Archive for February, 2010


Kilchoman, the 8th distillery on Islay, does not have any expressions available in the United States yet, but if you act fast upon a new release, you can place orders and have them shipped from the UK. By “act fast,” I mean make sure you either have one reserved ahead of time, or place an order the day of release. It’s looking like they plan to do 3 or 4 limited (8,500 to 10,000 bottles) releases per year. The next release will be coming out in March. I’ve already written a few blog posts about Kilchoman, including a review if the Inaugural release. In November, Kilchoman came out with their second official wide-release bottling, called the “Autumn 2009 Release.”

In this blog post, I’ll compare these two releases (thanks to Jason at WHISKYhost for the Autumn 2009 sample). I actually have a bottle of this release now, but haven’t decided if/when to open it yet [I know…don’t become an evil collector :-)]. The Inaugural was matured for approximately 3 years and then finished for 5 months in Oloroso sherry casks. The Autumn 2009 release was also matured for 3 years, then finished for 3 months in Oloroso sherry casks. Additionally, there is one refill bourbon cask mixed into the Autumn vatting.

Kilchoman Inaugural vs Kilchoman Autumn 2009

Tasting Notes

Kilchoman Inaugural Release: See notes in this previous post.

Kilchoman Autumn 2009 Release; OB; 46%; Approximately $60

Nose: A significant helping of cinnamon and apples to go with the earthy peat and ashy smoke. Also some additional spiciness (nutmeg). Seems more mature than the Inaugural release.
Palate: Sweet peat, still some light spices, but not as peppery as the Inaugural.
Finish: Peat and ashy smoke coming up into the nostrils, accompanied by a slightly eggy component…the missing youth from the nose. There’s still some sweetness and cinnamon hanging around, and the peat smoke lasts for a long time.


This is really good, and the sherry finish provides some very obvious added complexity. The spiciness that’s added to this release reminds me of how the Madeira finish impacts the latest Balvenie 17 year. The palate seemed a little more tame than I expected…I guess that came with some of the smoothing on the nose. However, the finish is lengthy, with plenty of smoke for the peat lover. As always, I won’t provide a number score when I’m only tasting a sample, but looking through my scoring spreadsheet, it’s probably in the 84/85 range relative to the other whiskies I’ve had. A solid B in my book, and amazing for a three year!

Note: I gave the Inaugural Release 84 points in my previous review. I had commented that it felt like an 81 pointer, but gave it 3 bonus points for the long, peaty finish. In hindsight, given that I’m not inclined to go higher with the Autumn Release score, I would probably subtract one or two of those bonus points for the Inaugural.

Comparing to the Inaugural Release

I had already read other Kilchoman reviews, and people seemed to be liking the Autumn release better than the Inaugural. Still, I was surprised at how much the nose had changed. Maybe I should have suspected as much when I put the bottles next to each other and saw how much darker the Autumn release is. Given that the Autumn release actually spent two months LESS in sherry casks at the end, they surely did something different with regards to first-fill vs refill?

Two things stand out immediately when comparing the Autumn release to the Inaugural. First is the lack of “egginess” that I was picking up on the Inaugural. It didn’t really bother me much when trying the Inaugural alone, but head-to-head, I really appreciate the perceived maturity of the Autumn release. Second, the extra spices in the Autumn release make it much less of a one trick pony. I mean, this is still a whisky for peat lovers, but that’s not all it has to offer. The one area that the Inaugural beats out the Autumn release is in the impact on the tongue. It’s more drying and has more pepper, giving a very enjoyable boost that I wish was still there in the Autumn release. Two steps forward, one step back, I suppose.

I did discover something new about the Inaugural release when doing the head-to-head…a very slight farminess on the nose and finish that I had never picked up before.

