Like pulling into a Rolls-Royce dealership and driving away in a Phantom, everyone knows where to find a great product that costs a bundle.
Similarly, a good bourbon is easy to track down. Several can be spotted on the shelves or (more likely) in a locked cabinet at any liquor store. The question is, how big of a dent to you want to put in your wallet?
If your price range is low to intermediate, then Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an outstanding choice. Medium-bodied with distinct flavors, Bulleit is a quality bourbon with a great taste. The nose brings sweet flavors of honey and vanilla with a distinct spiciness, while the finish maintains that spice yet also features the oaky taste of a more traditional sour-mash bourbon whiskey.
Like all bourbons, Bulleit is made mostly from corn, but its unmistakable spice is no doubt due to its unusually large rye content. While Bulleit contains about 30 percent rye, many other bourbons either contain roughly 10 percent rye, or more commonly, rye is omitted entirely in lieu of wheat.
If you’re looking to nitpick, the sophisticated, derby-going, bluegrass-listening, been-drinking-bourbon-since-I-was-2, Kentucky gentleman will probably object to the burn that a sip of Bulleit leaves in the finish. Typically, such a burning sensation is more characteristic of a true rye whiskey rather than a bourbon whiskey.
Nevertheless, Bulleit is easily superior to many others in the same price range. Its complex flavors, unique taste, and slightly-higher-than-normal alcohol content (90 proof) are enough to make Bulleit a great asset to have on hand or to bring as a casual gift.
Routinely available at Trader Joe’s for 20 bucks, and comparably priced at other retailers, Bulleit is the smart buy, more like the Toyota Camry that you shopped around for and less like the gaudy luxury auto that’s an amazing machine that costs more than your home.
If you’re a mixer, try it with your favorite ginger ale. The combination of sweet and spicy Bulleit bourbon with the dry taste of a cold ginger ale is incredibly tasty and surprisingly refreshing. Regualr bourbon drinkers will be quite happy taking Bulleit neat, but this is the drink to offer the skeptical bourbon drinker, the one who will only take bourbon because they were out of vodka or gin.
For a winter tailgate, go with a Bulleit hot toddy. All you need is bourbon, water, and sugar (and a lemon if you want to get fancy) to make this tasty, body-warming serum. Bonus: it’s believed by many to combat the common cold and flu