Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Squid Mixes: Bulleit vs. Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition

Social distancing has not stopped our whiskey battles!  Fortunately, our favorite liquor is still doing curbside service.  Bulleit rye was on sale last month and Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition is on sale this month.  It's time for a rumble.

The tale of the tape going in: at full-price, JB is $5 cheaper than the Bulleit.  Both are 90 proof.

On the Rocks Test

The Jim Beam was redder in color, fruitier in flavor with a chocolate aftertaste.

I found the Bulleit more flavorful.  Spicy banana was the best description I could think of.

My wife preferred the Jim Beam.  I preferred the Bulleit.  Call this round a tie.

Manhattan Test

The Bulleit was smokier, the JB fruitier once again.  Our individual preferences were the same as before though my wife could imagine enjoying the Bulleit occasionally.  Both were quite nice.

Call this round a tie, too.

We skipped the Highball Test this time, figuring it wasn't going to be the make-or-break anyway.

Overall Winner: Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition

All else being equal, $5 is $5.  We drink most of our whiskey via Manhattans so my wife's preference is probably a tie-breaker as well.  That said, I wouldn't mind having a bottle of the Bulleit around for the occasional sipping, something I'm more likely to do than she is anyway.  It's certainly worth waiting until it's on sale.

Hoping to pit Jim Beam against George Dickel next.  That one goes on sale in May!

Squid on the Vine

Borell Diehl, Müller-Thurgau 2018
A German white
Bland to star, like a light cider
Opens up bigger.
A little bitter
Bubblegum finish
My Rating: 8.2


  1. I've had them both, but never in a taste match. Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with either.

    1. No argument here. Given my premise, though, there must be a winner.

      More to the point, it ultimately becomes a matter of what one prefers in a whiskey. I like the peaty whiskeys more than my wife does anyway so our respective choices in this comparison are not exactly surprising. Then, is it worthwhile to spend a little more for a bottle I enjoy more than she does? No, it is not. She is my most important customer.

  2. My son would love to be in on a taste test. He loves making cocktails but because I can not drink he knows beers better. We have several small breweries around town. Quite wonderful.

    1. I don't know if I've ever had an Arizona beer - worth a trip, maybe.

  3. Replies
    1. Absolutely. Both certainly cross the acceptability threshold by a comfortable margin. After that, it's more a matter of personal preference.

  4. The Rittenhouse I have is 100 proof.
    I'm reluctant to spend money trying other brands when I liked this one so much to start with.
    And we'll never drink a lot of whiskey, because we will generally go for the rum. My wife is pretty much never going to choose a whiskey drink over a rum drink.

    1. Right, I wouldn't expect you to feel otherwise. Yours is a rum house. Mine is a whiskey house.

      Mind you, rum battles might be fun some day but there are a few other projects I have in mind first.

  5. When you say it like that, it sounds like pirates vs... um, I don't know? Cowboys? Cowboys always want whiskey.
    But pirates always win.

    1. Now there's a franchise with potential!

    2. It would almost have to be better than Cowboys vs Aliens.

    3. It's the kind of thing where you can never have the pleasure. I don't get up from very many movies, but I did from that one.

  6. One of my brothers has taken a keen interest in wine tasting. He and his wife are hitting the tasting circuit down around Tampa. It's really interesting even though the subject is above my head.

    1. Wine is fascinating. I'm still on the exploring what I like path, especially with whites.