Other Opinions

  • WHISKYhost – Jason at WHISKYhost did a comparison right after the Autumn 2009 release came out. He also liked this release better than the Inaugural.
  • WhiskyNotes – Ruben likes the Autumn release better, mentioning a lack of “new make” notes. He also finds something soapy on the palate, which I did not pick up. His notes pretty much nailed it. I find myself agreeing with his notes more than any other reviewer.
  • Whisky Israel – Gal, over at Whisky Israel REALLY likes this release. But then, he’s a total peat freak. 😉
  • Master of Malt – Some nice tasting notes on the Master of Malt web site. I bought didn’t get my bottle from them, but I heard that their buying experience is fantastic.

Back of Kilchoman Autumn 2009 release box

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Brora 30 (2007). A bit darker than the 2009 release.

This is a follow-up post to my previous one, in which I sampled the Brora 30 year 2009 release. I just got my hands on a sample of the 2007 release (thanks Bryan!) and wanted to share my notes on this one as well. However, what I really want to draw your attention to is an excellent “Say What!?” guest post on the WHISKYhost blog by Ruben of WhiskyNotes.be fame. He talks about this concept of “farmy” notes in a whisky, which on the surface might sound off-putting, but is actually considered a desirable quality by many whisky drinkers.

Ruben notes [you checked out the “Say What!?” link above, right?] that in a  sherry-matured whisky, any existing farmy notes can be amplified by the possible presence of sulphur. I think this is what happened when I noted a pungent “dairy farm” component on the nose of Lagavulin 21. At times, it was a bit too much for me. As you’ll see, the Brora 30 does not reach this extreme.

Tasting Notes

Note: I’ll be referencing the 2009 release, as well as the Signatory Brora that I talked about in the previous post.

Brora 30 Year (2007); OB; 55.7%; Bottle 2814 of 2958; $400+

Nose: No butterscotch like the 2009. This jumps straight to the oak (stronger oak than the 2009 release) and rich vanilla, with a Talisker-like, earthy peat along side. It then gets a bit more “farmy” than the 2009. Not so much to the point of manure, but certainly hay and the presence of animals.
Palate: Juicy, with an oily coat on the tongue. You get the sense of earthy peat here, too. Not quite as much pepper as on the 2009 release, it seems.
Finish: As soon as you start to swallow, the peat and farmy notes rush up the back of the nostrils, hanging there for a medium to long duration. There’s also a sweetness and oakiness, but the oak isn’t as big as it was on the nose. The farmy profile is similar to the nose, but with more attack here in the finish. It’s still not over the top for me, though.


Yes, this 2007 release is more farmy than the 2009 version. However, this is still one cool, sophisticated customer. Not nearly as rowdy as the Signatory 21 year. I didn’t really notice any mint in this one, which is a HUGE part of the Signatory profile, and still subtly present in the 2009 release. If you’re familiar with the peating level of the standard Clynelish and Oban releases, the peat in this Brora is stronger than that. However, it’s not as strong as younger, standard Islay or Talisker releases. 30 years of maturation probably has something to do with that.

I’m really glad I got to try this release. From other descriptions, I feared that I might find this one off-putting. However, the farmy qualities are not such that it makes you snap your head back from the glass. Rather, it puts you in an outdoors frame of mind, perhaps being at or near a ranch. That, combined with the rich vanilla, mature wood notes and peat makes the overall experience very enjoyable. I would rank this very close to the 2009 release. Another A- in my book.

Other Opinions

  • WhiskyNotes.be – Along with his “Say What!?” guest post, Ruben posted a review of this Brora 2007 release on his own blog. He clearly likes it better than the 2009 release. I’m still on the fence, and it might come down to mood.
  • WHISKYFUN.COM – (Scroll down to the “Bonus” review) Serge also rates this 2007 version a couple of points higher than the 2009 version. Now I’m really starting to wish I still had a little of the 2009 left from last week for a head-to-head comparison.
  • Malt Advocate – A short and sweet review by John Hansell, where he hands out 95 points and calls it “Brora at its finest.”
  • whisky connosr – Here’s a review from somebody on connosr.com (I have an account there, where I keep a list of my open bottles). They found the peat and farm notes to be more in-your-face than I did.
  • Whisky Bible – No online review link, but Jim Murray rated this one at 88.5. Good, but below the other Brora releases he has reviewed. He felt that the oak was a bit tired and “off.”

