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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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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
$161.96
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)
$166.59
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)
$54.28
A seldom seen bottle of Jeffrey 3 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon, prdocued in the 1980s.  More info
$112.18
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)
$37.39
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
$280.45
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
$373.93
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
$224.36
A collectible bottle of the well known Jim Beam Black 8 Year old, from the 2000s.  More info
$56.09
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 (2.0/5)
$34.67
A 4/5 quart, very rare blue glass decanter bottle of Jim Beam 8 year old. A real collector's item...  More info
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
$373.93
Jim Beam Bowling Pin
(70cl, 43%)
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
$373.93
Jim Beam honoured the first 50 years of the naval Fleet Reserve Association with this tasteful bourbon whisky decanter in 1974.  More info
$280.45
Jim Beam has been making its famous Bourbon for many years. We've managed to get our hands on this bottle from the 1970s for you to see how the brand has developed over the years!  More info
$186.97
A 1980s bottling of Jim Beam's classic White Label, drink whilst listening to classic 80s electronica.  More info
$186.97
A classic bottle of Beam from the 1970s. This 1 litre bottle is in great shape and makes a great collectors' item.  More info
$280.45
An incredibly rare bottling of Jim Beam's 4 year old bourbon that dates from 1959 - over half a century ago!  More info
$467.42
A bottle of Jim Beam White Label, their four year old Kentucky straight bourbon, released in 1966, the same year that Batman defeated a fearsome shark with his Bat-Shark repellent. What a difference a...  More info
$224.36
A 4 year old Jim Beam bourbon, this bottle of white label is a rare collector's piece, bottled during the 1970s.  More info
A 1990s bottling of Jim Beam White Label, a classic bourbon that is aged for 4 years. As with all Jim Beam whiskey this collectible has a high rye content, lending it a spicy character.  More info
$74.79
This bottle of Jim Beam's classic White Label that dates from the 2000s.  More info
$37.39
This bottling of Jim Beam White Label comes from the early 1980s. A definite classic Kentucky bourbon which is matured for four years before being bottled.  More info
$149.57
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
$560.90
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