To answer that question, it’s essential first to understand the difference between the two bourbons. Bulleit Bourbon is distilled using a high-rye recipe, which gives it a unique flavor profile that is both bold and spicy.
On the other hand, Buffalo Trace Bourbon is made with a low-rye recipe, resulting in a bourbon that is smoother and more mellow.
But there is so much more to these two brands than just the flavor.
Brief History of Bulleit and Buffalo Trace Bourbon
Bulleit and Buffalo Trace are two highly regarded brands in the spirits industry, but with vastly different origin stories. Buffalo Trace is one of the oldest distilleries in history and Bulleit Bourbon first debuted in the 1980s.
Today, both brands are still produced using traditional methods and are renowned for their high quality.
Buffalo Trace Distillery History
The history of Buffalo Trace can be traced back to the early days of America when buffalo roamed the land and pioneers followed their path westward.
The distillery is located where the buffalo migration route crossed the Kentucky River and has been producing legendary bourbon whiskey for over 200 years.
Buffalo Trace is now the oldest continuously operating distillery in America. It has survived Prohibition and continued to produce whiskey throughout the years, even being permitted to operate for “medicinal purposes” during that time.
Today, the distillery pays tribute to both the buffalo and the pioneers with its Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
This unique whiskey is made using traditional methods and is aged for over two years in oak barrels, giving it a smooth taste and rich flavor that are reminiscent of America’s storied history.
Bulleit Distillery History
Founded in 1987, Bulleit is one of the fastest-growing whiskeys in America. The brand attributes that growth to bartenders and cultural partners who have adopted it as their own.
The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey portfolio is distilled and aged in the Bulleit family tradition, using a distinctive high rye recipe, which gives them a bold, spicy, yet distinctively smooth taste.
The award-winning Kentucky whiskey most recently won a Double Gold medal for Bulleit 10-Year-Old and Gold Medals for Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Bulleit Bourbon Vs Buffalo Trace
While both Bulleit and Buffalo Trace are both distilleries offering an assortment of different American whiskey, they both have some fundamental differences in the way they taste and the varieties each brand offers.
Buffalo Trace Stats Tasting Notes
The Buffalo Trace Distillery offers a wide variety of spirits. Still, the flagship bourbon, one of the most popular, is an award-winning bourbon that is widely available, often for under $30.
Aside from the multiple awards that the original bourbon has received, it has also been hailed as “One of the world’s great whiskies” by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, one of the most respected whiskey publications in the industry.
The mashbill for this bourbon is undisclosed, but it is thought to be 75% corn, 10% rye, and 15% barley. The bourbon is 90 proof and has an MSRP of $25-$30.
This makes it a relatively affordable option for people who want to try a good quality bourbon. The flavor profile of this bourbon is sweet and fruity, with notes of vanilla and oak. It is a well-rounded bourbon that is enjoyable to drink neat or on the rocks.
This deep amber whiskey has a complex aroma of vanilla, mint, and molasses. Pleasantly sweet to the taste with brown sugar and spice notes that give way to oak, toffee, dark fruit, and anise.
This whiskey finishes long and smooth with profound depth.
Bulleit Bourbon Stats Tasting Notes
The mashbill for Bulleit Bourbon is 68% corn, 28% rye, and 4% malted barley. It is bottled at 45% ABV.
Bulleit Bourbon has won numerous awards, including a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2018.
Bulleit bourbon is a smooth, complex spirit with a distinctive taste. The oakiness of the wood barrels in which it is aged gives it a smoky flavor, while the spices from the rye give it a spicy edge.
The flavor is also mellow and clean, with hints of vanilla and honey. The finish is long and smoky, making it a perfect sipping bourbon.
At 90 proof, it is also strong enough to stand up to mixers.
Bulleit Bourbon Expressions
Bulleit bourbon offers a range of different varieties, each with its own unique flavor profile.
The four currently available options are Bulleit Bourbon, Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Bulleit Bourbon 10-Year-Old Whiskey, and Bulleit Barrel Strength Whiskey.
Bulleit Bourbon is made with a unique blend of rye, corn, and barley, giving it a smooth and mellow flavor.
Bulleit Rye Whiskey is made with 95% rye and 5% malted barley. The high rye content gives the whiskey a bold, spicy flavor that is well-suited for cocktails. The addition of malted barley adds a touch of sweetness and complexity.
Bulleit Rye is aged in new, charred oak barrels for a minimum of four years. This aging process gives the whiskey a smooth finish with notes of vanilla and wood.
Bulleit Rye is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. It can also be used in classic cocktails such as the Manhattan or Old Fashioned.
Bulleit Bourbon 10-Year-Old Whiskey is a premium spirit that is aged for a minimum of 10 years in American oak barrels. This lengthy aging process allows the whiskey to develop a deep and complex flavor with vanilla, caramel, and oak notes.
The 10-year aging also gives the whiskey a smooth, full-bodied texture that makes it ideal for sipping neat or on the rocks.
Finally, Bulleit Barrel Strength Whiskey is bottled straight from the barrel without any dilution, resulting in a powerful and intense flavor. This intense flavor can be enjoyed on its own or used to create rich and complex cocktails.
When sipping neat, the high alcohol content will become apparent, but the smoothness of the woody flavors quickly balances this out. The finish is long and warm, with just a hint of sweetness.
Buffalo Trace Varieties
While there aren’t any varieties of Buffalo Trace, the distillery produces dozens of whiskeys under 19 unique brand names.
Some of the most popular brands produced by Buffalo Trace include Eagle Rare, Blanton’s, and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye.
The distillery is also home to the Antique Collection, a series of limited-release whiskeys that are highly sought after by collectors.
Buffalo Trace & Bulleit Distilleries
Both Bulleit and Buffalo Trace offer tours of their distilleries for guests to visit and learn more about the product.
Bulleit Distilling Co. offers a comprehensive tour of its grounds and distillery, perfect for those interested in the process of whiskey-making.
The guided portion of the tour lasts for 40 minutes, during which guests will be shuttled to the distillery and given a sense of the history and production process behind Bulleit’s award-winning whiskey.
Following the tour, guests will have the opportunity to taste some of Bulleit’s offerings in the company’s sensory tasting room, allowing them to appreciate the subtleties of flavor that make Bulleit unique.
The Trace Tour at Buffalo Trace Distillery is an immersive experience that everyone can enjoy. Guests will walk through the historical grounds, learning about the distilling process and the rich history of bourbon.
They’ll also get a chance to sample some of the finest bourbons available. The tour is open to all ages and is ADA accessible so that everyone can enjoy it.
Bulleit Bourbon Vs Buffalo Trace – Final Verdict
So which bourbon is better? It depends on your personal preferences.
If you’re looking for a bolder, more intense flavor, then Bulleit Bourbon is the way to go. But if you prefer a softer, more subtle taste, then Buffalo Trace Bourbon is the better choice.
Whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy a delicious glass of bourbon.