December 12, 2013 – Diageo’s Bulleit Bourbon is getting a re-launch in the UK market, complete with an increase in bottling proof. While the US has always had Bulleit at 45% ABV (90 Proof), the UK version has traditionally been sold at 40% ABV. That will change, as Diageo plans to start exporting 45% ABV Bulleit with a focus on bars and restaurants.
The move comes weeks after Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes touted Bulleit’s sales growth in the US market, with an estimated 600,000 cases to be sold in 2013. Menezes also touted the potential for Bulleit to become a million-case brand over time. However, the company must still address supply issues for Bulleit that will begin in April of 2014 when Diageo’s supply contract with Four Roses Distillery for new make spirit expires. As previously reported, Four Roses has given Diageo notice of its plans to terminate the contract because it needs the spirit for its own Bourbons in the future.
In addition to the stronger Bulleit Bourbon, Diageo will also start exporting Bulleit Rye to the UK. The rye version was introduced two years ago, and is distilled for Diageo at the MGP-I Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana under contract.