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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 Whisky

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Bourbon Whiskey Across Countries

Bourbon Whisky Across Countries

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Hudson Baby Bourbon
(50cl, 46%)
Hudson Baby Bourbon is the first legal pot-still whiskey to be produced in New York since prohibition!

In the days before prohibition farm distillers could be found throughout the state of New York...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$77.65
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)
$50.42
Kentucky Vintage 75cl
(75cl, 45%)
Kentucky Vintage is a delicious small-batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. It's a classically styled whiskey with a lovely flavour. We can see it working very well in an Old-Fashioned.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$50.66
Four Roses Bourbon
(70cl, 40%)
A brand that dates back to the late 19 century. This Yellow Label bottling of Four Roses was released for the European and Japanese markets and is made up of whiskeys aged between 5 and 6 years of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$35.37
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 (3.5/5)
$56.83
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Bowman Brothers Small Batch Bourbon, from the American distillery, A. Smith Bowman. Named after four Virginian Bowman brothers, John, Abraham, Joseph and Isaac. While that...  More info
$82.99
This is an updated version of the classic Jim Beam Black Label. This Bourbon has been aged for six years and is one of the most recognisable whisky brands in the world.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$36.51
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
$65.44
Wild Turkey 81 Proof
(70cl, 40.50%)
A lower strength bourbon from Wild Turkey, bottled at 81 proof (40.5% abv) and created by the associate distiller Eddie Russell, the son of master distiller Jimmy Russell. This has a high rye content...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$36.93
Single Barrel bourbon from Buffalo trace. Huge depth of flavour and a beautiful decanter to boot.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$108.91
A 1970s bottling of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from I.W. Harper, produced for the Italian market.  More info
$241.61
A 75cl bottling of Rowan's Creek small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co. who also produce Noah's Mill. Smooth, rounded spicy and fruity 12 year old whiskey. Yummy.  More info
$75.50
Jim Beam Green Label
(70cl, 40%)
Jim Beam Green Label is aged for five years then filtered through charcoal, which gives it a remarkably smooth flavour. It's great for bourbon cocktails, and is one of our favourite Beams.  More info
$43.94
In the midnight hour, she cried “more, more, more”, more delicious bourbon please. Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is now made at Heaven Hill, using William Larue Weller's original wheat...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$40.82
Old Fitzgerald is made with wheat as the secondary grain instead of rye, not unlike Maker's Mark in this respect. The result is a smoother, suppler bourbon.  More info
$38.62
Stetson Bourbon
(70cl, 42%)
Named for John B Stetson and originally launched for the German market, this bourbon honours the chap who invented a stalwart in my "top 7 hats" list, recently knocked off the number 3 spot by the...  More info
$50.66
Jim Beam White Label
(70cl, 40%)
Jim Beam bourbon undergoes distillation at lower temperatures and is distilled to no more than 62.5%, the White label is aged for four years and has quite a high percentage of rye in the mashbill.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$29.65
Fighting Cock 6 Year Old
(70cl, 51.50%)
Bottled at 103 proof (or 51.5% if you are a fellow Limey), this higher strength proffers a far more punchy character. Fighting Cock is a Kentucky bourbon aged for 6 years.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$50.59
The famous bourbon brand Old Fitzgerald was named for John E. Fitzgerald, who according to a family biography of Pappy Van Winkle may have been a rather more colourful character than we...  More info
$78.00
An old bottling of Old Crow bourbon. Or 'Old, Old Crow', if you will.  More info
$201.35
Old Forester Bourbon
(100cl, 43%)
A genuine classic bourbon, Old Forester has been in production since the 1870s! This bourbon was founded by George Garvin Brown and is still owned by his family today. It was the first bourbon to be...  More info
$99.58
This handmade 12 year old Johnny Drum has been made by a method that has remained unchanged for 5 generations of master distillers.  More info
$43.17
A 4 year old bourbon from Heaven Hill. This is quite a smooth and easy style of bourbon.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.5/5)
$34.25
American Prairie Reserve is named after the impressive 5,000 square mile wildlife reserve in northeastern Montana, the largest in the lower 48 states. High West are also donating 10% of post tax...  More info
$82.40
Barrel 202 of Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon was emptied in February 2013 after maturing in the legendary Warehouse H. Classic, well loved bourbon.  More info
$99.82
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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.