Country: USA
Region: Kentucky
Type: Bourbon
Bottler: Diageo
ABV: 59.6%
Score: 89 points

Bulleit Bourbon Barrel Strength. Image courtesy Diageo.This is the first edition of Bulleit’s barrel-strength Bourbon to be available outside Kentucky, and is the first in what is expected to be an annual series of releases. As with the 2016 Kentucky-only release, this is made with whiskey originally distilled at Four Roses, and is not a single barrel bottling.

The nose has a good balance of soft spices, honey, molasses, brown sugar, pipe tobacco, leather, and oak. The taste starts off spicy and intense with cinnamon, black pepper, and chili powder notes that gradually fade as honey, brown sugar, and oak notes come out and linger through the finish. This whiskey definitely benefits from a few drops of water, as it opens up nicely with notes of vanilla, dark chocolate, and caramel while taming the spices and stretching out the finish. (June, 2017)