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Thread: New Bulleit?

  1. #1
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    New Bulleit?

    I've been off the scene for a while guys (I hasten to add not by choice!)

    Bulleit Bourbon was a darn fine drop back in the day, at 90 proof with a cork.

    Can you imagine my distress when, 3 or 4 months ago, I sent my brother out on a "mision" and he returned with a bottle of Bulleit at 80 proof with A SCREW CAP!!!

    The lack of a cork I can roll with (after lots of therapy mind) but why pray, has this super whiskey been reduced to an average player proof and presentation wise?

    Mind you come to think of it Bulleit is very avaliable these days in England.. so they must be doing right!

  2. #2
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    ? I just bought a bottle and it still has a cork? It seems to have its detractors, but I enjoy it. Of course I have only been a Bourbon drinker recently, so I cant speak to what it "used to be like".
    Todd

  3. #3
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    What we have here in Lexington is still the 90 proof, cork-capped "Frontier Whiskey" which, according to Tom's website: Bulleitbourbon.com is the only product they produce. What does your bottle look like?
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  4. #4
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    I just bought a bottle myself, same as jeff; Frontier Whiskey, in what looks like an old style patent medicine bottle, and a cork. Unfortunately I'm at work and can't check the proof on it.

    I'd give you mine; I'm just not impressed with it at all. Better than Beam White Label, but I like regular Even William's better than Bulleit.

    I saw it discussed in an older thread, and I wasn't sure if this board gets annoyed with resurecting old threads so I didn't post in it - but I know Bulleit is made by 4 Roses, but there's no way you could know that from the bottle; no mention of it at all.

  5. #5
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    Ed and I were at a charity event a couple weeks ago and Bulleit was the well bourbon I know some people don't care for it, but I like it a lot. I think the whole "frontier whiskey" shtick is a little gimmicky and wish they would go back to something like the classy-looking ETL-type bottle.

    BTW, feel free to resurrect any old thread that peaks your interest. We have years of good information in the archives of this site. Please use it
    Last edited by jeff; 03-07-2006 at 05:26.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  6. #6
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    Hey Jeff.

    I 1st came across Bulleit in the mid 90's I think - quite a while back anyway.

    It enjoyed a few reviews in the Loaded, FHM type mags all of them good.

    It's only in the last few months that they have cut it from 90 to 80 proof. The bottle and label is exactly the same as you describe - frontier medicine style bottle, raised writing on the glass and an orange label - it's been the same all these years.

    I didn't even notice the screw cap or proof change until I got it home. Just thought someone might be in the know as to why the changes happened.

    Perhaps 90 proof is a tad strong for the general market? It really has shot itself in the foot as I really liked it at 90 proof - it just doesn't cut it at 80.

    On the flip side Bulleit is widely available in many supermarkets at a good price - 17 pounds is not bad for over here.

  7. #7
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    I have trouble buying the oft-used arguement that the proof of an existing bourbon was cut because of "customer demand".

    Bourbon drinkers could probably be put into a few broad catagories. First (of course), would be the enthusiasts (that'd be us). Most often drink bourbon straight. Don't might the higher proof (may actually prefer it) and in any case are savy enough to add water to dilute to what ever proof we want.

    Second would be the cocktail drinkers, who use bourbon in classic cocktails (e.g., manhattans, etc.) They may have a problem with the higher proof. If one attempts to lower the proof by altering the proportions of the drink the over-all flavor is often "off".

    Third, the mixers, who buy bourbon to combine with Coke or some other "mixer". They don't really focus on the taste of the bourbon and if strength is an issue can always adjust the amount of mix.

    An admitedly simplistic breakdown but it leads me to the conclusion that a reduction in proof is usually motivated by the simple desire on the part of the manufacturer to make more money.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski
    it leads me to the conclusion that a reduction in proof is usually motivated by the simple desire on the part of the manufacturer to make more money.
    AMEN.....Who the hell invented the MBA anyway?
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  9. #9
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    Customer Demend is Everything

    I have trouble buying the oft-used arguement that the proof of an existing bourbon was cut because of "customer demand".
    Bourbon drinkers could probably be put into a few broad catagories. First (of course), would be the enthusiasts (that'd be us). Most often drink bourbon straight. Don't might the higher proof (may actually prefer it) and in any case are savy enough to add water to dilute to what ever proof we want.
    For whatever reason I don't think this bourbon has attracted many enthusiasts. Is it because there is too much competition? Perhaps. Most of the time it is mentioned on this board because of its great looking bottle, not because of its taste. Very few SBers seem that excited about it. It would seem that perhaps Bulleit needs to go after a different market segment.

