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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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From the 2012 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
$200.13
Jim Beam Black Label
(70cl, 43%)
The Black edition from Jim Beam is a marriage of whiskeys aged for 8 years before bottling at 43%, slightly higher than the standard bourbon proof, proffering greater complexity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$37.37
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
$140.99
A staggering single cask bourbon from the Blanton's range, this was distilled at Buffalo Trace and it was aged in barrel number 3 before bottling at natural cask strength (a whopping 131.9 proof!)...  More info
$134.96
Dating back to the late 1960s, this bottling of Jim Beam's classic white label is presented in a 1.9 litre bottle complete with handle for ease of pouring!  More info
$604.61
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
$164.50
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
$74.13
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
$403.07
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
This is a bottle of Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon from 1997 and is great for reminiscing about Bourbons past, present and future!  More info
$120.92
This is 1980's bottling of the classic small batch Bourbon - the Elijah Craig 12 Years Old. Elijah Craig is attributed with having made the first Bourbon, although in reality it was most likely an...  More info
$80.61
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
$218.35
This is the Jim Beam Bourbon presented in a decanter shaped like, well, like an armadillo... probably collectable but certainly amusing!  More info
$74.13
A 4/5 quart, very rare blue glass decanter bottle of Jim Beam 8 year old. A real collector's item...  More info
Produced at the Heaven Hill distillery, Old Fitzgerald 1849 is a classic 8 year old bourbon, made with more wheat than rye. The result is a creamy, smooth whiskey. This is a rare edition, bottled in...  More info
$403.07
A well aged whiskey from Old Rip Van Winkle, this bottling of Family Reserve has been aged for 15 years in heavily charred barrels, there is a high wheat con10t in the mashbill.  More info
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
$74.13
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
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
$246.51
If the clock on the label of this 1970s Old Charter Kentucky Bourbon only moved forwards 1 hour every year, it would accurately tell you how old this bourbon it, as it's pointing at 7 o'clock and this...  More info
$201.54
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
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
$77.73
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 12 year old wheated Kentucky straight bourbon named for William Larue Weller, allegedly the first to substitute rye for wheat.  More info
$68.20
This is a barrel proof (54.5%abv in this case) 1990's bottling of the Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon from Austin Nichols.  More info
$120.92
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