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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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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
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$72.43
Remarkably great value well-aged straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Previously a 15 year old, Johnny Drum Private Stock is made in small batches and is hugely satisfying.

This is a 75cl bottling.  More info
$56.54
Joshua Brook is a Kentucky bourbon whiskey bottled by Frank-lin Distillers Products Ltd. This bottle dates from the 1990s.  More info
$74.79
This bottle of Kentucky Colonel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey comes from the 1970s, a rare antique for collectors.  More info
$186.97
This is a rare 1980s bottling of Kentucky Colonel - a 4 year old bourbon from Kentucky. This is a collectible edition which was bottled especially for the Italian market.  More info
$149.57
A collectible bottle of Kentucky Eagle Bourbon Whiskey, which we think was produced in the early 1980s. The eagle on the bottle has a shield with the American flag on it tattooed on its chest. Ouch.  More info
$149.57
Kentucky Vintage
(70cl, 45%)
A small batch bourbon made from only a select few barrels. This is aged longer than most standard bourbons, which gives it an extra dimension. Each bottle is hand numbered.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$48.53
This is a 1996 bottling of the Knob Creek Kentucky Bourbon with an abv of 50%.  More info
$74.79
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)
$56.01
The Master's Rare Bourbon brand was founded in 1836, although this bottling dates from the 1970s.  More info
$186.97
Complete with stars & stripes and the red, white & blue, this bottle of Medley's Kentucky Bourbon is a real American hero. This bottling comes from the 1970s.  More info
$186.97
10 year old single barrel bourbon from the Michter's Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. A brilliant expression - well balanced notes of dried fruit, oak-y spice and vanilla with a subtle herbaceous...  More info
$133.91
20 year old bourbon whiskey from the Michter's Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, taken from single barrels personally selected by Master Distiller Willie Pratt. Matured for two decades in charred...  More info
$606.78
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
$186.97
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
$186.97
A well aged bourbon, Old Fitzgerald 12 is a very complex, rich whiskey from Heaven Hill. Jim Murray awarded this a staggering 93.5 points!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$61.43
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)
$46.82
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
$373.93
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
$39.26
An old bottle of Old Forester Bourbon, which just happens to be the first bourbon that was exclusively sold in sealed bottles way back in the 1870s, so nobody to tinker around with the formula. Clever...  More info
$186.97
This bright, bonded bottle of Old Forester Bourbon was produced in the 2000s, before the brand had got its snazzy redesign. Saying that, these classic bottles are handsome in their own right. When it...  More info
$74.79
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
$224.36
A 1970s bottling of Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a classic brand that's been around since the 1800s. Sadly, over the years, the label has been discoloured quite a bit due to poor storage...  More info
$224.36
Old Grand-Dad - 1960s
(95cl, 43%)
A 95cl bottling of Old Grand-Dad dating from the 1960s! This classic Kentucky Bourbon was established in 1882 and was produced as 'medicinal whiskey' during prohibition!  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$373.93
Old Grand-Dad - 1963
(75cl, 43%)
Wondering what to get your old Grand Dad? Why not a 1963 bottling of Old Grand-Dad Kentucky Bourbon? It's got his name already on it! Maybe cover up the "Old" bit to avoid offending him.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (1.0/5)
$373.93
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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.