Received Goods: Bulleit Rye Whiskey

There is a ridiculously dorky youtube phenomenon called “unboxing”. When a tech geek gets a fancy new gizmo or game, they make a video of themselves opening up the box. Weird, eh? Well, I thought it might be funny to apply the same to booze. I am a booze geek, after all.

I know the conventions of “unboxing” are usually that you talk about the thing while you open it. But I figured, I’d just show making a cocktail, instead.

When life gives you Rye Whiskey, make Sazeracs!

And a fine Sazerac it does make.

Trying it on it’s own, I found it to be surprising mellow, though it did lack a real finish or presence in the glass.

Still, for around $25 for 750ml, the Bulleit Rye is not a bad deal at all for a mixing Rye Whiskey.

If you have sharp eyes, you will notice that is a big bag of Meyer Lemons some friends gave me from the tree in their back yard. Meyer Lemon Peel, not exactly kosher for Sazeracs, as their zest has a sort of weird Thyme and white pepper-like scent.

Still a tasty Sazerac, if a bit culinarily herbal.

Music in the background from Mr. Colin Stetson‘s new release, “New History Warfare Volume 2: Judges“.

Questions and addenda:

Mahon McGrath, Q: “While it definitely isn’t a powerhouse or complex, it IS nice to see a decent new rye come on the market at around $20.”

A: “It would be pretty interesting to do a blind tasting of all the Ryes produced at LDI and see which came out on top. But, I agree, the Bulleit Rye is a good product and it’s very nice to see the company choosing to market it at a reasonable price point.”

Ben, Q: “Sorry that the the Bulleit Rye didn’t impress more – I had high hopes for it. I’m hoping to discover that our opinions differ when I get my hands on it. You should try the Redemption releases if you haven’t yet – their rye is 95% rye grain in the mash (like Bulleit), their high rye bourbon is ~36% rye (if memory serves), and they price around $26-29 a bottle. Love to know what you think about these. I like them a lot, and would put up the Redemption Rye up against the pricier Templeton (the other rye I have right now).

“Since we have a Meyer Lemon tree in our yard, that’s what has been going in my Sazeracs and Vieux Carrés (and the wife’s Sidecars and Lemon Drops). I’ll have to do a taste test against other lemons – Eureka from the market or Ponderosa from a friend’s tree…”

A: “Bulleit, Redemption, Templeton, and Willet all get their Rye Whiskey from LDI in Lawrenceburg, IN, none of them are distilling this spirit themselves.. You can tell from the signature 95% Rye, 5% Barley mashbill. High West also gets some of the Rye they use for their Vatted (Blended?) Whiskeys from LDI.

“I need to rewrite this post a bit, it comes off too negative. There are a lot of things to like about Bulleit, first off being the price. Among the Ryes in the $20-30 price range, I think only Rittenhouse stands out as the only one I would buy instead of Bulleit. And there are a bunch of Ryes in the $30-40 range I would pick it over. So it isn’t bad at all.

“It’s just I’ve been drinking a lot of high quality pot still whiskeys lately, and the Bulleit Rye just doesn’t hold a candle to the length and interest you get from those, mixing or sipping. YMMV.”

From Scott Brown, Q: “Almost bout a bottle of this today as it just showed up in our shops in Connecticut, how is it as an evening dram to sip?”

A: “Scott, a friend and I did a tasting of several Ryes last night and found the Bulleit to be the least complex of the bunch. Not harsh or unpleasant in any way, but to us it lacked the complexity you’d look for in a “sipping” spirit.

“That said, if I could only spend around $20 for a good all around Rye, and couldn’t get Rittenhouse Bonded, I would probably pick the Bulleit. In fact, there are probably several ryes in the $30-40 range that I would pass over for the Bulleit.”

Received Goods, Jan 26, 2011

As I wind down this Savoy Enterprise, I hope to find time on the blog to feature things created, or at least new to me, since 1930.

Sometimes companies promoting booze or related products send me free stuff.

For the most part, I have not really had the time on the blog to feature anything that didn’t fit in with the Savoy Project.

Moving forward, I hope to do a better job thanking my nameless overlords in the booze business.

For example, I recently received an email with several recipes for cocktails featuring a new product from the Maker’s Mark distillery.

I responded to the person promoting these cocktails, that I would love to try these new cocktails, but didn’t have the product.

Nicely, she agreed to send a sample, but also mentioned she was promoting another product, a new Pisco Mosto Verde. Score! I am currently very interested in Pisco, maybe even more interested than I am in a new Bourbon.

So here are the first two samples to arrive under the new regime, I hope to get a chance to feature detailed write ups in the near future.

As I mentioned, Maker’s 46 is the first new product from the Maker’s Mark distillery in a number of years. It is a Bourbon Whiskey finished with additional aging period in contact with “seared” Oak Staves.

Pisco Porton‘s Mosto Verde is a new product from a very old distillery. Distilled from grape must, or grape juice that hasn’t completely fermented, it is alleged that the product is more representative of the grapes it is distilled from.

I hope to put both these products through their paces and will endeavor to get the results up on the blog as soon as possible.

PS. I am shamelessly stealing the idea of “Received Goods” from author Warren Ellis (who does NOT play in the Dirty Three, The Bad Seeds, or Grinderman). Whenever people send him stuff, he puts a picture up and a post called “Received Goods”. So shall it be.