Discover the differences between Bulleit Bourbon vs Johnnie Walker Black Label in this in-depth comparison and decide which whiskey is better for You!
|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||Buffalo Trace, Jack Daniel’s, Knob Creek|
The nose provides a blast of rye spice at first, followed by hints of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
On the palate, the Bulleit 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.
Bulleit (Alternatives) is well rounded, sweet on the palate, with a strong spicy finish due to the large portion of rye used in the mash bill.
Spicier than the typical bourbon but smoother than a rye whiskey, making it a good option for those who want rye spice in moderation.
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 as rye makes cocktails more interesting.
There are a few facts worth knowing about the Bulleit Bourbon:
- Bulleit is aged for 6 years in charred American white oak casks.
- Mash bill is made from 68% corn, 28% rye and 4% malted barley making it one of the bourbons with the highest rye content; this grain gives the whiskey a rich spicy note.
- The brand was created in 1987 by Tom Bulleit, an ex-Four Roses Bourbon, although he sold it to Diageo, a British drinks giant who owns Johnnie Walker, Casamigos, Don Julio among a zillion others.
Johnnie Walker Black Label
|Nose||Vanilla, orange zest, nectarine|
|Palate||Smoke, roasted malt, caramel, vanilla|
|Finish||Long, fruity, peppery, smoke|
|Alcohol content||80 proof (40% ABV)|
|How to drink||Rocks|
|Similar to||Red Label, Double Black, Blue Label|
On the nose, there is vanilla off the gate, followed by orange zest, nectarine and a whiff of alcohol.
On the palate, body feels somewhat thin lacking in texture. Johnnie Walker Black Label has a mildly sweet taste, with a flavor rich in peat. There are also hints of caramel and vanilla coming coming late to the party.
The finish has some peat, black pepper, salt, caramel and a bit of warmth but is not harsh.
Overall, the Black Label (Review) is a reliable whisky, striking a good balance of smoke and sweetness, with peat smoke and charred oak barrel smoke.
Quite smooth but with a warm finish that does not overwhelm. Nevertheless, on a lot of ice as it is commonly served it totally hits the spot.
The Black Label (Alternatives) serves as an introductory bottle to peated Scotch, those with a hint coming from the peats used to dry the malted barley.
If you are curious about Scotch peaty whisky this is a good starting point due to its affordable price before trying the peaty monster from Islay.
Overall, Johnnie Black Label is one of the best age statement blends in the market in its current price range and a good choice for an “everyday Scotch”.
There are a few facts worth knowing about the Black Label:
- The Black Label is a blend of 40 whiskies made from grain and malts aged for at least 12 years from all over Scotland.
- The blend includes peaty whiskies from Islay, sweet and salty whiskies from Speyside along some malts coming from the Scottish Highlands.
Bulleit Bourbon vs Black Label: Price comparison
Prices are approximate and stated in USD:
|Johnnie Walker Black Label||$40|
Bulleit Bourbon vs Johnnie Walker Black Label: Which is better?
Bulleit is a sweeter and smoother dram than the Black Label
- One is a bourbon and the other a Scotch whisky with very different flavor profiles and made from different grains.
- For those new to liquors Bulleit Bourbon is a better whiskey than the Johnnie Walker Black Label as it appeals to a broader market as it strikes a nice balance between sweet and spicy notes. It also mixes better with soft drinks and cocktails.
- The Black Label can be a bit harsher and the peaty note can turn off many consumers, although some older folks like me prefer those notes, though.
What do Bulleit Bourbon and Johnnie Walker Black Label have in common?
Both are owned by the same parent company
They both belong to same parent parent company. They are part of Diageo’s portfolio that includes other brands such as Don Julio, Casamigos, Buchanan’s among a zillion others.
Differences between Bulleit and Black Label
There are a few differences between these whiskeys that you should know:
- Bulleit is a bourbon whiskey. According to the rules that govern this type of spirit a Bourbon must be made with a mash bill from at least 51% corn, aged in new charred oak barrels and aged for a minimum of 2 years.
- Johnnie Walker Black Label is a blend of 40 different whiskies made from grain and malts aged for at least 12 years from all over Scotland. The blend includes peaty whiskies from Islay, sweet and salty whiskies from Speyside along some malts coming from the Scottish Highlands.
- Bulleit is a Whiskey and Johnnie Walker Black Label a Whisky. Americans and the Irish add an “E” to whisky while the Scots do not.
I am a bar and liquor shop owner in Oaxaca, Mexico where I have tasted hundreds of different spirits; perhaps more than I should!