New England is more known for its craft breweries than its craft distilleries, but all that might be changing. I have already reviewed Berkshire Bourbon, and today I am reviewing Bully Boy’s American Straight Whiskey. Bully Boy Distillers is a micro-distillery in Boston that was founded in 2010 by Will and Dave Willis. It is the first craft distillery in Boston, and Bully Boy spirits are just starting to become readily available around Boston. They have already won awards at International Spirits Competitions for their White Rum, their White Whiskey, and their Vodka. I’m letting the cat out of the bag a little bit, but I think they are going to win more awards in the future.
Today, I am reviewing Batch 4 of Bully Boy’s American Straight Whiskey. This whiskey is neither a bourbon, nor is it a rye; it does not contain at least 51% corn or 51% rye in the mash-bill. The boys at Bully Boy were kind enough to clear that up for me when I sent them a puzzled email. This whiskey is also a true craft presentation. It is done in small batches, and non-chill filtered. There is no age statement on this batch, but I suspect it is fairly young based on its taste and the age of the distillery. It is bottled at 84 proof (42% abv).
On the nose, this whiskey demonstrates its rye content up front. There are notes of lemongrass, fresh cut grass, chili powder, white pepper, pine needles, lemon furniture polish (in a good way), a bit of licorice, and fresh ginger. It is really a unique nose for an American whiskey, and it takes your nose all over the place. It is definitely more reminiscent of a rye than a bourbon on the nose. The palate is light-bodied, and it is a bit sweeter, with a lot of spiced nuts and some salt water taffy. There is even a beautiful lemon-lime current that runs through the palate. The finish is medium-length and spicy. There is some good cinnamon, some vanilla, and a resurfacing of the lemon and grassy notes from the nose.
Overall, this whiskey drinks like a good, young rye with a twist. This whiskey is very intriguing, and very complex, but it does lack a little depth and body. The flavors are varied, but they don’t evolve as neatly or strike as powerfully as some older whiskeys. I think that means that I cannot wait to see where this whiskey goes with a few more years in the oak, and I definitely commend Bully Boy on their craft presentation of this whiskey. My Grade: B/B+. Price: $30-35/750ml. This one is almost a B+, but it doesn’t quite have the sweetness yet to fully balance out those wild rye notes. This is a great (and fun) everyday pour at a good value. I can’t wait to see where the boys at Bully Boy go with this.