Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Diageo Launches Bulleit 10, Surprising No One
The U.S. Treasury Department's Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is part of the problem. Labels for alcoholic beverages have to be approved in advance by the TTB. Each approved application--formally known as a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA)--is public information and easily found on the TTB web site (ttb.gov). COLA trolling is a popular hobby among some enthusiasts.
In addition, producers will often test market their new products, or announce them well in advance to trade audiences such as distributor sales forces. Today, with social media and a camera in every pocket, a new product that makes a brief appearance in Walla Walla, Washington, will have its image broadcast around the world in minutes.
For reasons that are increasingly hard to fathom, company PR departments and their agencies steadfastly refuse to confirm the new offerings until the official release date. The ancient practice of giving favored journalists the first taste has become an empty gesture.
So it is that today marks the official launch of Bulleit 10, which made its first appearance on StraightBourbon.com on November 10th. It should begin to appear on store shelves, at about $45, toward the end of this month. It will be ever-so-slightly higher in proof than standard Bulleit, 91.2° proof (45.6% ABV) instead of 90° proof (45% ABV).
Here's a fun game you can play. The press release mistakenly states the Bulleit 10 ABV as 45.5%. Let's see how many 'journalists' fail to catch the mistake. (ABV is always proof divided by two.)
Since the standard Bulleit Bourbon expression is NAS (no age statement), it's impossible to know how much older the 10-year-old version even is, but it's bound to be good. Bulleit Bourbon is made for Diageo by Four Roses and everything they make is good.