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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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Bourbon Whisky Across Countries

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Jim Beam Devils Cut
(70cl, 45%)
This is the result of taking 90 proof Jim Beam Bourbon and extracting spirit absorbed into the wood of the barrels itself and blending them together. The result is a punchy oak-fest of a Bourbon...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$42.88
Stagg Jr.
(70cl, 67.20%)
The first batch of Stagg Jr. is here! It may be a younger, more approachable version of the George T. Stagg bourbon, one of Buffalo Trace's most loved (and hardest to get hold of) bourbons, but that...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$125.75
Maker's Mark
(70cl, 45%)
Maker’s Mark maintain that they distil their bourbon to the lowest proof of any US whiskey distillery. This proffers a bourbon that retains a rich flavour. Developed by Bill Samuels Sr, he replaced...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$43.28
Special Reserve is a lower strength single barrel bourbon from Blanton's. Each bottle is hand-filled, hand-labeled, hand-sealed and individually numbered.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$61.71
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)
$108.03
Buffalo Trace
(70cl, 40%)
The new edition of the classic Kentucky straight bourbon, Buffalo Trace. A great whiskey, with oodles of vanilla, barrel char and spicy complexity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$40.56
The mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Unusual also for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$48.53
Knob Creek 9 Year Old
(70cl, 50%)
Knob Creek is a small batch bourbon produced by Jim Beam, distilled in a more traditional style and aged 9 nine years. It is named for the area in Kentucky where Abraham Lincoln grew up, it is said...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$52.27
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)
$48.16
FEW Bourbon Whiskey
(75cl, 46.50%)
This Bourbon is from a mash of 70% corn, 20% rye and 10% two row malt. More interestingly it is aged in barrels made from Minnesota oak which has a shorter growing season hence a tighter grain...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$78.98
Single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery in a new 70cl bottle. This stuff is great and good value for money too.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$61.54
A great single barrel bourbon from Four Roses. Plummy and fruity with lots of character and at higher strength. This won Whisky Magazine's 2008 Best Bourbon Whiskey No Age award, as well as a host of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$83.94
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
$134.82
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)
$121.29
Elijah Craig was named for a reverend who lived in Virginia. He kept a warehouse where he stored barrels and one day experienced a devastating fire. He used the charred casks regardless and found they...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$60.71
A very old bottle of Evan Williams 8 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon made in the 1970s, which was charcoal filtered before bottling. This is an antique piece that would appeal to the whiskey...  More info
$201.87
This is a Traveler bottle of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon, produced in the 1970s by the Old Crow Distilling Company. Currently, the brand is owned by Jim Beam and is marketed with two other...  More info
$201.87
Aged for 12 years and 3 months. This was distilled during the summer of 1998, and it was aged on the 4th and 9th floors of Buffalo Trace's warehouses I and P, respectively. This offers notes of...  More info
$164.78
We loved the first two Jefferson's bourbons - classic US whiskeys with great balance. This 17 year old is bottled at higher strength and it's aged for a substantial amount more than the others - we're...  More info
$174.87
Created to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Parker Beam's tenure at Heaven Hill Distillery, this superb Bourbon is a limited release of only 4,500 bottles. Get it while you can.  More info
The 2010 release of George T Stagg from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. It is aged for around 15 years, and released every Autumn, and they are always highly rated, also at super high strength...  More info
$246.92
From Woodford Reserve's experimental Master's Collection, this is a Sweet Mash, made with fresh grains, as opposed to previously used grains (sour mash - a technique used to maintain consistency).  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$199.85
From Buffalo Trace's wonderful Antique Collection, William Larue well is a wheated bourbon, bottled unfiltered and at natural cask strength.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
The stunning third release of William Laure Weller from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. This was released in 2008, and it's exquisite. William Larue is a wheated bourbon and, despite its...  More info
Maker's Mark 46
(75cl, 47%)
This is for "educational" purposes only - not for sale, sorry!The first line extension to the Maker's Mark range since the '50s, Maker's 46 is essentially the standard expression with added spice...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$60.48
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