All posts by Ron-Todd

Bulleit Bourbon

cq5dam.web.1280.1280                                                             Today we are sipping on Bulleit Frontier Bourbon. This is their orange label, 90 proof juice, is widely available and goes for around $30 or under for the 750 ml. No age statement on the bottle but with a little snooping on the Internet we think it is around 6 years old. This Bourbon, like all of Bulleit’s, is corked and comes in what  resembles an old medicine bottle.

NOSE

Ron:    I got aromas of leather, spice and sweet caramel notes.

Todd:   I got a nose of oak, sweetness, Rye and alcohol.

TASTE

Ron:   Sipping neat I tasted the rye, some spice and a little caramel.  The heat was  as expected for a 90 proof Bourbon. On adding one ice cube, the rye was really enhanced. Heat obviously reduced.

Todd:  I definitely get rye upfront on the taste, maybe a little vanilla, a spicy note as well. And a little sweetness. Adding ice brings out even more rye.

FINISH

Ron:  The finish was long to extra long with a  warm, sweet ending. The ice reduced the finish somewhat.

Todd:   Finishes pretty long with a nice lingering sweetness.

OVERALL

Ron:  To be honest, when I first had this a few years back I did not think much of it. Todd has always liked it and convinced me to give it another shot. Glad he did, don’t know if my taste bubs were off that day or maybe they have evolved. I am now a Bulleit fan.

Todd:  I have always been very fond of this stuff. I find it somewhat unique and very approachable.

Nose    3.5 out of 5.

Taste    8 out of 10.

Finish   3.5 out of 5.

Total score   15 out of 20 barrels.

All and all, a very good Bourbon. We like to think of this as your everyday Bourbon or maybe your patio Bourbon. It is good neat, on the rocks or in a bourbon heavy cocktail such as a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.   Being around $30 makes it a good price point, but a little too high to mix with colas, if that is your thing.

 

Angel’s Envy Rye

For our first post rating a product, this is an unusual  one.  Angel’s Envy Rye is not an every day drink. Partly because of price, around $70.00, but also because it has such a unique taste. After it is aged in charred oak barrels it is then finished in old rum barrels. This gives it a very distinctive flavor profile. It will come across as a lot sweeter than most Rye’s, it could actually serve as an aperitif.Angels Envy Rye

We say this because if you are a big fan of Rye Whiskey, this is going to be very different. In fact, this is probably the most distinct Rye we have ever had.

This is one we only break out for special occasions. We thought the Superbowl deserved it. So while we sipped it during the game, we also decided to put down some tasting notes.

NOSE

Ron:    The aroma brought me back to fond memories of my grandfather who smoked a pipe. Also some vanilla, and spice.

Todd:   I got a nose of wood, brown sugar, maple, leather, and various spices.

TASTE

Ron:   It starts off with hints of Brown Sugar and leather without heat even though its alcohol content is high. I then tasted warm vanilla notes and an unbelievably long finish with a strong essence of pipe tobacco.

Todd:  I get hints of all I got on the nose as well as vanilla and a cognac/rum flavor. I agree with Ron, it goes down smooth despite being 100 proof. I did not get the tobacco flavor until Ron mentioned it, after that I could definitely detect it.

FINISH

Ron:  Long rich finish.

Todd:  It finishes like it starts, sweet and smooth with lingering spices on the tongue.

OVERALL

Ron:   This bourbon was a total surprise for me the first time I tasted it. I was expecting a typical ”Rye” Whiskey but my first adjective to describe it was WOW! This is a very “Rich” Rye probably best suited for special occasions.

Todd: I am also a wine drinker, and smelling this stuff, with all of it’s complexities, reminded me of wine.  Very good juice.

Nose   5 out of 5.

Taste   9 out of 10.

Finish   5 out of 5.

Total score   19 out of 20 barrels.

The only reason we didn’t give it 10 for taste is that it is so distinct from what you expect in a Rye. Also, being so rich and sweet, really only good for one small glass.

Recap, this is great stuff, but might not be for everybody, especially at that price. Try to find a way to taste it before buying. We suggest a bar/restaurant that has a good bourbon selection, they should have this.

 

 

Rating bourbon

Figuring out a unique rating  system has been harder than both of us thought. We wanted somehow to compare the juice in a quantitative/numerical way.

Too many reviews and ratings mention color, and while I know that might be important to some, it is not to us. The point system that we have seen, similar to wine, gives an equal treatment to all categorizes.  We think taste should weigh more than anything else.

Having said all that, we will rate the bourbon we taste in the following manner.

Up to10 barrels for taste.

Up to 5 barrel for Nose.

Up to 5 barrel for finish.

So if we give a certain whiskey 7 barrels for taste, 3 barrels for nose and a 2 barrels for finish, we would give it an over all rating of 12 out of twenty  barrels.

As you can see this puts the emphasis on taste over all else, because while we don’t know about you, that is why we drink it.

We will also describe what we are tasting, and will bring up the price. Price will play a part of our decision on whether to recommend the product or not. There are a lot of bourbons out there that taste good, but still don’t justify the price. Price will not influence the ratings, just the recommendation.

On tasting note. When we say it is hot, that means there is a burn, not necessarily high proof. We have tasted barrel strength stuff that still went down with out burning. All the rest of the terms should be easily understood. Same on the smell.

On the finish, a few things we look for. First, does it change flavor much going down as opposed to in the mouth? And was it a good change? Next, how long was the finish? By this we mean how long can you taste the juice after you have swallowed. Good bourbon should linger a little bit.

You can refer back to this page whenever you like, it is under the category bourbon.

Next up, Angel’s Envy Rye.

 

 

 

Three to Try

We get asked a lot what is a good starter bourbon. What that person asking usually means is,  what is one that is a good representation of what a good bourbon should taste like, without breaking the bank.

We have come up with three. These all can be found for under $30.00 and we believe represent a good cross section. We both highly recommend you buy all three, so you can taste the differences side to side. I know that sucks if you are on a budget.  But buying one and drinking it until gone then purchasing the next, makes it hard to detect the subtle differences in the flavor profile.

We are not going to rate these three today, this is just a recommendation for a few bottles to start your bourbon cabinet, and to determine what style you might prefer.

Todd: I like to taste just a very small amount neat, or straight. By this I mean just a very small sip. I then add some water, depending on proof, sometimes just a few drops, taste again. I then add some ice.

Ron: I pour a shot and like to drink the whole thing straight at room temperature. I can then determine what it needs, if anything, for the next time I have that particular one.

That is our way, you can decide yours. As always we are open to suggestion.

We would recommend Elijah Craig 12 year old. This is a favorite of both of ours. This has what we call a classic bourbon taste.

Second, Bulliet rye, or their green label, as the name implies, this is a rye, meaning it has over 50% rye as opposed to corn. This is a great rye at any price, but a real bargain under $30.00.

And finally Weller’s Antique or Special Reserve. These are wheated bourbons, meaning they replace the rye with wheat. If you cannot find either of these two, try Larceny.

Would love to know what you think of these, or if you have another one to add to the list.