American Whiskey - Bourbon

Bulleit Frontier Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

From: Indiana, United States Liquor Review Category: Bourbon American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

97th Percentile
This score falls in the 97th percentile of all spirits in the Whiskey category and is an example of the very best in its class.
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Awards

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2012

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2006
  • 2013

Proof66 Notes

Bulleit Bourbon is their flagship brand and their take on the most classic of American whiskeys. The bourbon itself is a blend of 68% corn; 28% rye; and 4% malted barley. They regard this as a "high rye" bourbon recipe, which implies to us a robust and somewhat spicy kick to the otherwise mellow and sweet corn flavors.

Bulleit Distilling Company came from the man Augustus Bulleit, who began as a tavern keeper in Louisville, Kentucky. His experiments in bourbon were lost in a trip to New Orleans not to be heard from again until 1987 when great-great grandson Tom Bulleit revived the family legacy. The brand is represented today by Hollis Bulleit, fourth in a line of four generations of management of the Bulleit bourbon brand. In 2010, the brand was acquired by Diageo but we were assured in talking with their representatives at the 2010 Celebration of American Distilling,  that their company was still small and family-run (if not family-owned) and a partnership with Diageo to provide some of the marketing muscle. The whiskey was originally sourced from Lawrenceburg Distillers in Indiana (later MGP and now Proximo Distillers), but in 2012 production moved to the Diageo bottling plant in Connecticut, then to their plant in Louisville, Kentucky, and now in 2016 to Plainsfield, Illinois (all according to the filings with the federal Tax and Trade Bureau). At this point, one has to assume it is a blend from several different locations. We continue to note Proximo simply on the assumption that much of the spirit originates there. For those interested in the origins of bourbon, a new distillery and warehouse complex in Shelby County, Kentucky that will be the Bulleit Distillery is scheduled to open some time in 2016. (Of course, aging it will take longer.)

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Barcodes

Here are the barcodes we have collected from various sizes of this bottle. If you have additional barcodes please submit them to us!
  • 087000005525
  • 087000004047
  • 087000004122
  • 087000005563
  • 08755205
  • 080432566176
  • 087000005549
  • 5000281019116
  • 08740407
  • 082000765578

