citation needed]

In addition to its use for a brand of bourbon, Bulleit is also used as the name of a rye whiskey, which was released in March 2011. The rye has a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley.[8][9][10] The bottle for the rye variation uses a green label and is otherwise similar to the bourbon bottling (which uses an orange label).[9] Like the bourbon, the rye whiskey is bottled at 45% abv.[10] Unlike the bourbon, the rye whiskey is produced in Lawrenceburg, Indiana at MGP Indiana.[citation needed]

Bulleit in the Australia and UK markets[edit]

Starting in 2008, Bulleit bourbon sold on the UK market is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume, and this variation is exported from the UK for the Australia market. For this variation, bottle, label and cap are somewhat different from what is found in other markets. The 45% ABV version was introduced to the UK market in late 2014, under the label "Bulleit Frontier Whiskey".


Proof66.com, a review aggregator for spirits, rates Bulleit bourbon in the top 10th percentile of the world's best whiskeys. The Bulleit Rye Whiskey is also rated a "Top Tier Whiskey".[11][12] Proof66.com rates Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year as a "Tier 1" spirit with an overall rating of 551/904.[13]

Bulleit Bourbon 10 Year received a gold medal in the Small Batch Bourbon up to 10 yrs category at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.[14]

Food critic Morgan Murphy said "This amber beauty, with its notes of spice, rye, and cedar, packs a stronger bite than its sweet aroma would imply."[15]


  1. ^ a b Bulleit Bourbon: The Most American of Spirits, Miller, accessed on 8 September 2007
  2. ^ a b Bulleit Bourbon and Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon from Alcoholreviews.com, accessed on 8 September 2007
  3. ^ a b c Diaego - Our brands - Whisk(e)y - Bulleit bourbon Archived February 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., accessed on 8 February 2011.
  4. ^ Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Vinmonopolet (in Norwegian).
  5. ^ Bulleit Bourbon and Systembolaget, March 13, 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d A Bourbon Tasting with Tom Bulleit, Sctoch Hobbyist's Blog, February 4, 2010.
  7. ^ About Bulleit Bourbon Archived July 23, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., accessed on 22 July 2015
  8. ^ The Distinction[permanent dead link], official website.
  9. ^ a b Austin Hartman, Booze Review: Bulleit 95 Rye, Greenpoint Gazette, March 27, 2011.
  10. ^ a b Bulleit Whiskey Expands Through Introduction of Bulleit Rye, Diageo press release, PR Newswire, March 21, 2011.
  11. ^ "Proof66.com awards summary page for Bulleit Bourbon". Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  12. ^ "Proof66.com awards summary page for Bulleit Rye Whiskey". Retrieved 2012-10-23. 
  13. ^ "Bulleit 10yr Frontier Whiskey Bourbon". Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  14. ^ http://sfspiritscomp.com/pdf/Spirit13_results_Class.pdf
  15. ^ Murphy, Morgan; Editors of Southern Living magazine (2014). Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Foods. Oxmoor House. ISBN 978-0848743161. 

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