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Bulleit Bourbon vs Bulleit Rye: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Bulleit Bourbon vs Bulleit Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which is better for You!

Bulleit Bourbon

  • Nose: Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, almond
  • Palate: Rye spice, caramel, dried fruit, nuts
  • Finish: Long, caramel, rye spice
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks, cocktails
  • Similar to: Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniel’s


The Bulleit Bourbon is spicier than the average bourbon as it carries 28% rye in the mash; rye provides a rich spicy note.

The nose provides a blast of rye spice at first, followed by hints of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.

On the palate, the Bulleit Bourbon has a good texture. Flavor feels spicy on the first sip product of the high rye presence in the mash, but as you let it develop it becomes rich in dried fruit and tasty nutty notes.

There is some warmth on the finish yet pleasant, rich in spice, oak, with some sweet notes coming late to the party.

Is it good?

Bulleit is a nicely rounded bourbon, sweet on the palate with a strong spicy finish due to the large portion of rye used in the mash bill.

The finish is long, a bit warm with oaky and spicy notes that are not for everyone but it is not overwhelming.

Bulleit Bourbon makes a good sipper as you can drink it either neat or rocks and also mixes nicely in an Old Fashioned or Whiskey Sour.

I know a few folks that like adding a splash of Coke to the Bulleit Bourbon just to make it sweeter, they say that just a few drops of Coke are enough to get the trick done.

Bulleit Bourbon facts:

  • This whiskey ages for 6 years in charred American white oak casks.
  • Mash is comprised of 68% corn, 28% rye and 4% malted barley making it one of the bourbons with the highest rye content; rye gives the whiskey a rich spicy note.
  • Won Double Gold medal at the 2016 edition of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Bulleit Rye

  • Nose: Mint, cedar, vanilla, rye spice
  • Palate: Caramel, spearmint, vanilla, rye spice
  • Finish: Rye spice, oak spice, old leather
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Rocks, cocktails
  • Similar to: Knob Creek Rye, Redemption Rye

Bulleit Bourbon is famous for its spicy character and its Rye sibling takes the spice to the next level by carrying 95% rye grain in the mash; Rye grain gives liquor a strong spicy note.


Nose has a soft minty note, followed by cedar wood, vanilla and rye spice.

Palate offers a blast of rye spiciness at first, followed by spearmint hints, caramel and a touch of vanilla.

The finish has a medium to long length, pleasantly warm, with more mint and a tad of charred oak.

Is it good?

Solid whiskey as there is nothing off-putting about it, just a good old classic rye whiskey.

Bulleit hits you with the rich spicy notes you expect to find in this type of whiskey, but overall this is a sweet and smooth whiskey and quite easy to sip.

If you feel it too spicy add large ice cubes avoiding dilution; that will make it easier to sip.

Where this whiskey shines is in cocktails as the rich spice presence will add a nice kick to your favorite mix.

Overall, Bulleit Rye is a solid option, it won’t blow you away with any memorable tasting note but makes a good alternative for those looking for a “rye whiskey high in rye“ to make whiskey-based cocktails.

The Bulleit works well with a dash of Coke and even when mixed with weird things like Red Bull making it quite versatile.

Most rye whiskeys in the market are “barely legal”; as they only carry around 51% in the mash while the Bulleit carries 95% so you get a full spicy experience.

Bulleit Rye facts:

  • It does not carry an age statement but it is aged between five to six years in heavily charred, new American oak casks.

Difference between Bulleit Bourbon vs Bulleit Rye

Bulleit Bourbon is 28% rye, while Bulleit Rye is 95% rye

WhiskeyRyeCornMalted Barley
Bulleit Bourbon28%68%4%
Bulleit Rye95%0%5%

Rye provides a distinctive spicy note along a grassy and minty flavor to whiskey

Bulleit Bourbon vs Bulleit Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Bulleit Bourbon$33
Bulleit Rye$33

Bulleit Bourbon vs Bulleit Rye: Which is better?

Bulleit Bourbon is an easier drinker, but Rye is better for cocktails

WhiskeyBulleit BourbonBulleit Rye
  • Answer is dependent of what you want. If you are looking for a blast of rye spice go with the Bulleit Rye, which has it in abundance in the mash making it perfect also for cocktails such as Manhattans and the Old Fashioned that get better when mixed with rich spice.
  • If you still want something rich in spice but in moderation then go with the Bulleit Bourbon which is a bourbon rich in rye but nowhere close to the Bulleit Rye.
  • The Bulleit Bourbon is a better sipper and when served with a dash of Coke it becomes quite tasty.


Bulleit is a relatively young brand from Lebanon, Kentucky that started in 1987 when Tom Bulleit, a Four Roses Whiskey veteran, revived an old recipe from his great grandfather Augustus Bulleit.

The legend says that while transporting his bourbon barrels from Kentucky to New Orleans, Augustus disappeared to never be seen again.

Tom Bulleit sold the brand to Diageo, a British drinks giant who also owns Johnnie Walker, Don Julio and Casamigos and remained until recently working as brand ambassador.

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