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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 Whisky Across Countries

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Filliers Distillery
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
$231.03
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)
$76.05
"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
$154.02
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
$55.05
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
$231.03
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
$80.20
Evan Williams Extra
(70cl, 43.30%)
A darkly hued sour mash bourbon, aged for seven years. Rich feinty flavours like leather, vanilla and toffee. Very enjoyable.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$39.35
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
$152.41
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
$192.52
Cabin Still Bourbon
(75cl, 40%)
An old-fashioned style of bourbon, Cabin Still is a sour mash whiskey from the Heaven Hill distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$31.85
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)
$74.59
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
$63.45
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Part of Buffalo Trace's 2013 edition of their Antique Collection, The William Laure Weller Bourbon doesn't fail to make an impression. Bottled at "barrel proof", a...  More info
$200.72
Blanton's Straight From The Barrel bourbon is a serious treat, especially for those of us who love their whiskies at cask strength. This batch comes from barrel 68 and has been bottled at a mighty...  More info
$128.57
12 year old Elijah Craig Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, bottled at a sturdy barrel proof of 66.2% ABV. A truly stunning expression, with everything you want from barrel strength, well-aged bourbon...  More info
$111.97
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

A commemorative bottling of Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon, a limited edition release which honours the man behind the name.

Elmer started working at the Buffalo...  More info
$97.67
Blanton's was originally introduced in 1984, and it's the first official single barrel bourbon. It is matured in white oak. It is produced at the Buffalo Trace distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$84.04
Jim Beam White Label
(70cl, 40%)
Jim Beam bourbon undergoes distillation at lower temperatures and is distilled to no more than 62.5%, the White label is aged for four years and has quite a high percentage of rye in the mashbill.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$27.19
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
$297.53
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)
$48.21
A 1970s bottling of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from I.W. Harper, produced for the Italian market.  More info
$192.52
As the years go by, the Single Barrel releases from Elijah Craig seem to get older too. It makes sense, doesn't it? And let us tell you - sense tastes like awesome 23 year old Elijah Craig bourbon...  More info
$262.30
Charter 101 Bourbon
(75cl, 50.50%)
A rye-rich Kentucky straight bourbon, bottled at 50.5% ABV. The Old Charter brand has been around since the late 1800s, so when you read on the bottle that it was distilled "using the old, time-proven...  More info
$49.16
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
$85.34
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)
$118.90
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