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Brora 30 2009

I’m tasting the Brora 30 Year 2009 Special Release from Diageo via another 30 ml sample from whiskysamples.eu. I’ve been holding onto this sample for a few months until I got around to purchasing a bottle of Clynelish 14. Having seen other people refer to this 2009 release as being more Clynelish-like than previous 30 year old Broras, I wanted to see what that means. I have tried one other Brora before…a 21 year from Signatory. I like it, but don’t love it. Therefore, I’ve not been quite as anxious to get my hands on a Brora special release as I have been for the likes of Port Ellen, Talisker and Lagavulin. However, having now tried this expression, I realize that I SHOULD have been more anxious to try it.

Tasting Notes

Brora 30 Year (2009 Release); OB; 53.2%; 2652 Bottles

Nose: My very first impression is of butterscotch. With some time, it turns into a rich vanilla with oak and smoke. Also some mint. Possibly some fruit trying to break through, bringing peaches and creme to mind. Maybe I just “want” there to be fruit, though. A tiny bit farmy and medicinal during my comparisons to other malts.
Palate: A great mouth coating. Very rich, yet gentle. I’m easily brought back to butterscotch here…with some peat and a late pepper entry. With more than this small sample to try, and additional tasting sessions, I could imagine the butterscotch coming across as juicy ripe fruits.
Finish: Probably my favorite part of this one. The sweets and oak from the nose come back (oak more prominent than on the nose), but the light smoke is now clearly peaty. An earthy peat reminiscent of Talisker, but dialed way down.


What a wonderful whisky, showing obvious maturity and tons of subtle complexity. The rich butterscotch/vanilla and well controlled oak remind me of the Cragganmore 40 year I bought a while back (G&M Secret Stills 2.2). I’ve heard tales of oak taking over and ruining “old” whiskies, but that’s certainly not a problem here. I would love to have a bottle of the Brora 30 to pour a glass from at night and sit with over a long period, listening to classic jazz. Easily worth 90/91 points if I had more than a 30 ml sample to base my opinion on, so I’ll go with an A- letter rating.


I can’t fault the $400 price tag, as that’s not unusual for a 30 year ongoing releases, let alone one from a closed distillery like Brora. However, as good as this is, if I could pick just one 30 year old in this price range, it would be a stronger offering from the likes of Talisker or Lapharoaig. While the subtle peat in the Brora is exactly the kind I like, I felt like it was teasing me…urging me to seek out that characteristic in a fuller form. Of course, this is an entirely personal reaction.


I got a generous sample of a Signatory Brora 21 year from a friend a while back, and it surprised me with strong mint (as if mint has been infused into the whisky) and a sharp farmy quality. Comparing it side-by-side with this 30 year release, the 21 year isn’t nearly as sophisticated. I wonder if I would have noticed the light mint on the 30 year if I had never tasted this 21 year variant. Some folks would most likely prefer the more in your face nature of the Signatory 21 to the subtle charms of the Brora 30. If it was the peat that was turned up, I might bite, but with the mint and farmy qualities, I’m in the more subtle Brora 30 camp.

I also compared to Clynelish 14 (Clynelish being the active sister distillery to Brora). There certainly seem to be similarities in the underlying spirit. While the Brora struck me with butterscotch first, possibly turning to fruit later, the Clynelish seemed more fruity up front, but I could imagine some butterscotch there. I get a little bit of mint in the Clynelish as well. Clynelish has a little smoke, but lacks the earthy, Talisker-like peat that I got from the Brora (at least in side-by-side comparison). It’s no competition for the Brora 30, but the Clynelish is very nice for the price. I think a slight increase in peating level would do it wonders.

