I’ve always been more of a Scotch guy, but I know a good whiskey when I see one. Lower-end whiskey choices tend to be too sweet and too syrupy. When you want a stiff drink, you want that drink to have some flavor. You want it to have a bold and memorable taste, something with some depth and complexity. You don’t want that drink to taste like an alcoholic Slurpee.

So when I tried Bulleit Bourbon for the first time, the first thing that stood out to me is the nuance, the I-don’t-have-to-be-too-sugary-to-succeed taste. What I like about good Scotch is the subtleties that are at play in the drink. You get a certain scent, a certain immediate, on-the-tongue flavor and some sort of afterthought finish. It’s a process, and not every drink can deliver each step of the way. Bulleit Bourbon can.

Tom Bulleit revamped the Bulleit Distilling Co. with the goal of using his great-great-grandfather’s 175-year-old recipe to make fantastic, authentic bourbon. Bulleit Bourbon is aged al east six years in American White Oak barrels that are housed in single-story warehouses. This allows for more control over the maturation process. The consistency is further enhanced by the mingling process, where two to three distillates will be mingled together to achieve a consistent nose and finish. Bulleit Bourbon uses large amounts of rye grain and proprietary yeast that is cultured on-site at the distillery.

The nose is spicy, but the taste and finish are so smooth. The finish lasts for some time too, which is a good thing. Bulleit Bourbon is great to us in cocktails, because it can stand alone of give itself a proper place to stand out when mixed with other elements. I think it’s a pretty good base for old fashioneds. I tend to like my old fashioneds a little less sweet (with a small spoonful of simple syrup of the crushed sugar cube), but I really like how Bulleit plays with the bitters. Add some citrus-type garnish and you’re good to go.

And if you’re a purist, you don’t need any mixers. Just sip on this quality Bourbon and enjoy the long, smooth finish without any interference.

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