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Bulleit’s 12-12 months-Outdated Rye Whiskey Is Again

Bulleit’s 12-12 months-Outdated Rye Whiskey Is Again

After a half-decade away, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey just announced the return of its 12-year-old rye. This expression is available now on a limited basis, and according to the brand this iteration includes some much older whiskey in the blend.

Bulleit, which is owned by drinks giant Diageo, has been around since 1987, although the old-timey bottles might lead you to believe it dates back to the days of cowboys hanging out in saloons. Indeed, the brand’s founder, Tom Bulleit, claimed to be following in the footsteps of his great-great grandfather Augustus Bulleit by making a high-rye bourbon with a mashbill of 68 percent corn, 28 percent rye, and four percent malted barley. As we’ve reported before, Bulleit’s reputation hit a rough patch a few years ago when Tom Bulleit’s daughter, Hollis Worth, accused him of abuse and financial mismanagement (he’s no longer the face of the brand), and ex-blender Eboni Major sued over alleged discrimination (the suit was ultimately dropped).

These days, the news around Bulleit has mostly been about the release of its so-so new American single malt, and the fact that according to Nielsen data the brand’s rye whiskey is the best selling brand in America. The whiskey has always been sourced—the bourbon comes from distilleries in Kentucky, and the rye from MGP in Indiana using its tried-and-true 95 percent rye-five percent malted barley mashbill. Bulleit opened its own distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky in 2017, but that whiskey is still aging and has yet to be released. According to a press release, the 12-year-old rye was first released in 2019, but this new batch differs because it has barrels that are up to 17 years old in the blend (the 12-year age statement indicates the youngest whiskey as required by law). Overall this represents one of the older American rye whiskeys on the market, as many of the brands that source from MGP release whiskeys aged between four and six years.

Bulleit 12-year-old rye is bottled at 92 proof, and official tasting notes describe fruity, woody-oaky, floral, and vanilla-spice notes on the nose, with a semi-sweet, crisp palate. “This Bulleit Rye 12-Year-Old release remains true to the rye whiskies we’ve crafted before,” said master blender Andrew MacKay in a statement. “The rye spicy character shines through the age of the whiskies and balances with those mature, elevated, and well-rounded flavors that originate from hand-selected barrels up to 17 years old. I do think it is best enjoyed neat or possibly with a single ice cube, which opens up some fruity character.”

Bulleit Rye 12-Year-Old (SRP $55) is available at liquor stores nationally… except for Maine, apologies to the Pine Tree State. You can also find it for sale online from websites like ReserveBar, along with other expressions in the Bulleit lineup.

Source: Robb Report

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