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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

Balcones Whisky Distillery
Ardbeg Whisky Distillery
Origin Gin
Bruichladdich Octomore
Master of Malt Single Cask Whisky
Blend Your Own Whisky
A straight American bourbon whiskey from the Redemption range, featuring a rather high rye content and aged over 3 years. Take a look at the mash bill proudly displayed on the bottle and you'll see...  More info
$55.76
An absolutely superb single barrel bourbon. Wine Enthusiast rate this 96 points, commenting: "Wow". Rock Hill Farms was also Recommended by Whisky Magazine.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$119.40
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
$63.72
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
$72.50
Rowan's Creek is a small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co. This has a very smooth, rounded character with lovely spicy, fruity flavours.  More info
$61.80
Smooth Ambler is a fantastic craft distillery in West Virginia established in 2009 by TAG Galyean and John Little. Whilst they produce their own vodka, gins and whiskeys from grain to glass, this is...  More info
$85.69
When the Smooth Ambler folks are out and about, they'll come across a great bourbon, as you do (remind me to visit America some time soon), and bottle it under the Old Scout name in homage to the...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$74.92
A 7 year old straight Bourbon whiskey scouted out for bottling by the chaps at Smooth Ambler distillery in West Viginia. Made from a mashbill of 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malt, this top-quality whiskey...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$76.37
"Leg it! It's The Five-0!"
Don't worry, you're not going to get nicked for having a bottle of St. George Breaking & Entering Bourbon. In fact, it's the Californian distillery that's potentially...  More info
50cl of 4 year old Stillbrook Bourbon, distilled and bottled in Illinois. Not exactly the first place you'd think of for bourbon production, but they obviously had a pretty good thing going back in...  More info
$125.67
This bottling of Van Winkle Special Reserve was aged for 12 years, it received a Gold medal at the 2008 International Wine and Spirit Competition, bottled at 90.4 proof, this is a smooth, mature...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$125.86
This is a bottle of Very Old Fitzgerald, bottled at 50% abv after eight years' maturation… at some point in the 1960s. So one might refer to this as Very, Very Old Fitzgerald. Tantalising. It has some...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$241.67
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
$193.33
Wild Turkey - 1990s
(100cl, 40%)
A delicious and very rare 80 proof bottling of Wild Turkey bourbon. This was bottled at some time during the 1990s…  More info
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
Wild Turkey as it was enjoyed by good ole boys in the early 1980s. The bottle is in great shape which probably can't be said for the good ole boys themselves. The seal is intact.  More info
$154.67
Try Wild Turkey as it was enjoyed in the early 1980s, by hellraisers such as Hunter S. Thompson, who would no doubt have swigged it straight from the neck, then shot it with a magnum. Bottled at a...  More info
$232.00
A litre bottle of the glorious 101 proof, 8 year old Wild Turkey. This is a rare bottling from the 1980s - a collector's piece for sure!  More info
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 1990's bottling of the acclaimed Wild Turkey 8 Year Old Bourbon from Austin Nichols.  More info
$77.33
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
$116.00
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
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
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
$157.81
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