The first Bulleit bourbon was produced by a bar owner in Louisville, Kentucky, named Augustus Bulleit. He wanted to create a bourbon with a distinctive flavour and experimented with varying batches until he found a whiskey that he was satisfied with. One day when transporting barrels to New Orleans Augustus disappeared without trace. To this day it is unknown what happened to him. Years later, his great-great-grandson, Tom Bulleit enrolled in the Marine Corps in 1968, before leaving to study law.
Tom Bulleit had always dreamt of recreating his ancestor’s dark spirit and in 1987, he created a small batch bourbon, bearing the family name. Bulleit bourbon is aged for six years and the mashbill contains a high proportion of rye - as much as thirty percent. The new make, or ‘white dog’ as it is known across the pond, is then filled into heavily charred barrels. The bottles are modelled on the medicine bottles of yore, with raised lettering and brown tinted glass, indeed, the bottle itself has won awards. It was first introduced on the American market in 1999 and distributed worldwide three years later. Bulleit was acquired by Seagram in 1997 and the facilities were relocated to Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Today, Diageo are the owners, following their acquisition of Seagram.