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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 mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Unusual also for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$47.50
The Pepper name goes way back in terms of bourbon production, back to 1776. Even James E. Pepper nick-named the whiskey 'Old 1776'. However, in the latter half of the 1900s, the James E. Pepper name...  More info
$73.46
In the year 1792, Kentucky became a state. 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is named after that wonderful year. It's a spicy, rye-rich bourbon which is just asking to be...  More info
$80.80
10 year old Ancient Age Bourbon, which is now the brand's 10 Star expression, from the 1980s. Ancient Age is now owned by Buffalo Trace. A very rare bottle, complete with the fancy presentation box.  More info
$155.17
This is the premium 10 year old version of Ancient Age - a Kentucky bourbon produced at Buffalo Trace. This is a rare old bottling from the 1980s.  More info
$155.17
A rare 6 year old straight bourbon from the 1960s produced for the Austrian market by the Frankfort Distilling Company.  More info
$290.94
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)
$91.24
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

A special single barrel release from the craft distillery that brought us the first ever Texan whisky. This release marks 5 years since Chip Tate founded Balcones (which...  More info
$153.55
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
$202.04
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)
$116.29
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
$71.34
This antique decanter from the Bourbon distillery of Jim beam is a lavish commemoration of American Samoa and is a collectable piece.  More info
$71.34
This is the Jim Beam Bourbon presented in a decanter shaped like, well, like an armadillo... probably collectable but certainly amusing!  More info
$71.34
This is an antique bottling of Jim Beam's eight year old whiskey presented in a decanter commemorating Beethoven, the composer not the dog...  More info
$71.34
This is a collectable Jim beam Bourbon presented in a decanter with a bird motif.

*Please note the level of the whiskey seems to have dropped very low*  More info
$71.34
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
$71.34
This decanter of Jim Beam Bourbon depicts the Saturday Evening Post and is a collectable item.  More info
$71.34
This bottle of Beam's Choice 8 year old bourbon comes from volume two of their collector's edition bottlings in 1967. The bottle features a painting of Georg Gisze by famed Renaissance artist, Hans...  More info
$290.94
Blanton's Gold Edition
(70cl, 51.50%)
A superb single barrel bourbon, bottled at cask strength. Blanton's Gold is distilled from a mashbill of corn, rye and malted barley. Each bottle is hand filled, sealed, labeled and individually...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
The chap riding the horse atop this bottle of Blanton's Original Single Barrel looks pretty excited, and we can't blame him. Who wouldn't be happy to see this brilliant bourbon from barrel 102?  More info
$96.98
Barrel 115 of Blanton's Original Single Barrel was emptied in 2005! Somehow, this bottle has survived since then without being opened.  More info
$96.98
Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon, coming from barrel 19, which is the same shirt number that Tore André Flo had when he played for Chelsea F.C. in 1997. Why do we know this? We don't really...  More info
$96.15
Happy 200th barrel, Blanton's! Yes, that's right, this bottling of Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon comes from barrel 200, which was matured in the famous Warehouse H. Nice!  More info
$96.15
Colonel Albert B. Blanton was the first to bottle single barrel bourbon years and years ago for his own personal reserve. Luckily, now we can all pretend were are the Colonel. This bottle of Blanton's...  More info
$96.15
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
$96.15
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