On Whiskey: Bulleit Rye and a Cocktail!

WARREN BOBROW (this article was first published NOVEMBER 8, 2012)

On Whiskey is a monthly column on whiskey and whiskey drinks by Warren Bobrow. For more of this great column, click this logo.

On Whiskey is a monthly column on whiskey and whiskey drinks by Warren Bobrow. For more of this great column, click this logo.

If ever there were a whiskey I adore, it is Bulleit Rye.  It’s so good that we pour it at the Ryland Inn in Whitehouse, New Jersey, where I help at the bar.

Bulleit has this incredible juicy mouth-feel and chewy finish that I just find beguiling. I first tried it a few years ago. Poured into a small shot glass, I remember commenting that it had a cinnamon nose and the flavor of Pechter’s rye bread in the finish. Pechter’s is a specific Jewish rye bread that has a true rye flavor, just like Bulleit Rye. If you were to slather a slice of the Pechter’s Rye with butter and orange marmalade; that would be an approximation of the luscious flavor of Bulleit Rye, minus the burn from the alcohol of course.

I learned from doing a bit of research on Bulleit Rye that the mash is 4-7 years old and that the concentration of rye to corn is 95% rye and 5% corn.  This makes for a very peppery length to the mouth-feel. There is some heat in there from the brooding alcohol of 90 proof that makes the concentration of cinnamon to spice very attractive to the drinker. I love mixing with Bulleit Rye.  It stands up to ice better than bourbon because of the depth of the grain.

There is a marvelous mid-range of flavors from bittersweet chocolate soda to Absinthe frappe to a long and concentrated finish from dark stone fruits. The attack comes on very quickly in the way of the 90 proof heats. There is also a plethora of mint in the nose – peppermint, spearmint, and chocolate mint. I’ve also tasted plenty of sweet vanilla from the oak barrels. I’m sure these barrels will go on to a storied career aging rum or Scotch whisky.

We just had a little hurricane here in New Jersey. The lights have been off for roughly 10 days now. There is no well water, nor heat from the boiler, so I cannot make ice.  But all is not lost as I have double redundancy from wood burning stoves.  There is something marvelous about staying warm after the lights have been knocked out by wood heat from the Jotul stoves.  It’s so penetrating!

A couple of chunks of dry wood keep the house nice and toasty.

Of course a couple shots of Bulleit Rye woven into a tea-based, warming cocktail helps too!

The Cold Snap Cocktail

This is an easy one…

Brew a pot of black tea

Pour about two ounces of Bulleit Rye into the hot tea

Sweeten to taste. I like Royal Rose Simple syrup of Three Chiles.  (It’s spicy and sweet)

Finish with a few drops of Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters. If you cannot find this wonderful finishing agent, Angostura will work too!

Stay warm and safe wherever you are in the world!



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