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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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From the 2011 release of Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection, William Larue Weller's high proof bourbon is a true monster, exploding with cinnamon, vanilla and massive spice. Truly a delicious whiskey.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$173.85
George T Stagg is an utterly superb high strength bourbon. Weighing in at a potent 71.3%. Every year this is a critically acclaimed whiskey from Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection. Roughly 15 years...  More info
This is a twelve year old Bourbon from the Heaven Hill Distillery bottled by Murray McDavid of Bruichladdich fame.  More info
A unique bourbon from Parker's Heritage range. This is a very rare example of a cognac cask-finished bourbon, although strictly speaking, we can't call it a bourbon at all as US laws dictate whiskey...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
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Blanton's, in all its iterations and guises, holds a special place in the hallowed halls of the very finest products the world has ever known. In a recent and quite possibly fictitious test, Blanton's...  More info
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Jim Beam Bowling Pin
(70cl, 43%)
A truly iconic bottle from Jim Beam, the bowling pins are even sought-after collectors' items when they're empty. This one is infinitely superior, because it's still full of Jim Beam. Dating from the...  More info
$405.29
Jim Beam Bowling Pin
(70cl, 40%)
A truly iconic bottle from Jim Beam, the bowling pins are even sought-after collectors' items when they're empty. This one is infinitely superior, because it's still full of Jim Beam. Dating from the...  More info
$405.29
A classic bottle of Beam from the 1970s. This 1 litre bottle is in great shape and makes a great collectors' item.  More info
$303.97
This is a bottle of Very Old Fitzgerald, bottled at 50% abv after eight years' maturation… at some point in the 1960s. So one might refer to this as Very, Very Old Fitzgerald. Tantalising. It has some...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$253.31
Old Rip Van Winkle is a world-renowned bourbon maker whose whiskies have won several awards over the years. This is the 10 year old expression.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$117.42
A rare, old 1980s bottling of the astonishingly lovely Wild Turkey 101 proof, aged for eight years and bottled at 50.5% abv...  More info
Old Grand-Dad - 1970s
(70cl, 43%)
This is a very old edition of the classic bourbon Old Grand Dad, distilled at the Booker Noe distillery in Boston, Kentucky. This is a 1970s bottling.  More info
Wild Turkey - 1990s
(100cl, 40%)
A delicious and very rare 80 proof bottling of Wild Turkey bourbon. This was bottled at some time during the 1990s…  More info
A litre bottle of the glorious 101 proof, 8 year old Wild Turkey. This is a rare bottling from the 1980s - a collector's piece for sure!  More info
A very cool Bourbon, this is a cask strength, 8 year old edition of Wild Turkey, bottled in 1976 and imported into Milan, Italy. Comes in a lovely old-fashioned cardboard box.  More info
A 4/5 quart, very rare blue glass decanter bottle of Jim Beam 8 year old. A real collector's item...  More info
A 1960s edition of 8 year old Jim Beam packaged in a sunburst red glass decanter bottle. Very rare stuff…  More info
A 1980s bottling of Jim Beam's classic White Label, drink whilst listening to classic 80s electronica.  More info
$202.64
This is the Jim Beam Bourbon presented in a special decanter and is a collectable item.

*Please note that the level of whiskey has dropped considerably*  More info
$74.54
This is a collectable Jim beam Bourbon presented in a decanter with a bird motif.

*Please note the level of the whiskey seems to have dropped very low*  More info
$74.54
This decanter of Jim Beam Bourbon depicts the Saturday Evening Post and is a collectable item.  More info
$74.54
This is the Jim Beam Bourbon presented in a decanter shaped like, well, like an armadillo... probably collectable but certainly amusing!  More info
$74.54
This antique decanter from the Bourbon distillery of Jim beam is a lavish commemoration of American Samoa and is a collectable piece.  More info
$74.54
This is an antique bottling of Jim Beam's eight year old whiskey presented in a decanter commemorating Beethoven, the composer not the dog...  More info
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Beam's Black Label 101
(100cl, 40%)
This is an antique bottling of Jim Beam's 101 sour mash Bourbon which has been bottled at 90 proof and in a litre bottle. It is both a collectable and also a great opportunity to try this whiskey from...  More info
$74.54
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