Diageo’s powerhouse bourbon brand, Bulleit, started selling cask strength bourbon in their gift shop two years ago, and then released the whiskey to a limited number of states, and then last fall widened distribution to more states including Louisiana. Hokus Pokus got this whiskey in a couple of weeks ago and tonight I decided to crack my bottle open.
Now, I am not a fan of regular Bulleit. It is very unassuming and uninteresting. Cool bottle is about all you can say. But the Barrel Strength is a different animal entirely. At 123.4 Proof this is a bourbon that has spent a while in the barrel.
Color is a lovely dark copper. Long legs on this one. Nose is rye spice with a little nutmeg. On the palate is baking spices and hints of oak and nut meat. Hints of orange and apple. Very nice mouthfeel; not the thin mouthfeel of regular Bulleit at all. The finish brings back the nutmeg with a hint of spearmint, but just a hint. Finish is medium. This is a super smooth bourbon for cask strength. Really really smooth. Put this bourbon in the dangerous category to that extent.
It’s Girl Scout cookie season. So to use that as an analogy drinking this is like eating a dosido and then a chocolate mint cookie. Pretty awesome.
I have to compliment Diageo on this one. It is way more complex than the standard Bulleit. In the price range I would say that Stagg Jr. is better, but if Hokus is out of Stagg Jr. (which happens from time to time) I would totally be happy taking this bottle home. It’s really really good. Hokus Pokus seems to have plenty of it for the moment and I am going to go buy two more bottles to put in my bunker due to my paranoia that cask strength bourbon is very limited release or costs $100. I’ll take $60 good cask strength bourbon all day long, which is where Stagg Jr. and Bulleit cask strength reside.