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski
    Second would be the cocktail drinkers, who use bourbon in classic cocktails (e.g., manhattans, etc.) They may have a problem with the higher proof. If one attempts to lower the proof by altering the proportions of the drink the over-all flavor is often "off".
    In fact, mass market consumers do have a problem with higher proof spirits. Studies show consumer demand is for lower proof sweeter spirits. Higher proof means more alcohol flavor in the cocktail, which would make the drink "off". Cocktail drinkers consume cocktails for the combined flavor of the ingredients not the strong taste of the spirit(s) used.

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski
    Third, the mixers, who buy bourbon to combine with Coke or some other "mixer". They don't really focus on the taste of the bourbon and if strength is an issue can always adjust the amount of mix.
    True, but that would mean less bourbon and more Coke used in the mix. Good for Coke, bad for Bulleit. Overall customers are buying more Coke and less Bulleit because they are using less of it in the mix. If they use more of it in the mix they have to replace it more often, which is good for Bulleit and their employees. You have to think about it on a large scale over time.

    Also think about it from a bar owner's perspective. If a bar carries Bulleit and it's mixed with Coke or used in a cocktail, a higher proof will mean two things. First, patrons will get drunk quicker and possibly buy less because they got their "buzz" and don't want to get too intoxicated. Second, if patrons get really drunk, because they've consumed several drinks with a higher proof, and while driving home kill someone, the bar can be held liable. It is easier for the bartender to notice someone who is drinking a lot of drinks and getting drunk than someone who is consuming a few and getting drunk. It is better for the bar owner to keep more lower proof drinks than higher proof drinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski
    An admitedly simplistic breakdown but it leads me to the conclusion that a reduction in proof is usually motivated by the simple desire on the part of the manufacturer to make more money.
    Sorry if this sounds harsh or un-PC, but that's called running a business. The goal is always to make MORE money not LESS money.
    The fact that the overall market prefers lower proof spirits is good and bad for us. It means more and more producers will put out lower proof bourbons, which will affect some of the middle shelf bourbons on the market. On the bright side, if demand was higher it would mean bourbon prices would be even higher because of a tighter supply. Look at the Scotch market. Demand is growing worldwide, but supply is the same.

    We SBers are a niche market and therefore can only keep a few producers in business. Take advantage of what we have now and if you like a bourbon, buy it and buy it often. That is the only way the maker will know proof matters.
    Last edited by jbutler; 03-12-2006 at 06:51.
    -TMH aka Tim3

    You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
    -Dean Martin

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMH
    The fact that the overall market prefers lower proof spirits is good and bad for us. It means more and more producers will put out lower proof bourbons, which will affect some of the middle shelf bourbons on the market. On the bright side, if demand was higher it would mean bourbon prices would be even higher because of a tighter supply. Look at the Scotch market. Demand is growing worldwide, but supply is the same.

    We SBers are a niche market and therefore can only keep a few producers in business. Take advantage of what we have now and if you like a bourbon, buy it and buy it often. That is the only way the maker will know proof matters.
    And yet, as a counterexample, we have, for instance, George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Weller Antique 107, Van Winkle 107s, OGD 114, Rare Breed - it's almost like there's a move away from the middle to both low and high proofs.

    There are certainly excellent 90-proofers out there - BT, Weller 12, Elmer T. Lee, ER 10 (yeah, it used to be 101 proof), Saz Jr. and Sr... hmmm, notice something they all have in common? Also, Van Winkle Lot B - and, while I haven't tried the 90-proof ORVW offerings, I really don't think Julian would put his name on a substandard product.

    Over on the Scotch side of the aisle, there are plenty of cask-strength offerings (e.g. Aberlour A'Bundadh at ~60%, Laphroaig CS at 57.6%, Glenfarclas 105 at 60%, Ardbeg Uigeadail at ~54%), along with unchillfiltered versions (which still need to be at least 46% to keep from becoming hazy).

    The best thing to do, IMO, is keep buying what you like best. I'm certainly glad to see the folks at Sazerac (mostly) bucking the low-proof trend - let's hope it stays that way!
    Oh no! You have walked into the slavering fangs of a lurking grue!

 

 

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