Master Distiller, Bulleit Bourbon
In 1987, Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr. decided it was time to revive his great-great grandfather, Augustus Bulleit's legendary Bourbon recipe by creating the Bulleit Distilling Company.
Tom Bulleit was the first one in the family to recreate Bulleit Bourbon in the tradition that Augustus followed more than 150 years earlier.
A decade later, the Bulleit Distilling Company was sold to Seagram. While Bulleit is now a Seagram brand, Bulleit remains active in building the brand by serving as an advisor to Seagram. "Seagram has the resources to recreate Bulleit Bourbon to my family's standards," says Tom Bulleit.
The story of the family brand, Bulleit Bourbon begins in the early 1800s, with Augustus Bulleit's move from New Orleans to Louisville, Kentucky, where he began making small batches of Bourbon. The Bulleit family immigrated to the United States from France. It was a time most hardened Frontiersmen were beginning to pursue the riches of unadulterated land and were migrating west of the Mississippi River towards the Rocky Mountains, and north from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
Around 1830, seeking new horizons of his own, Augustus traveled up the Mississippi and Ohio River by flatboat to Louisville, Kentucky, a thriving riverport that was gaining a reputation as America's whiskey distribution hub. Upon arriving in the destination, he became a tavern keeper and began using his knowledge of French brandy making to distill his own special recipe of Kentucky Bourbon.
Throughout the mid 1800s, Bulleit Bourbon was sold throughout Kentucky and Indiana. It is believed to have traveled west by those settling the American Frontier.
Just prior to the Civil War om 1860s, Augustus died while while transporting barrels of whiskey to New Orleans, so did his legendary Bourbon.
Since Augustus' generation, the Bulleit family did not come back to the distilling business due to the major events like the world wars, Prohibition and the Great Depression. However, the spirits of Bulleit Bourbon has been carried on and the family recipe and tradition of whiskey making have survived throughout the generations.
In 1994, Bulleit Bourbon was introduced in Kentucky and within three years, the Bourbon was distributed in France and Japan. Today the Bourbon is produced at the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. Seagram also owns Four Roses.
When Tom Bulleit was asked to explain his all-consuming passion of Bourbon-making, Tom replied: "Teddy Roosevelt's advice for achieving success was, 'Do the best you can with what you have where you are.' For me, it's Bourbon here in Kentucky."
Bulleit Bourbon is distilled from soft Kentucky limestone water - found only in the Bluegrass region of the state. The ingredients are corn, barely malt and rye. It's russet in colour with a rich, oaky aroma, delivering a distinctive taste with hints of vanilla and honey.
Tom Bulleit attended the University of Louisville School of Law in 1971 and was admitted to the bar in 1972. Bulleit also holds a LL. M from Gergetown University. He is a Vietnam Veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corp from 1967 to 1969.
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