Other Opinions

The guys that actually know what they’re talking about are saying this is a less “farmy” Brora than previous 30 year special releases. For me, this one has just the right amount of that particular trait. It sounds like the 2008 25 year and this 30 year are the ones for me (if I suddenly come into some money). Although, I’d love to taste one of the old, more peaty Brora releases (distilled in the early ’70s?).

  • Whiskyfun – 91 points from Serge. More Clynelish and less Brora than previous bottlings, he says, but still excellent.
  • Malt Advocate – John Hansell really digs this one, and comments on how well it holds up for its age. 93 points!
  • WhiskyNotes – Just when I was wondering if the mint was all in my head, good ‘ol Ruben came through with a similar interpretation. 90 points, which means a lot coming from him!
  • Whisky For Everyone – Tasted along side the other Diageo Special Releases, Matt and Karen also noted a butterscotch-like sweetness and really enjoyed this expression.
  • caskstrength.net – Tasted along side the Talisker special releases, they went the citrus route, over my interpretation of butterscotch. Also stating that Springbank lovers should enjoy this Brora.
  • The Whisky Exchange Blog – Perhaps a little closer to my butterscotch…here we get condensed milk and tinned pears. Tim prefers this year’s Brora over last year’s 25 year and the 2007 30 year.
  • Whisky Whisky Whisky – Over on the W3 forums, butephoto praised the Brora 30. It sounds like he might have had a 30 ml sample like mine.

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A pour of HP 'Earl magnus'

Cool people might drink whisky, but drinking whisky does not make you cool. If you want to see what the cool kids think of HP Earl Magnus, check out WhiskyFun.com or WHISKYhost.com and get their take on this new special release from Highland Park. In this blog post, I will share my initial impressions of this 15 year, 52.6% special release, then I’m going to hit you with more pictures and packaging details than most self-respecting whisky drinkers would care to see. Basically, it’s a post for [geeks] whisky fanatics like me. This isn’t a full “review”, as I like to spend several tasting sessions establishing my thoughts on profile, and evaluating overall satisfaction level. For more background on the Earl Magnus release, check out this previous blog post.

Opening the bottle in true geek fashion

Having decided to go ahead and open my bottle of Magnus alone, rather than wait for a get-together with fellow whisky drinkers, I still wanted to spice up the experience. I mean come on, the packaging for this thing is SO Glen Wonka, it almost makes you feel guilty to be a drinker rather than a collector.

Ever since I saw the beautiful box that Earl Magnus is packaged in (pictures below), I had visions of the monolith and accompanying music at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey [I know, the Glenmorangie Signet box is the one that actually looks like a monolith]. So it seemed appropriate to play Also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss) in the background while I unlatched the box, took out the bottle, removed the wax seal and popped the cork. Here, try it for yourself and see what you think:

Tasting Notes

Highland Park Earl Magnus Edition One;  15 Years; 52.6%

This expression is matured primarily in American Oak sherry casks, with a few Spanish sherry casks thrown in to create the right amount of sweetness (from HP via Twitter).

Nose: Take the honey from the standard 12 year and dial it up. Now take the 15 year profile and dial the citrus way down. Add a very rich, creme brule vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon and you have the HP Earl Magnus nose. Contrary to Gerry Tosh’s comments in this video, I don’t find that the high alcohol volume ratcheted up the smoke. There’s a soft peat smoke, but it isn’t nearly as smoky as the high proof older expressions (21, 25 and 30 year).
Palate: Ahh…there’s the citrus from the standard 15 year. A very juicy palate, but where is all of that alcohol? It doesn’t burn the tongue at all.
Finish: Pow! Here’s the big pay-off for Earl Magnus. Right as you swallow, your whole tongue starts drying, and it’s enhanced by a wonderful peppery spice. Citrus and smoke fumes fill the mouth cavity and loft up into the nostrils. It lasts for a pretty long time. I think the alcohol volume is just right. It’s a party in the mouth, but stops short of burning.

