The brand was revived in the 1980s by Tom Bulleit, an ex-Marine who saw service in Vietnam. Tom gave up his successful law practice to make whiskey, using a recipe belonging to his great-great-grandfather – the enigmatic Augustus Bulleit.
Augustus's family had come to New Orleans from France around the beginning of the 19th Century, and by 1830 Augustus had drifted into Louisville, Kentucky. Here he ran a tavern and, drawing on his French heritage, began distilling spirits in small batches. His bourbon became a success, and over the next three decades it became more widely distributed as America's frontiers continued spreading into the West.
But here the story takes a twist. In 1860 Augustus Bulleit disappeared while delivering stock of his bourbon back to New Orleans, the town of his birth. But whether he was murdered by a rival for his precious cargo, or simply vanished into the backstreets and brothels of the Big Easy's French Quarter has never been proven.
Bulleit is now owned by Diageo (although Tom remains heavily involved) and is made for them by Four Roses at their distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.
From the website
Bulleit Bourbon is a product of an era that helped define the character of a nation - an era of adventure, risk-taking and prosperity, when the Western frontier offered hope to those willing to take a chance.
The legend begins in New Orleans, where the Bulleit family emigrated from France in the 1700s. Around 1830, Augustus Bulleit moved from New Orleans to Louisville, Ky., taking with him his talent for brandy making. As a tavern keeper in Louisville, he began producing small batches of bourbon. Relentless in his pursuit of perfection, he experimented with different recipes. When he found one that consistently met his expectations, the inspiration for Bulleit Bourbon was born.
During the great migration to the West, his bourbon was sold throughout Kentucky and Indiana, gaining a reputation as the bourbon of choice for America's most hale and hardy adventurers - the frontiersmen.
It was 1860. America was rapidly expanding westward and business was good for Augustus. That year, while transporting barrels of whiskey from Kentucky back to his hometown of New Orleans, Augustus Bulleit died. With him, it appeared, died the making of his legendary bourbon.
As decades passed, the Bulleit family never lost its passion for telling the story of Augustus Bulleit, nor the desire to resurrect his signature creation. After more than a century, the family returned at last to bourbon making. In 1987, Tom Bulleit fulfilled a lifelong dream by reviving his family's ancestral distilling enterprise using the original recipe of his great-great-grandfather.
Bulleit Bourbon's quality begins with the unique family tradition. The family history of bourbon production dates back to the early 1800s, with Augustus Bulleit - great, great grandfather of Tom Bulleit.
Bulleit Bourbon uses only the highest quality ingredients and follows the 175-year-old recipe of Augustus. Bulleit Bourbon is produced with a high rye content and proprietary grains and yeasts. Rare among bourbon producers, Bulleit Bourbon has its own Grain Division, which acquires distiller's grade grains grown to Bulleit's specification. The high level of rye content creates the dry, clean flavor. In true bourbon fashion, only limestone-filtered water is used.
Bulleit Bourbon is distilled and aged in small batches and stored in a single-story warehouse which reduces inconsistencies in the maturation process. Bulleit Bourbon is aged in American White Oak barrels that are flame charred, giving the bourbon some of its color and flavor. It is aged not a drop less than 6 years, creating maturity and smoothness. The final, 90 proof product is formulated by mingling, not blending, two and sometimes three of the distillates to ensure consistency in the nose and taste.
The award winning bottle design reflects elements of the Frontier Age, with a unique flask design, raised glass lettering and a cork stopper.
All of these elements combine to form a unique, hand-crafted bourbon reminiscent of our frontier heritage. One taste will release the frontier explorer in you.
Character and Style of Bulleit