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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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Ardbeg Whisky Distillery
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A very rare, old brand, this bottle of Fleischmann’s Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey dates from the 1960s. What a treat!  More info
$281.21
Bottled in 1987, this is a lovingly presented bottle of Evan Williams 7 year old bourbon, which is now known as Evan Williams Extra. It even comes with a fancy presentation box! Nice!  More info
$149.98
An old bottle of Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which we believe to have been bottled in 1968, over 40 years ago. Rare, collectible and in great condition, this is an excellent piece for fans...  More info
$224.96
A collectible bottle of Kentucky Eagle Bourbon Whiskey, which we think was produced in the early 1980s. The eagle on the bottle has a shield with the American flag on it tattooed on its chest. Ouch.  More info
$149.98
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
$92.94
This is a Traveler bottle of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon, produced in the 1970s by the Old Crow Distilling Company. Currently, the brand is owned by Jim Beam and is marketed with two other...  More info
$187.47
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)
$74.05
Ancient Age Bourbon
(75cl, 40%)
Ancient Age is a Kentucky straight bourbon that has been around since 1946, currently made by Buffalo Trace. A simple, classic bourbon, no stranger to being sipped neat or splashed in a cocktail.  More info
$37.23
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
$149.98
A very old example of Early Times Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which we believe to have been distilled in 1964 and bottled in 1968. While the label has sadly faded quite a bit, the bottle otherwise...  More info
$224.96
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)
$31.01
This bottle of Kentucky Colonel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey comes from the 1970s, a rare antique for collectors.  More info
$187.47
Bourbon fans born in 1972, this one's for you! Evan Williams 7 Year Old Straight Kentucky Bourbon released in 1972. If you're not born in 1972, get out! Not for you! (Only joking! Just because it's...  More info
$224.96
A gift pack of Woodford Reserve Kentucky straight bourbon. We've always loved the bottle, and now it's got got a beautiful box to match. Also, the bourbon is pretty darn special too. Triple distilled...  More info
$51.48
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
$224.96
"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
$149.98
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
$374.94
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
$53.60
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
$224.96
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)
$46.95
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
$281.21
20 year old bourbon whiskey from the Michter's Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, taken from single barrels personally selected by Master Distiller Willie Pratt. Matured for two decades in charred...  More info
$608.42
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
$187.47
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
$61.79
A barrel proof bottling of hugely flavoursome 12 year old Elijah Craig Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Sitting at a sturdy 67.4% ABV, it's an intense bourbon, so perhaps a drop or two of water...  More info
$108.23
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