    Rabble Reviews

    This bottle has 49 ratings and 46 reviews.
    BDanner BDanner (104) (2016-08-17)
    This is one of the first bourbons I had, despite the warnings that this was not a "newbies" bourbon. I have never reviewed it, so I picked up a bottle over the weekend to give my thoughts. You get a bold nose with this one. Caramel heavy with big oak in the background. Not real complicated or sophisticated. Neat it enters the palate with caramel sweetness followed by peppery rye and dry oak. A pleasant warming burn. An ice cube or two really mellows it out and brings more of a "blend" of the flavors. The oak and rye play a little nicer together and the finish is still peppery, but with more of the oak char to compliment it. I definitely prefer Bulleit's Rye but this just barely gets 4 stars.
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    Cranecreek Cranecreek (47) (2016-08-16)
    There are a slug of Bourbons at this price range, Bulleit joins the group with an "also ran" quality. As being touted as a high Rye recipe, I did not really distinguish that as compared to other 28% or higher mash bills. Not all the nose comes through to the taste. There is Oak and Vanilla and Honey, plus some citrus flavors. Sweetness is very low , not much burn (smooth) Drinks more like blended whiskey without the depth of Bourbon. It's enjoyable and very easy to drink but without the depth of flavors I prefer.
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    paulie777 paulie777 (5) (2016-08-11)
    Drinking Bulleit bourbon is like a kiss from a passionate woman; It starts off nice and pleasant on the lips and then gathers strength going down. A very good tasting bourbon with no surprises. Good enough for the owner, cheap enough for the stablehand, both will enjoy equally.
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    ericdrinksliquor ericdrinksliquor (41) (2016-06-05)
    Very smooth bourbon. Don't even need ice.
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    KaiserSoze KaiserSoze (123) (2016-05-20)
    I’m glad I didn’t really have high expectations for this because though I found it to be somewhat unique, it’s certainly nothing special. Very little, if any, sweetness with somewhat of an astringent finish. I picked up some smokiness mid-palate back, which you don’t often get in bourbon. Worked very well in bourbon cocktails (Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Mint Julep), but I really didn’t find this to be a good sipper on its own. For the same price, I much prefer Bulleit’s Rye Whiskey.
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    BrinkOfLife BrinkOfLife (9) (2016-05-09)
    Pretty solid bourbon. Not the smoothest or the most flavor but not bad
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    cgtboy1988 cgtboy1988 (64) (2016-04-28)
    I have mixed thoughts on this bottle. It is more refined than some of the more budget contenders like Evan or Jim, but it tastes like a refined budget bourbon rather than a less-great nice bourbon. I wish it were a tad sweeter and had a tad more character. All that said, it still sips nice and is my go to for drinking straight if I do not want to break out the nice stuff. I get it at $32 a handle. If you want to mix, it will do that fine but it may not get you the sweetness you expect from a bourbon.
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    blais213 blais213 (7) (2016-01-21)
    It made me fall love with bourbon
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    Gammonator Gammonator (17) (2016-01-10)
    2nd pick for everyday drinking bourbon.
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    budgetsipper budgetsipper (7) (2015-12-04)
    Pretty good bourbon at a decent price. Nothing exceptional but it is only $20 bux at my local store.
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    US Spirit US Spirit (47) (2015-11-23)
    So the good news is, this is a pretty smooth and flavorful bourbon that can be had almost anywhere and at a mid-shelf price. Yet I still don't care for it. Why? I find it too dry. Its odd: you've got oak, caramel, char (but very little bitterness) and some nice rye spice, yet not even a hint of sweetness. I'd chalk it up to me simply not caring for so much rye in the mix (Bulleit uses about 28% rye in their bourbon mash) but then, I enjoy several actual rye whiskies, plus I find Four Roses Yellow label perfectly decent (by the time they're done blending the various E and B mash whiskies they also come out to about 28% rye), and I love Four Roses Single Barrel (which clocks in at 35% rye). A lot of people love this stuff, and many who don't care for it neat claim its an outstanding mixer due to the the balance it can bring to a sweet cocktail. Not for me. I tried a lot of different ways to make this work, and they all failed. I didn't care for it neat, found no improvement with ice, found it very disappointing in a whiskey sour, and somehow it go so lost in my Manhattan (Noily Pratt and Angostura Bitters) that I felt I may as well have used Vodka and caramel coloring. It didn't even work for me as a cooking Bourbon (Then for some reason it got bitter). I gifted the second half of my bottle to a friend from work who also explores whiskies, and he didn't like it either, although HIS friend did. While I certainly like sweetness in a bourbon, prior to trying Bulleit, I would not have guessed that it is an absolutely essential component to a good bourbon, but apparently it is for me. I give this 2 stars because, like I said I tried a lot of ways to get this to work for me and all failed (though if I had this at the same time as my bottle of Buffalo Trace, I suspect I could have mixed them 50/50 and come up with something I 'd like a lot), and will state I absolutely do not recommend this as a blind buy, but the good news is I see the ugly Bulleit bottle a lot in bars these days, so if you're out at a bar this is probably worth a try. I might even order it again myself in a Manhattan because I can't for the life of me figure out how Wild Turkey 101 made a better Manhattan than this at home. Anyway, Two stars is all I can muster for this.
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    lorax735 lorax735 (42) (2015-09-19)
    Good and solid bourbon. Nice balance of taste and aroma. great price. would like to give it 4.5. I like the Bulleit Rye a little better for more character, but this is really good. Highly recommended.
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    funkenstein funkenstein (30) (2015-04-14)
    This is a really, really solid bourbon, and definitely one of my favorites. I prefer drinking it neat because adding ice makes the oak too overpowering.
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    Joebazz Joebazz (25) (2015-03-01)
    This is a good sipping bourbon. Very smooth not harsh at all. Not as flavorful as some others but,I would definitely say this Bourbon is the best value for the price and quality. $25.00 for 750 mil.
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    Crgaudette Crgaudette (11) (2015-01-30)
    Not the best, not the worst. Good for the price.
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    rolugomi rolugomi (34) (2015-01-09)
    Spice, wood, and a lot of heat. Not complex, nothing special or for sipping
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    Storcke Storcke (24) (2014-12-23)
    Extremely dry, rye-heavy taste. Nose is fresh oak, smoke, caramel, more oak. Very dry, unlike most bourbons. Taste is rye, caramel, corn, charred oak, (seaweed?). Smooth as can be after you get past the dry texture. Unlike most bourbons in some ways, but highly recommended.
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    Muncher Muncher (263) (2014-08-31)
    Not as good as Bulleit's rye whiskey, but enjoyable none the less. Balanced, standard bourbon flavors (vanilla, honey, cinnamon, oak). Rye spice cranked up a smidge. My only issue is that for less money one could get Evan Williams SB Vintage, Jim Beam Black, or Wild Turkey 101. All 3 of which I think are better (might be a toss up with the Beam).
