The drinks giant said the decision to up the strength of the bourbon – from 40% to 45% – was taken to bring it in line with its original US proof.
The move is said to have been welcomed by bartenders who, according to Diageo, appreciate the brand’s high rye content and spicy character for use in cocktails.
Bulleit Rye was a natural extension for the brand in the UK.
As well as revamping the bourbon, Diageo has launched Bulleit Rye in the UK for the first time.
The rye whiskey, which is also bottled at 45% ABV, is said to have a dry and spicy finish which Diageo said makes it “perfect” for classic cocktails like the Manhattan, Old Fashioned and Sazerac.
“With rye being the cornerstone of the Bulleit Bourbon recipe, Bulleit Rye was a natural extension for the brand and we are confident that both our on and off-trade customers will find both whiskeys an exceptional addition to their American whiskey offering,” said Nick Temperley, head of Diageo Reserve Brands.
“In the UK, American whiskey is out-performing total spirits, with the bourbon category in particular showing strong growth. Both Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye meet this growing consumer demand for premium US whiskey, while responding to a current trend set by bartenders for rye whiskey-led cocktails.”