The Liquor Fairy recently delivered me a nifty bottle to tell you about. Bulleit Rye is the new companion to Bulleit Bourbon, which I reviewed here. it is a 95% rye whiskey, coming in at 95 proof as well. For those in Ohio, Bulleit Rye is on the state list and retails here for about $22. (More in some markets)
To recap my opinion of Bulleit’s bourbon, I believe that dollar for dollar it is the best all around bourbon I’ve tried. It’s delicious, smooth, and versatile. So I was understandably excited to try the rye.
At 95% rye in the mash, Bulleit has a lot of rye. 51% is the mandated minimum. It is very smooth. I’d never think of just having most ryes straight, but Bulleit Rye is rather nice with a single ice cube or a splash of cold water, like I enjoy my scotch. The singular spiciness in most ryes that immediately distinguishes them from bourbons is present but mellower here. This allows some of the more savory undertones in the mix to make themselves more readily experienced.
But most of my use of rye is in Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. Here the mellowness of the spice ends up modifying both drinks considerably from what I usually expect from a rye version of same. When you first use it to mix cocktails, I’d start with small ones until you figure what works for you. I back off both the sugar in the Old Fashioned and the vermouth in the Manhattan slightly to compensate.
This is really fine whiskey, but it took me a while to grasp why I am fighting the urge to be grumpy about it. The reason is that Bulleit’s bourbon is so damn good and so versatile, I wanted the rye to be a similar Swiss Army knife. and it’s not. It’s delicious, and fun, but it is just different in character from the average premium rye. That said, if you are a rye drinker, you really ought to try this bottle. And if you are a bourbon drinker who never had much use for rye, Bulleit Rye’s slightly more sweet and savory profile could give you a reason to give the classification another look.
The Liquor Fairy Was Here!
The following product, Bulleit Rye, was recently provided to me as promotional consideration to encourage me to discuss it.
For a complete disclosure of my policies regarding promotional items and all other financial interests, please click this link, or follow the
Liquor Fairy link in the header of this page.
(Additionally, I own a chunk of stock in Diageo, the parent company)