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Friday, October 19, 2018

Bonus Post - Apple Cinnamon Infused Bulleit

Welcome to the instructions and review for our first infusion. For this one I want to do something different and fun so I am creating a cinnamon/granny smith infused Bulleit Rye. This is something anyone can do to add variety and excitement for their bourbon and makes a wonderful autumn drink.

  • 750ml of Bulleit Rye (or a bourbon of your choice. I recommend something on the cheaper end because it will inherit the taste of the ingredients)
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 large mason jar
  • Cheesecloth or strainer

  • Cut granny smith apples into squares or chunks (maximizing the surface area)
  • Place apples, cinnamon stick(s) in a mason jar
  • Pour in bourbon or rye
  • Shake every day or two
  • Taste after 5 days and every few days after - For this batch, I tasted after 6 days (not enough apple taste), 10 days (still not enough apple), and took out of the bottle at 12 days. 
  • Once the taste is correct, strain with a cheesecloth to remove sediment and pour into your desired container
  • Enjoy!

Manufacturer: Mark Roehl and Diageo

Age: 12 Days

Location Produced: Bulleit Distilling Co., Louisville, KY and The Roehl Compound, Powell, OH

Mash Bill: 95% rye, 5% barley

Alcohol: 45%

Who is this for?: Anyone looking for a fun new way to experience bourbon or whiskey.

Cost (Ohio): $1.49 a pound for granny smith apples ($2.71), $1 for one cinnamon stick, $25.67 for Bulleit Rye = $29.38

Review: Taste -  Score 32 out of 35

The aroma starts with smells of cinnamon and apple (obviously). The Duchess picked up hints of vanilla and nutmeg. Overall, we both found it very inviting. 

When drinking, the infusion is less harsh than your traditional bourbon. The apple really takes out the bite and makes it taste like there is less alcohol content than traditional bourbon. This infusion makes for a delicious drink unlike anything on the market. 

The Duchess feels this is perfect for mixing in cocktails. Some she would recommend are, naturally, an old fashioned, but could also be mixed with Apple Cider making the perfect autumn drink, or would mix great with a hot toddy. 

Smoothness/Finish - Score 23 out of 25

The beauty of this infusion is that the apples really take away all the bite making this so smooth. I usually enjoy my bourbon on the rocks with a splash of water... with this, it's just on the rocks. That's how smooth this goes down.

In terms of finish, it is more on the quick side with a short finish so we took off a few points for that but doesn't take away from how drinkable this is.

One thing to note, I've done this infusion previously where I didn't leave it in long enough and the taste just wasn't there. The infusion lost some of the bourbon flavor and didn't add enough of the apple so it had a strong alcohol taste with a hint of apple. This batch after a 12 day soak turned out perfect.

Intangibles: Color/Appearance - Score 8 out of 15.

The infusion comes out of the bottle more cloudy than straight bourbon or whiskey. This is expected since it was mixed with other materials. Obviously, there isn't a bottle other than what you decide to put it in so this was hard to score. Since I'm doing this review close to Halloween, my wife has our skull decanter from Pottery Barn which is the perfect vessel for this fall treat. Due to the cloudiness and lack of bottle, we gave the infusion 8 points. That seemed fair.

Availability - Score 5 out of 5

Bulleit is readily available, as are apples. Anyone could make this. The duchess notes that if you can't find granny smith or don't like them, other potential apple choices that would work are honeycrisp, braeburn, or pink lady. 

Overall Value - Score 14 out of 20

Since you can use a bourbon our your choosing, the value is what you make of it. The one drawback is that you will lose a fair bit of bourbon soaking into the apples. The Duchess estimates that we lost about 1/3 of the batch to the apples (I don't think it was that high, but it was noticeable). Due to this we took off 1/3 of the score for value. 

Some enterprising cooks will be able to reuse the apples in pies and other concoctions which would add to your value of doing this. We've tried eating the apples before, but they were far too strong and haven't been able to reuse them. 

Final Score: 82 out of 100 

I'd love to hear what you think. Drop a note in the comment box. 

Note: This review was done by Mark and the Duchess (my wife). The bottle was purchased at Hills Market, in beautiful, Columbus, OH. Granny Smith apples from Giant Eagle, Cinnamon stick from Penzey's.

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