Comments: Well, I suppose I DID build it up a bit much, what with taking a ton of pictures and opening the bottle to music. However, it came pretty close to living up to such over-hype. I’m very satisfied with this whisky so far, and the combined taste and presentation make the $120 (shipped) I paid seem very reasonable. It fits very nicely between the standard 18 and 21 year bottlings in value. I look forward to spending more time with this bottle, but right now, I’d say it’s right on the B+/A- border in my scoring system (see the side bar).


I did do some brief comparisons with the standard 12, 15, 18, and 21 year, as well as a Scott’s Selection 25 year. It was interesting how, when nosed side-by-side, all of the other expressions seemed slightly farmy relative to the Magnus. It was in these comparisons that the honey and vanilla became even richer (reminiscent of The Balvenie Madeira Cask), and the sprinkle of cinnamon came through in the Earl Magnus. The Smoke on the 21 year and Scott’s 25 year was much more obvious, both on the nose and the finish.

Having worked my way through most of my standard HP 15 year 43% bottle, and doing this comparison, I’ve come to the inclusion that my original rating of 88 for the standard bottling was a point too high. There’s definitely a bit more separation between that one and the 18 and older expressions, as well as this Magnus special edition.

Pictures and Packaging Details (with info about the this release)

Click on any of the pictures to see them full sized.

  • The old-fashioned bottle making process results in an imperfect stance.

Leaning tower of Magnus

  • Left side of the box, with brass hinges and info about the bottling:

Magnus Box Left

The Highland Park archive is home to many venerable bottles; one in particular, dating from around 1870, fits perfectly as an inspiration for celebrating the life of Earl Magnus. We worked with Stolzle Flaconnage, Highland Park’s specialist glassware supplier, to ignore 150 years of technological advances in order to create a bottle complete with flaws and defects consistent with those of the original.

In 1870 the bottle would have been hand-gathered, mouth-blown into a wooden mould and kept wet to prevent combustion. The raw materials would have been sand and limestone along with naturally occurring sodium sulphate. Contaminants broadly determined the colour of the glass and a little effort would have been made to control capacity or functionality so long as it did not break.

This modern bottle matches the original in almost all regards other than that it is made in a factory, doesn’t leak, and conforms to all applicable legislation. The modern moulds echo the flaws in the hand-made one from two centuries ago; advanced techniques were used to generate bubbles and colour consistency in the glass. The artisans of 1870 would be most impressed with our efforts made in search of imperfection.

The image of Earl Magnus on the original label of the 1870 archive bottle was inspired by an ancient stained glass window. The impact of the label is shown to maximum effect by the development of this simple, open fronted and etched wooden box.

Highland Park Earl Magnus Edition One is a perfectly-balanced natural strength bottling of hand-selected casks containing Scotch Whisky distilled at Highland Park Distillery in 1994 and earlier years. To appreciate it fully, take your time and add a little fresh still water – a couple of drops at a time. This will release the subtle aromas and reveal the complexity of a single malt that has been made within a mile of St. Magnus Cathedral since 1798.

Whisky has been made in the traditional manner at Highland Park for more than 210 years. Released in 2009 this bottling is a tribute to the skilled and dedicated craftsmen who built the St. Magnus Cathedral.

For more information visit http://www.highlandpark.co.uk

  • Right side of box, with brass latch and information about Earl Magnus:

Magnus Box Right

Earl Magnus Erlendsson was born in 1075 when the Orkney Islands belonged to Norway. His Viking ancestors were terrifying warriors whose code of heroism, hatred and honour through vengeance framed their brutal lives. Into this world came Magnus, a man unlike any other Orkney Earl, spreading Christianity.

The pease-loving Magnus was unlike his cousin Haakon who remained imbued with the fighting spirit. Haakon was envious and ambitious, striving for self-glory. Their history is a classic tale of the struggle of good versus evil; the treachery and tragedy of the life of Earl Magnus accounts for his prominence in northern literature.

