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Bulleit Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Bulleit Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve Bourbon 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: Bulleit Rye, Maker’s Mark


Nose is rich in rye spice, cinnamon clove and nutmeg.

On the palate, the Bulleit Bourbon has a good body, spicy at first product of the high rye presence in the mash, but as you let it develop it becomes rich in dried fruit and nice nutty flavors.

The finish is pleasantly warm, rich in spice with some sweet notes coming late to the party.

Is it good?

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

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 dash 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. I haven’t tried but doesn’t sound bad.

Read my roundup with the best similar whiskeys to Bulleit so you consider further options!

Bulleit Bourbon facts:

  • Mash is made from 68% corn, 28% rye and 4% malted barley.
  • It is made from pure Kentucky limestone-filtered water and locally sourced ingredients.
  • Bulleit ages for 6 years in charred American oak barrels.
  • Won Double Gold medal at the 2016 edition of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • This brand was created in 1987 by Tom Bulleit, a former Four Roses employee, using his grandfather’s recipe.

Woodford Reserve Bourbon

  • Nose: Mint, honey, vanilla, citrus
  • Palate: Sweet oak, cinnamon, mint, ripe fruit
  • Finish: Oak, caramel, baking spice
  • Alcohol content: 90 proof (45% ABV)
  • How to drink: Add water
  • Similar to: Double Oaked, Four Roses Single Barrel


Woodford Reserve is pleasant and subtle on the nose, with hints of wood, mint, vanilla and caramel.

Palate is sweet and spicy yet entirely smooth. Some oak up front, but in moderation, along cinnamon, mint, and a sweet fruity note.

The finish brings additional caramel sweetness, along oak, and satisfying warmth that lingers.

Is it good?

The Woodford Reserve Bourbon is nicely balanced, body is creamy and does not have any off-putting or troubling notes.

It makes a great sipper due to its smoothness and is yet spicy due to rich cinnamon notes.

This is a sweet and mellow bourbon with the right level of heat that drinkers of all levels will appreciate alike.

Excellent everyday bourbon, smooth and clean, good both neat and when served rocks or in a Mint Julep as if you were in Churchill Downs watching the Kentucky Derby.

I find it somewhat weak to make great cocktails making me prefer the Woodford Reserve Rye, whose rich rye content makes cocktails more rewarding.

Consider further options by reading my post with the best similar whiskeys to Woodford Reserve.

Woodford Reserve facts:

  • Woodford’s mash bill is made from 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% barley.
  • Aged for 7 years in one of the few warehouses that uses heat cycling. This process involves cooling and heating the air to closely control the aging.
  • Earned gold and double gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Bulleit Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve: Price Comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Bulleit Bourbon$33
Woodford Reserve $40

Bulleit Bourbon vs Woodford Reserve: Which is better?

Woodford Reserve is a safer bet

WhiskeyBulleit BourbonWoodford Reserve
  • Woodford Reserve is a safer bet as it is rich in flavor, nicely balanced, pleasantly warm, with no off-putting notes or troubling flavors. It drinks nicely neat and needs neither water nor ice to get better.
  • Bulleit has a rich spicy note as it has more rye in the mash than the average bourbon. This is something you should consider before buying.
  • The Bulleit makes a better mixer as its spicy note makes traditional cocktails such as Manhattans and the Old Fashioned more tasty.

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