I’ve been finding myself buying bourbon with increasing frequency as the American spirit continues to capture my attention and interest. When I started my bourbon journey, I was mostly looking at upper-mid level drams, as I tried to figure out if I really wanted to reallocate much my whisk(e)y budget away from scotch and Canadian offerings. In short time, however, I began to branch out toward both ends of spectrum, exploring more top-shelf and entry-level offerings as I attempted to gain a more complete understanding of the genre.
This search is what recently drew me to Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey, a bottle I had previously ignored because I felt the bottle presentation seemed rather low-end, an assumption that also seemed to be affirmed by the decidedly reasonable price…
Well, ahead of a camping trip, this summer, I found myself reconsidering Bulleit Bourbon as I looked for a dram I could possibly enjoy neat while also sharing with friends who’d be just as likely to add ice and too much cola. I’d seen Bulleit in many a drinking establishment and I’d read on other blogs that it was relatively underrated, so it was settled! Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey is bottled at 45% abv and cost me about $40 CDN
To the Eye
You know me, I think bourbon in my glass is a pretty sexy dram… All coppery and orange. Fairly nice legs, too!
In the Nose
For the most part, it pretty much has the standard bourbon smells of sweet caramel and vanilla, with some punky corn. But, with a little time in the glass, dried apricots and, interestingly, some dill pickles make their presence known. That dill pickle character seems to build and build until it is the dominant aroma in my Glencairn! There is also something almost soapy as well as a subtle charred smokiness lingering in the background.
On the Tongue
Fairly straightforward bourbon, once again. Oak and vanilla, caramel corn and some rye spice. There is a drying bitterness that isn’t altogether unwelcome and which makes me want to take another sip. It has a nice alcohol bite, which is pretty much required for me to enjoy a bourbon, these days. The finish is shortish but full of oak and a sort of mineral-like quality, so let’s just call it pencil shavings and move along!
This is not the best whiskey or bourbon I’ve ever had… But it gave me exactly what I asked of it when I made my purchase! Reasonable price, plenty good to sip around the campfire and the family and friends who tried it (with or without mix) all seemed to enjoy it better than the whiskies they did (or didn’t) bring along themselves!
So, while I can’t exaggerate Bulleit Bourbon to an unreasonable level of excellence, I do need to tout it as an honest and versatile whiskey that punches above its
weight class price point. In fact, over the course of the summer, I ended up choosing to bring along a fresh bottle of this dram for each of two camping trips and a charity hockey tournament that I played in! So, while I have only given this whiskey my third-highest rating, I do recognize the niche that Bulleit Bourbon fills and that I highly respect how well it it fill said niche!