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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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Batshit Mental Ideas
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
$247.87
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)
$200.62
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)
$60.71
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 is a well-aged sour mash Kentucky bourbon, well rated by the Beverage Tasting Institute who awarded it 90 points.  More info
$78.15
One of the most astonishing bourbons you'll ever try. This was made in memory of Parker Beam - a member of the Beam family who had been in the industry for over 50 years. John Hansell even went so far...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Evan Williams 23 Year Old
(75cl, 53.50%)
Incredibly good, incredibly well aged bourbon. This is a cask strength Evan Williams, Jim Murray awarded this 95.5 points in this 2010 Whisky Bible - it was bourbon of the year! It was also an...  More info
$219.55
A really big bottle of Buffalo Trace, this is a 175cl bottle. Buffalo Trace is one of our favourite bourbons, it's a consistent, dependable whiskey which is great on the rocks, and great in an...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$98.65
An incredible single barrel bourbon from Heaven Hill, Evan Williams 2000 vintage is a beautiful whiskey, which Malt Advocate rated with 95 points! Amazing.  More info
Produced in the 1970s, this quart bottled of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a relic from years gone by. Fans of the famous brand will be happy to see this antique bottle in such good...  More info
$243.17
An old bottle of Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which we believe to have been bottled in 1968, over 40 years ago. Rare, collectible and in great condition, this is an excellent piece for fans...  More info
$243.17
Corner Creek
(75cl, 44%)
An 8 year old bourbon from the Corner Creek distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This is distilled from wheat corn and rye, and has a full bodied, round flavour. Made in small batches, each bottle...  More info
An 18 year old single barrel bourbon named after the Reverend Elijah Craig, credited with discovering the benefits of ageing bourbon in charred barrels. This is a rich and delectable whiskey, the...  More info
$77.51
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
$202.64
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
$202.64
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
$202.64
A 1983 bottling of Virginia Gentleman Straight Bourbon, made by the A. Smith Bowman distillery (which is owned by Buffalo Trace). The brand has since grown since this antique bottle was released, and...  More info
$202.64
A 12 year old wheated Kentucky straight bourbon named for William Larue Weller, allegedly the first to substitute rye for wheat.  More info
$68.58
Jim Hansell of Malt Advocate rated this 2009 release of William Larue Weller an amazing 96 points! A great bourbon from Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection.  More info
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

The second of four single barrel bourbons from Balcones, released as part of their fifth anniversary spectacular. The previous release sold like hot cakes on a cold day, and...  More info
$211.09
Great small batch bourbon from Buffalo Trace, at a high cask strength. As well as being voted Best American Whiskey at the 2008 World Whiskies Awards, George T Stagg is also Jim Murray's most highly...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Made by the folks at Buffalo Trace - this exquisite single barrel bourbon is matured to perfection.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Basil Hayden's
(75cl, 40%)
An 8 year old small batch bourbon. This was named for Jim Beam's historic Master Distiller, Basil Hayden Sr who, in 1796, created a bourbon with a mashbill whose base was of corn, with a mix of small...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$121.50
Baker's 7 Year Old
(75cl, 53.50%)
An excellent small batch bourbon, named for the grand nephew of Jim Beam, Baker Beam. This is a well-aged expression which makes use of a special strain of jug yeast which the Beam family have made...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$95.33
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