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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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Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon is a favourite of many, and it's not hard to see why. Fantastic notes of vanilla, warm caramel, chocolate and orange, who wouldn't love to be served up a glass...  More info
$100.63
This is a bottle of the fantastic Four Roses Single Barrel - bottled in 2012. Each bottle only contains whiskey from one barrel only, each barrel is inherently unique so this is a truly limited...  More info
$144.67
Old Grand-Dad 43%
(70cl, 43%)
Old Grand-Dad is a very highly regarded traditional style bourbon and this older bottling is 43% abv.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$42.29
50cl of 4 year old Stillbrook Bourbon, distilled and bottled in Illinois. Not exactly the first place you'd think of for bourbon production, but they obviously had a pretty good thing going back in...  More info
$131.94
This bright, bonded bottle of Old Forester Bourbon was produced in the 2000s, before the brand had got its snazzy redesign. Saying that, these classic bottles are handsome in their own right. When it...  More info
$81.19
The chap riding the horse atop this bottle of Blanton's Original Single Barrel looks pretty excited, and we can't blame him. Who wouldn't be happy to see this brilliant bourbon from barrel 102?  More info
$101.49
Wild Turkey as it was enjoyed by good ole boys in the early 1980s. The bottle is in great shape which probably can't be said for the good ole boys themselves. The seal is intact.  More info
$162.38
Complete with stars & stripes and the red, white & blue, this bottle of Medley's Kentucky Bourbon is a real American hero. This bottling comes from the 1970s.  More info
$202.98
A 4 year old Jim Beam bourbon, this bottle of white label is a rare collector's piece, bottled during the 1970s.  More info
Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon, coming from barrel 19, which is the same shirt number that Tore André Flo had when he played for Chelsea F.C. in 1997. Why do we know this? We don't really...  More info
$100.63
Barrel 115 of Blanton's Original Single Barrel was emptied in 2005! Somehow, this bottle has survived since then without being opened.  More info
$101.49
Eagle Rare is a great single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery. This 10 year old expression was very well-rated by Spirit Journal's F Paul Pacult.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$62.33
Kentucky Vintage
(70cl, 45%)
A small batch bourbon made from only a select few barrels. This is aged longer than most standard bourbons, which gives it an extra dimension. Each bottle is hand numbered.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$52.69
Old Grand-Dad - 1980s
(75cl, 40%)
The unmistakable Old Grand-Dad bourbon is as traditional as they come, which might be why it has been seen in many piece of literature, including the James Bond novel 'Live and Let Die', Raymond...  More info
$121.79
Henry McKenna Kentucky Bourbon comes from Fairfax, KY. Their 10 Year Old Single Barrel release was bottled in bond and is one of the small number of "extra aged" bourbons currently in production that...  More info
$121.79
This bottle of Jim Beam's classic White Label that dates from the 2000s.  More info
$40.60
Ultra-cool. Four roses Bourbon from the time of Gordon Gecko.  More info
$121.79
With a horse atop the bottle, you know it's Blanton's bourbon. This bottling of their excellent Original Single Barrel was taken from barrel 87 on the 6th of September, 2012.  More info
$100.63
A new 75cl bottle and label (which features a rather intense looking fellow with an intimidating beard) for Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old, bottled at 107 proof. It's still an awesome bourbon, packed...  More info
$125.59
Remember Rebel Yell back in the 1980s? Insert Billy Idol joke here. This rare bottling dates from when this delicious whiskey was only distributed below the Mason-Dixon Line!

Already sold out? Not...  More info
$162.38
Four Roses Yellow is aged for 6 years before bottling, making a smooth bourbon whiskey that is perfect in a cocktail. This bottling comes from 1990s, a pleasant collectible.  More info
$40.60
A collectible bottle of the well known Jim Beam Black 8 Year old, from the 2000s.  More info
$60.89
Echo Spring
(75cl, 40%)
A 4 year old bourbon, Echo Spring is produced at Heaven Hill.  More info
A single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery. This was named for Master Distiller Elmer T Lee, who joined the distillery in 1949.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$72.95
The sun shines bright above Kentucky, just not all year round, which is why it's great for making whiskey. This bottle of Golden Sun 6 Year Old dates from the 2000s.  More info
$40.60
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ATOM Supplies Ltd trading as Master of Malt. Registered office: North House, 198 High Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BE. Registered in England & Wales. Company number 3193057, VAT number GB 662241553.