Bulleit Proof: How I Took a 150-Year-Old Family Recipe and a Revolver, and Disrupted the Entire Liquor Industry One Bottle, One Sip, One Handshake at a Time

Appearance Date: 11/6/2021

The story behind the brand, and the man behind the name, are both subject and author of Bulleit Proof—an engaging and inspiring tapestry of tales from one of the liquor industry’s most notorious disruptors. Tom Bulleit debuted his great-grandfather’s recipe in 1987, taking on a well-established market, and the results speak for themselves. Bulleit is a true American—the son of a soldier, a Vietnam veteran, an entrepreneur, and a self-made survivor. His southern grit and pioneer spirit come through loud and clear in his inspiring and memorable storytelling. From the battlefield to the cancer ward, Bulleit has persevered through life’s greatest hardships. As a member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, and the name behind one of the world’s top whiskeys, Bulleit knows what it means to struggle, how to maintain commitment, and how to avoid taking “no” for an answer. Read Bulleit Proof and feel uplifted and ready to fearlessly follow your own path, wherever it might lead. If you have a dream to achieve, a challenge to face, or a love of good storytelling, this book is for you. Sit down with a glass of Bulleit and enjoy an unforgettable American success story.

Meet the Author

tom bulleit
Tom Bulleit

Thomas E. (Tom) Bulleit, Jr., is a combat veteran, father, husband, accomplished attorney, and proud Kentuckian. What he is best known for, however, is for founding and building the Bulleit distilling empire. With degrees from the University of Louisville and Georgetown University, Tom had a distinguished career as a corporate lawyer before he tackled his true calling— bringing back to life his family’s legacy of producing a distinct, premium bourbon. In 1987 Bulleit began producing bourbon based on a fifth-generation family recipe. Over 30 years later, Bulleit Bourbon is among the top-selling American whiskeys. Bulleit Rye is the top selling rye whiskey in the world. Together, the Bulleit brand sells over 20 million bottles a year. Bulleit Bourbon is produced at the Bulleit Distilling Company in Shelbyville, KY. By 2021 Bulleit will also be produced at a new distillery in Lebanon, KY. To date, Diageo, Bulleit’s partner, has invested over $500M in Bulleit supply infrastructure in Kentucky. Tom Bulleit was a Navy corpsman with the Marines who saw action in Vietnam. He has remained an active supporter of wounded and in-need fellow veterans and was awarded the 2016 Martin Hanse Sr. Humanitarian Award for his work leading and supporting the Semper Fi fund in Kentucky. He was an early supporter of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial and has spoken there in national observances on Memorial Day 1995 and Memorial Day 1998. In 2009, Tom Bulleit was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. In 2014, Bulleit, a Louisville, KY native, was honored by that city with a “Hometown Heroes” mural on South Third St. in downtown Louisville. His mural joins other luminaries such as Muhammed Ali, Diane Sawyer, and Jennifer Lawrence. In April 2020, Tom’s memoir, Bulleit Proof, was published. It provides not only an in-depth look at the man behind the brand, but also gives a behind the scenes chronicle of how Bulleit was built from start up to global reach over 3 decades. Bulleit resides in Lexington, Kentucky with Betsy, his wife of over 30 years, and where he continues to visit his office at the Bulleit Distillery, remains in demand as an expert on entrepreneurship and brand building, and continues to support important causes and institutions at the local and national levels.