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Bulleit, as the Diageo owned brand tells the story, was founded in 1987 at a time when whiskey wasn’t as sought after as it is these days. It was originally the creation, however, of one Augustus Bulleit, a tavern keeper in Louisville, Kentucky, who crafted the very first batch around 1830.
Allegedly, Augustus vanished while transporting his barrels of bourbon from Kentucky to New Orleans, and the cause of his disappearance remains a mystery to this day. Upon Augustus’s disappearance, Bulleit Whiskey about disappeared into history itself until his great-great-grandson, Thomas E. Bulleit Jr., left his law practice in the late 1980s and sought to revive the old family whiskey making legacy.
Bulleit Whiskey these days has seen a high degree of success, showcasing both bourbon and rye based expressions. In 2017, modern day Bulleit celebrated its 30th anniversary with the opening of a new, state-of-the-art distillery located in Shelbyville, KY.
Introduced in March of 2022, Bulleit Manhattan Cocktail takes this whiskey maker in a somewhat new direction as it ventured deeper into ready to drink cocktails. It is made with straight rye whiskey distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
For their line of ready-to-drink cocktails, Bulleit utilized talented bartenders to produce their Bulleit Crafted Cocktails, which also includes the Bulleit Old Fashioned.
“As a brand rooted in bartender culture, we collaborated with a number of leading bartenders to perfect and refine two timeless whiskey cocktails, the Old Fashioned and Manhattan,” said Sophie Kelly, Senior Vice President of Whiskies, Diageo in a prepared statement. “With Bulleit Crafted Cocktails, consumers can pour and serve bar quality, crafted cocktails wherever they are. Whilst nothing can replace the full experience of enjoying a drink made by your local bartender, Bulleit Crafted Cocktails are as close as you can get.”
Tasting Notes: Bulleit Manhattan Cocktail
Vital Stats: 75 proof (37.5% ABV), 750 ml bottle MSRP $33.
Appearance: Pale auburn-gold.
Nose: The nose offers bright notes of cherry, warm spices, and a hint of brown sugar.
Palate: On the palate is a slight cinnamon sweetness with notes of clove, baked fruit, and vanilla bean.
Final Thoughts: This Manhattan cocktail has a delicate texture with a relatively short finish. The flavors are evenly balanced in that none of them really stand out. I would have preferred a more robust rye flavor on the palate along with a stronger depth of character from the flavor profile.