One of the biggest success stories in recent years in the Bourbon world has been Bulleit, a brand that came from nowhere and has since become ubiquitous on back bars throughout the country. Bulleit is affordable, good, and easy to drink straight or as a mixer. It doesn’t hurt that Tom Bulleit is one of the nicest guys in the business, and his daughter Hollis is one of the most flamboyant.
After extending the line with a fine, if uninspired, rye whiskey, Bulleit is back with a third expression, Bulleit 10. Put simply, it’s a 10 year old version of the standard Bulleit mashbill (heavy on the rye), set aside for a few extra years to see what would happen. (“Orange label” Bulleit has no age statement, but it is bottled at six years old.)
That’s a lot more time in barrel, so how does it all pan out? Well, we tasted it.
“Beige label” Bulleit 10 is not particularly dark in color, a classic medium orange/brown. The nose is also not particularly revealing, a classic vanilla and wood character with some spice behind it. The body has more of the same. As you sip, it’s unexpectedly heavy on the wood, but a rack of baker’s spices come along behind that to balance things out for the most part. Overall, it’s a solid whiskey, though it doesn’t come across as particularly old or particularly unique, with the exception of the ample amount of wood throughout, revealing itself especially strongly on the finish. Sadly, I am out of standard Bulleit, so I don’t have any on hand for comparative purposes, but when put next to any number of high-end Bourbons, it comes across as distinctly mild.
Bulleit 10 Bourbon is a wholly serviceable and perfectly drinkable whiskey if you don’t mind the wood, but the $45 price tag does give me a bit of pause.
91.2 proof. (Regular Bulleit is 90 proof, FYI.)