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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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A staggering bourbon from Four Roses, this is made by the Master Distiller who hand-selects four whiskeys from the company's ten different recipes and creates Small Batch. These bourbons are aged for...  More info
$184.83
Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Four Roses Bourbon in the best way possible: by raising a glass of this limited edition small batch, barrel strength bourbon. It is an expertly married mix of 3 ages...  More info
$149.29
A classy version of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey. While the regular Jack Daniel's is charcoal-mellowed before it goes in the barrel, Gentleman Jack is treated to a second charcoal-mellowing...  More info
$54.87
Great small batch bourbon from Buffalo Trace, at a high cask strength. As well as being voted Best American Whiskey at the 2008 World Whiskies Awards, George T Stagg is also Jim Murray's most highly...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
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
$234.72
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
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Autumn is always exciting. Not because it means Christmas is on the way and Halloween is just around the corner, but because it means the yearly edition of George T. Stagg...  More info
$296.55
It's here! This is the 2012 bottling of the acclaimed George T Stagg Bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery and boasts an incredible strength of 71.4% abv. This is a big, take-your-breath-away...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$182.55
The sun shines bright above Kentucky, just not all year round, which is why it's great for making whiskey. This bottle of Golden Sun 6 Year Old dates from the 2000s.  More info
$38.38
This is a twelve year old Bourbon from the Heaven Hill Distillery bottled by Murray McDavid of Bruichladdich fame.  More info
Henry McKenna Kentucky Bourbon comes from Fairfax, KY. Their 10 Year Old Single Barrel release was bottled in bond and is one of the small number of "extra aged" bourbons currently in production that...  More info
$115.14
"Eau de I. W. Harper... '12 year old'."

Oh, hold on - this isn't a massive aftershave bottle! It's whiskey from the 1970s!  More info
$230.27
The classic Kentucky Straight bourbon established by Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, I.W. Bernheim Gold Medal. This antique bottle comes all the way from the 1970s, and though the label has been slightly...  More info
$191.89
"It's always a pleasure..."

It certainly is always a pleasure to see a beautiful bottle of I.W. Harper Gold Medal bourbon, especially a collectible bottle from the 1980s.  More info
$153.51
A 1970s bottling of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from I.W. Harper, produced for the Italian market.  More info
$191.89
We loved the first two Jefferson's bourbons - classic US whiskeys with great balance. This 17 year old is bottled at higher strength and it's aged for a substantial amount more than the others - we're...  More info
$166.23
A superb bourbon, distilled from wheat in the fall of 1991, and aged in Stitzel-Weller Barrels. This is aged for 18 years and bottled in numbered batches, and has that same soft wheaty sweetness that...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$170.98
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 (4.0/5)
$54.16
The bigger, higher proof brother to the standard (and also excellent Jefferson's), Jefferson's Reserve is a well-aged, medium bodied bourbon. The previous edition was labelled as a 15 year old, also...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$85.41
A seldom seen bottle of Jeffrey 3 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon, prdocued in the 1980s.  More info
$115.14
Owned by the guitarist and singer of the rock band Jackyl (who also happens to be called Jesse James) this 3 year matured bourbon is a rare collectible from the 1990s, made in honour of the rough...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$38.38
A 175cl bottle of Jim Beam 4 Year old from the early 1980s. This big bottle of bourbon comes with a rather festive presentation box, leading us to believe that this could have been a Christmas present...  More info
$287.84
A 1960s edition of 8 year old Jim Beam packaged in a sunburst red glass decanter bottle. Very rare stuff…  More info
Hot pot of coffee! This in an antique decanter of 8 year old Jim Beam bourbon which double as a '50s style carafe, complete with starburst decals and diner label. It comes with a piece of kit that...  More info
$383.79
Although these days Beam's Choice is a 5 year old Kentucky bourbon, for a long time, it was an 8 year old. This bottle, which was released in 1979, features the 8 year old Jim Beam bourbon.  More info
$230.27
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