Magnus reigned jointly with his cousin Haakon from 1108 until 1115 when their followers fell out. Peace was negotiated and the Earls agreed to meet bringing only two ships each. The treacherous Haakon arrived with eight ships and captured his saintly cousin. The Norwegian chieftains decided that one of the Earls must die. After the refusal of his standard-bearer to undertake the task, Haakon ordered his cook to kill Magnus which he did by striking him on the head with an axe.

The life of Magnus is celebrated in two Icelandic Sagas and in the Orkneyinga Saga; he was buried where he died and legend has it the rocky area around the site immediately became a green field.

The fame of Magnus, canonized only 20 years after his death, has been maintained by the stunning cathedral built by his nephew in Kirkwall; St Magnus Cathedral was referred to as ‘incontestably the most glorious monument of the Norwegian dominion to be found in Scotland’ by J. Moodie Heddle, Orkney and Shetland, 1920.

Work began in 1137 and continued over several hundred years. In 1917 a secret cavity was found in one of the columns; in it was a box containing ancient bones including an axe-wounded skull. The influence of Earl Magnus spread far and wide; the forename became popular in Orkney, notably in the case of Magnus Eunson, a man forever associated with the founding of Highland Park distillery in 1798.

  • Back of bottle, with raised logo and wording:

Magnus bottle (back)

  • Highland Park logo on bottle:

Magnus bottle HP logo

  • Bottle top with wax seal. The ribbon hanging out cuts easily through the wax. Nothing like trying to open one of those freaking Aberlour A’bunadh bottles. 🙂

Magnus bottle top

  • An imperfect bottle surface and concave bottom, mimicking the style created in 1870:

Magnus bottle surface texture

  • Air bubbles in the bottle (upper middle):

Magnus bottle air bubbles

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Signed Bulleit Btl

As I prepared to leave work yesterday, I checked my Twitter feed and saw the reminder from Sportsman’s Fine Wine and Spirits that a free Bulleit Bourbon tasting was taking place from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. I was kind of tired and almost ignored it, but then…I’ve passed that unique flask-shaped bottle with raised lettering many times and wondered about the spirit inside. Why not take a few minutes to see what it’s all about? I’m glad I went, as company founder Tom Bulleit was there talking about bourbon and signing bottles. Not only was he a very entertaining and likable gentleman, but I also got the scoop on some new works in progress by this [currently] single-expression brand!

Tom talks about the Bulleit History

Tom bulleit at Sportsman's in Scottsdale, AZ

It’s Mr. Bulleit’s Great, Great Grandfather Augustus who is credited with formulating the original Bulleit whiskey recipe. He came to America with his French family in 1805, taking root in New Orleans. In the 1825 to 1830 time frame, he worked his way up to Louisville, Kentucky where he married and ran a couple of taverns. He also started making whiskey, which he sold locally, and would also take barrels back to New Orleans to sell there.

Tom Bulleit mentioned that he DID work at a distillery when he was young (he’s currently 67 years young), but his father was never really involved in the business. Tom went on to be a marine and a successful lawyer. However, he had always dreamed of resurrecting the family whiskey recipe and starting his own business. He said his father wasn’t too keen about the idea, but Tom felt compelled to follow his passion. He founded Bulleit and ran it as a family business until 1997, when they partnered with Seagrams. Diageo bought out most of Seagrams a few years later and Bulleit became their small-batch bourbon. He said that Diageo has been great to work for/with. They can still be very entrepreneurial and independent, but have access to vast resources.

The Bulleit Bourbon recipe

Now, the story goes that the Augustus recipe, after his death in 1860, was passed along in the family, and it was this recipe that Tom used when he founded Bulleit Bourbon in 1987. The current Bulleit recipe calls for 68% corn, 4% malted barley, and 28% rye. This is a significant increase in rye relative to other bourbons. What I found interesting was Tom’s description of the original Augustus recipe. He said it was originally about two thirds rye and one third corn…not technically a bourbon by today’s standards.

