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Bourbon Whiskey

The quintessential American libation, Bourbon conjures images of corn fields and little streams cutting their way through Kentucky. Kentucky is Bourbon country in spirit and, indeed, in name. For when the American pioneers first colonized the country, they divided up the land and one plot, which covered much of what is now Kentucky, was named Bourbon, for the French Royal Family.

The county was formed in 1786. Originally part of Virginia, it was not until 1792 that Bourbon County was transferred to the new State of Kentucky. There was a great quantity of corn-based whiskey produced in the area, and it was shipped from a port on the Ohio River, which lay in Bourbon County. The barrels were stamped with their origin, ‘Old Bourbon’, and thus the name stuck. The principal distinction in Bourbon whiskey is the make up of the mash bill. The mash bill is the list of cereal grains used for distillation. Bourbon is distilled from 51% corn, differing it from other American spirits. Other grains are used including wheat, rye and barley.

Distillation is achieved in a pot still before ageing in new, charred oak barrels. The use of charred barrels is credited, by and large, to Reverend Elijah Craig. Such claims are not necessarily reliable, but the story is worth mentioning, for it is so oft told. The significance of this is decidedly great, for the Scotch whisky industry uses a proliferation of ex bourbon barrels, as do the rum and tequila fraternities. Elijah kept an outhouse, in which he stored his barrels and one day, a fire tore through the building, blackening his casks. The reverend filled his scorched barrels regardless, and found the charred inners imparted a vanilla sweetness and a rich hue.

Once a bourbon barrel has been emptied, it cannot be reused, thus they are shipped for use overseas. The spirit is aged for two years and bottled at a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume. There has been that more recent phenomenon of small batch and high end bourbons. The market for these is substantial and ever-growing, as consumers lean toward quality over quantity. Single barrel offerings and artisan products are of increasing popularity.

Bourbon Whiskey

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Glenfarclas Whisky Distillery
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Kentucky Oak Barrels
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Balcones Whisky Distillery
Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Four Roses Bourbon in the best way possible: by raising a glass of this limited edition small batch, barrel strength bourbon. It is an expertly married mix of 3 ages...  More info
$151.37
Bulleit Bourbon
(70cl, 40%)
Bulleit is bottled in an old-fashioned style bottle, there is a relatively high proportion of rye in the mashbill which proffers plenty of pep. This bourbon was awarded a Gold medal at the 2004 San...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$40.02
Bulleit Bourbon - 45%
(70cl, 45%)
Enjoy Bulleit Bourbon like the Americans do! Previously it has been bottled at 40% abv for the UK market, but now you can get the Frontier Whiskey at 45% abv, just like they have in Kentucky. A...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$45.25
Blanton's Gold Edition
(70cl, 51.50%)
A superb single barrel bourbon, bottled at cask strength. Blanton's Gold is distilled from a mashbill of corn, rye and malted barley. Each bottle is hand filled, sealed, labeled and individually...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Always popular among bourbon lovers, Blanton's Straight From The Barrel doesn't disappoint. Single cask bourbon, bottled at cask strength after being matured in Buffalo Trace's famous Warehouse H...  More info
$129.94
A 75cl bottle of Buffalo Trace's stunning bourbon William Larue Weller, named after the man famed for being the first to create "wheated bourbon", in which the spicy rye grain is substituted for wheat...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$58.99
"Leg it! It's The Five-0!"
Don't worry, you're not going to get nicked for having a bottle of St. George Breaking & Entering Bourbon. In fact, it's the Californian distillery that's potentially...  More info
$88.28
Breckenridge Bourbon
(75cl, 43%)
A wonderful small batch high-rye bourbon produced in Colorado. The mash bill for Breckenridge contains 56% yellow corn, 38% green rye and 6% unmalted barley, and it's aged for 2 to 3 years in American...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$104.13
A smashing gift set of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a cocktail book and a Julep Tin. These metal cups would traditionally be used for Mint Juleps, a tasty cocktail of bourbon, spearmint...  More info
Was: $48.07
Now: $34.78
Johnny Drum Private Stock
(70cl, 50.50%)
A cask strength bourbon, this is the flagship bourbon from the Johnny Drum range of handmade bourbons, produced in small batches. (Previously a 15 year old.)  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$58.84
Jefferson's Bourbon
(70cl, 41.20%)
A limited release, small batch artisan bourbon. This is very unusual, and offers a thoroughly distinctive flavour profile, thanks to its 6 to 10 year ageing in very lightly charred (Number 1 char)...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$54.92
An absolutely superb single barrel bourbon. Wine Enthusiast rate this 96 points, commenting: "Wow". Rock Hill Farms was also Recommended by Whisky Magazine.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$120.16
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Part of Buffalo Trace's 2013 edition of their Antique Collection, The William Laure Weller Bourbon doesn't fail to make an impression. Bottled at "barrel proof", a...  More info
$202.85
Charter 101 Bourbon
(75cl, 50.50%)
A rye-rich Kentucky straight bourbon, bottled at 50.5% ABV. The Old Charter brand has been around since the late 1800s, so when you read on the bottle that it was distilled "using the old, time-proven...  More info
$49.68
Old Fitzgerald 1849
(75cl, 45%)
A very good bourbon, the extra wheat content in this brings a lovely smoothness, not unlike Maker's Mark in this respect. Old Fitzgerald 1849 is very popular with Dave Broom and Jim Murray!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$48.72
Blanton's was originally introduced in 1984, and it's the first official single barrel bourbon. It is matured in white oak. It is produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$84.93
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

An intense 17 year old from Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare is much thicker than some of the other small batch releases from the distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$196.66
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Autumn is always exciting. Not because it means Christmas is on the way and Halloween is just around the corner, but because it means the yearly edition of George T. Stagg...  More info
$218.14
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

A commemorative bottling of Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon, a limited edition release which honours the man behind the name.

Elmer started working at the Buffalo...  More info
$98.71
A young distillery, Rock Town was founded in 2010, but their Arkansas Young Bourbon is even younger, as it's matured for only 8 months.

Impressively, it still received Double Gold at the 2013 San...  More info
$64.13
Remarkably great value well-aged straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Previously a 15 year old, Johnny Drum Private Stock is made in small batches and is hugely satisfying.

This is a 75cl bottling.  More info
$58.84
Blanton's Straight From The Barrel bourbon is a serious treat, especially for those of us who love their whiskies at cask strength. This batch comes from barrel 68 and has been bottled at a mighty...  More info
$129.94
Cabin Still Bourbon
(75cl, 40%)
An old-fashioned style of bourbon, Cabin Still is a sour mash whiskey from the Heaven Hill distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$32.18
The classic Kentucky Straight bourbon established by Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, I.W. Bernheim Gold Medal. This antique bottle comes all the way from the 1970s, and though the label has been slightly...  More info
$194.57
A sour mash bourbon from Heaven Hill, JW Dant Special Reserve has a strong rye influence.  More info
$29.59
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