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    joeg73 joeg73 (5) (2014-08-25)
    I really liked it. had it while sitting around eating pizza and watching baseball. most of the dudes in the room seemed to like it. Some nice spice (I guess that's the rye) with some nice sweetness, like the sort of sweetness from that corn only available in summertime.
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    DakotaGuy DakotaGuy (60) (2014-07-28)
    Great nose, easy going down, but on the palate it didn't live up to the critical and popular acclaim. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing bad about it, but it certainly didn't wow me like I had expected it to. Perhaps I will feel differently if I try it on another day, but for now...three stars.
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    scollings scollings (83) (2014-06-12)
    One of the very best, and certainly the best for the buck.
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    Edith MaGoo Edith MaGoo (55) (2014-06-02)
    top notch. it's one of the best "bang for the buck" bourbons you can get. nice and spicy with a good burn, not too much of a woody taste. blows the doors off stuff like Knob Creek.
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    Irishman Irishman (269) (2014-06-02)
    This is a great "standard" bourbon to add to your bar. Nothing like Buffalo Trace, but it is very serviceable and a decent addition to any bar.
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    spezbaby spezbaby (39) (2014-05-05)
    Nice whiskey for the money. Drinks better than the price.
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    tigertankii tigertankii (4) (2014-05-01)
    This and Knob Creek hold a go to position for whiskey. Nothing bad but no over the top greatness either. Works well in almost any whiskey comparison( I don't mess with top shelf to give it a proper rating).
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    drjay drjay (7) (2014-04-28)
    My "standard" bourbon in my home bar. $22 for a 750 in WI ($40 for the 1.75), a bargain for the complex flavors.
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    Memphis Memphis (14) (2014-04-18)
    Tastes like scotch. The rye takes it out of the bourbon category.
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    derkerderr derkerderr (70) (2014-02-19)
    I tried this a while back and I did not recall liking this much. I decided to give it another shot and it was better than I remembered. It's not fantastic and it damn sure ain't the number three bourbon, but it's pretty good.
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    jrstone76 jrstone76 (1) (2014-02-04)
    Great flavor. Just right with a cube or two of ice. For the money, this bottle holds its own with anything on the bar.
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    NeatPour NeatPour (172) (2013-12-14)
    3.65/5 out of the bottom shelf guys this fella knocks me out, Jim, jack, James. Johnnie red. That being said this is more expensive than those. Unfortunately I put Evan Williams 2003 in this price category along with b trace and Jim beam black and all three I think I'd favor... It's light bodied with some rye. Fairly balanced... It's not too rough or hot at all, it just isn't as flavorful and it doesn't serve a good niche for my home bar. I'd rather have a good rye and a good meaty corn dominated bourbon malt with some char. How bti gives this 92-93 is a bit of a stretch.
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    antiquecollector antiquecollector (28) (2013-12-11)
    Love the old style bottle but I've had better bourbons for less money.
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    vinevine vinevine (4) (2013-11-12)
    I would rank this behind Knob Creek. Great bottle.
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    dfwitt dfwitt (21) (2013-10-27)
    Pronounced rye spiciness--great in cocktails--I also enjoy it on the rocks--highly recommended.
    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    joelbarrett joelbarrett (58) (2013-03-21)
    Light bourbon.
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    bulleitsucks bulleitsucks (1) (2013-02-19)
    What are these people talking about. It's garbage - kentucky's black velvet. Oh, it comes in an old timey bottle and has a cool name? Bulleit was introduced in 1999 for fu$%'s sake. It is more harsh than anything in the 8 dollar range, but costs 3x that. Smoothness isn't the only thing, but it IS a prerequisite. This whisky is utter and complete garbage.
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    Burks Burks (12) (2012-11-30)
    One of the best Bourbons I've ever tasted. Amazing at only $30
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    mfholley mfholley (3) (2012-06-29)
    I think it is the best bourbon for the money on the market. if you want to sip bourbon you will need to spend the money and get something nice!
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    nickwk nickwk (3) (2012-06-12)
    Yup, it is harsh on the palette, and as a sipping whiskey it leaves something to be desired. That said, its one of my favorite mixing bourbons. The aggressiveness that makes it tough to sip also makes it shine when mellowed down with some vermouth. Try it in a dry manhattan, then pass judgement.
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    bourbob bourbob (24) (2011-09-27)
    I dont understand the allure of this
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    mixologist1 mixologist1 (6) (2011-06-11)
    A decent beginner bourbon. Use as context to judge more complex varieties.
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    hoosier09 hoosier09 (6) (2011-03-31)
    A bit spicy for my tastes due to a high rye content, but makes for a great cocktail.
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    dschafer dschafer (17) (2011-03-29)
    Amazing bourbon with a smoky rye quality. Fans of a more traditional bourbon may be disappointed, but for mixing in cocktails this bourbon shines. As others have noted, can be subbed for a rye whiskey if needed. Great price point for the value as well.
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    MrMartini MrMartini (17) (2010-09-30)
    While I don't like Bulleit as a sipping bourbon, I completely agree it works very well in whiskey cocktails that can hold up to the heavier rye. For instance, this is a bourbon I enjoy using to make a Sazerac cocktail. The rye whiskey quality really holds up well balanced with Peychaud Bitters.
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    manikmathur manikmathur (18) (2010-09-11)
    Harsh on the palette and burns on the way down a total disappointment
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    ChrisCarlsson ChrisCarlsson (326) (2010-08-28)
    A good bourbon of the heavier rye, drier style, that is not as common as it used to be. Some may consider it a bit light in body or find the dryness not to their liking. But, if you want to try new and different bourbon for not a lot of money this one is certainly worth considering.

    It is a good bargain for someone seeking a better whiskey for under $30. Also it is a great substitute in a rye cocktail as many of the ryes commercially available in its price range are, frankly almost undrinkable.

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    jfatt340 jfatt340 (15) (2010-08-05)
    The bottle looks rustic?
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    See an error? We try very hard to have accurate information for every bottle, but sometimes we miss something or just plain get it wrong. If you see any information or data that is in error for this bottle, please report the error to us and we'll get it corrected right away. Cheers!

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