So…I guess the “original recipe” thing is a bit of a loose interpretation, with the key being that, as a bourbon, it has a very high rye content. Of course there are other factors involved in the recipe. Apparently they are very specific about how the grains should be grown. They also have a method of filtering the distillate so that they’re only using ethyl alcohol and none of the phenols (something to do with temperature and specific gravity…I took his word for it). This helps give it a very smooth character. They mature the barrels for at least six years, at which point they start checking them for “proper” maturity. The barrels used to make the final product are between six and eight years of age.

Tasting Bulleit

Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey; 45% ABV (90 proof)

Nose: Gentle, with very little direct alcohol influence. Vanilla and some light fresh oak and medium sweetness. Hints of citrus come and go.
Palate: Gentle at first, then a very noticeable pepper spice, almost Talisker-like. Turns dry fairly quickly.
Finish: The pepper has a medium-long duration, and this is VERY drying on the tongue. More vanilla, and just a touch of smoke in the back of the nostrils.


I expected the 28% rye content to really give this a pop, but it’s quite gentle. It’s fascinating to experience that pepper and high level of dryness on the tongue, but have the rest of the experience be one of subtle toffee sweetness, vanilla and light oak. Bulleit compares price-wise with Knob Creek and Maker’s Mark. I’m having difficulty organizing their profiles in a linear fashion, though. The Bulleit lies in between the other two in relative sweetness and spiciness, but it’s lighter than either of the other bourbons. That lightness is similar to that of Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey, but unlike the GJ, you can tell this one is whiskey, not flavored water.

My tasting notes are based on the in-store tasting last night, and another dram tonight. I’ll hold off on trying to rate this until I’ve had more experience with it. While I’m not going to give up Island or Islay Scotch for this bourbon, my initial impression is that it is a good value if you can find it for a little over $20. I’ll pull it out when I’m looking for something light, but I still want to get an entertaining tingle on the tongue (both from the dryness and the pepper spice).

Bulleit in cocktails

I can’t really offer much when it comes to bourbon cocktails. I like mine neat or with a few drops of room temperature water. Mr. Bulleit also indicated a preference for drinking whiskey neat or on the rocks. He fully supports everyone’s right to create whatever mixes they see fit, but what truly gives him pleasure is seeing somebody enjoy the profile that they worked so hard to create. He did offer up one particular cocktail recommendation. He said this ONLY works with Bulleit [with a sly smile on his face]:

  • A shot of Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1.5 – 2 oz tonic
  • A squeeze of lemon

That’s it…very simple, but he says it’s great. I’ll have to pull a lemon off of our tree this weekend and give it a try.


Signed Bulleit Btl (back)

It was a pleasure meeting Tom Bulleit, and he was incredibly generous with his time. I had monopolized a bit of that time towards the end of the tasting, and when I apologized, he said no apologies necessary. It was a pleasure to talk bourbon with people who are passionate about whiskey. I believed him. He’s a good salesman, but he also seems very humble, down to earth, and appreciative of his opportunity to follow his passion and share it with others. His bourbon is well crafted, refined, and very drinkable. If you’re scared off by the likes of Knob Creek, don’t be frightened by the “Frontier Whiskey” on the label. I’d think of that as more of a reference to Augustus Bulleit’s travels between Tennessee and New Orleans (with whiskey in tow) than to the character of the bourbon itself.

Oh, and I mentioned at the beginning that I got the scoop on some exciting new products they’re working on. However, when I mentioned that I have a whisk(e)y blog, he asked me to hold off putting anything in writing so that they can have first crack at sharing the news. However, I’m free to blog about it in four months if they haven’t gone public with anything. At least that gives you an idea of the time frame they’re looking at. We’re not talking about something that’s years away from coming to fruition.

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