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Bulleit rye whiskey bottle

Bulleit rye whiskey review

Rye whiskey is a spicy American spirit with a complex flavour profile and long history. Read our expert review of the rye offering from well-known bourbon distillery, Bulleit.

We’ve picked products we think you’ll love and may earn commission from links on this page. Read about why you can trust BBC Good Food reviews. This page was updated in June 2020.

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Bulleit rye (45% ABV)

Star rating: 5/5

Read our full review of the best rye whiskey

The story of Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is one fraught with intrigue, mystery and tradition. The recipe known and loved today was first conjured back in the 1830s by one Augustus Bulleit, a tavern keeper with a determination to produce a unique bourbon. 

Augustus realised his dream and his dream in turn played its part in his fate when one day, whilst transporting bourbon barrels from Kentucky to New Orleans, Bulleit vanished. To this day it is not known what happened to the tavern keeper. 

Fast forward a century and a half to the 1980s and Augustus’ great-great-grandson Thomas E. Bulleit Jr. is part of a successful law firm.

Thomas felt an ancestral tug at his heartstrings and in 1987 he left the lawyering life to revive his great-great-grandfather’s bourbon recipe. Thomas bet it all on bourbon and he took the house. 

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey has gone from strength to strength since its inception in the 80s. The company’s bourbon is a go-to around the world and their rye whiskey has earned an embarrassment of accolades.

Today Bulleit Frontier are celebrating people on the frontier of their own mediums, collaborating with creatives that are seeking to push the boundaries in their own universe; projects have ranged from a tattoo billboard to breathing life into the lost craft of neon signs. 

First released in 2011, the Bulleit rye has earned itself two double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – think the Olympics but with a lot more booze. Clocking in with a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, this is a sophisticated and well balanced tipple. 

The nose draws you in with dark cherries that have been lathered in oil and wrapped up in beaten leather.

The palate bursts onto your tongue, with white pepper exploding to life before orchard fruits quench your thirst, pears and peaches are juiced together to put out the fiery pepper. The finish is long with hints of chilli and cinnamon dancing around your tongue like popping candy. 

The perfect pour

Enjoy neat or with a single ice cube to help smoothen out some of the bolder aspects of this one. This whiskey also works wonderfully well in a cocktail.

Try a double shot of Bulleit Rye stirred up with 50ml each of cognac, sweet vermouth and triple sec. Feel free to play around with this recipe, a drier vermouth plays well off the pepper in the rye.

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This review was last updated in June 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.