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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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Dating from the 1960s, this is a huge US half gallon bottle (about 1.9 litres) of Stillbrook straight bourbon whiskey. It was distilled and bottled in Pekin, Illinois and aged for 4 years.  More info
$727.34
A rare 1960s bottling of Stillbrook straight bourbon produced in Illinois by the American Distilling Company. It was aged for 4 years and comes in a 1.2 litre bottle.  More info
$484.90
A rare 1960s bottling of Stillbrook 4 year old straight bourbon whiskey. It was distilled and bottled in Pekin, Illinois.  More info
$290.94
A 1970s bottling of classic Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Old Lewis Hunter. Guaranteed 6 years old.  More info
$290.94
This Wild Turkey 101 Proof (50.5% abv), aged for 8 years, offers a window into the past. It is bourbon from nearly four decades ago!  More info
$290.94
A rare bourbon from The Bourbon de Luxe Distillery Company, based in Frankfort. This spirit was bottled at some time during the 1970s…

Already sold out? Not to worry, we have plenty more Antique...  More info
$193.96
A 1980s bottling of Jim Beam White, that comes in its original box. It's in amazing condition and looks very drinkable. Best enjoyed watching the A-Team; it'll take your mind off wondering how they...  More info
$155.17
A huge 175cl bottle of Jim Beam's 4 year old White Label. It's got a jug handle! In fact it's almost as big as mobile phone from the same era. Slick back your hair and take the plunge; it's in great...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.5/5)
$484.90
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
12 year old sour mash bourbon whiskey from the Old Fitzgerald brand, currently owned by Heaven Hill. Lots of corn, caramel and spice behind this one - lovely stuff.  More info
$69.00
Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon is a favourite of many, and it's not hard to see why. Fantastic notes of vanilla, warm caramel, chocolate and orange, who wouldn't love to be served up a glass...  More info
$96.15
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
$36.72
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
$86.33
Part of the Old Scout range from Smooth Ambler, this 10 year old bourbon is rye-rich, well-aged and an absolute treat for long, sunny evenings. Bottled at 50% ABV, you can bet your bottom dollar this...  More info
$83.24
The "Extra" in "Evan Williams Extra" stands for extra aged, as it has been aged for seven years. Still made using techniques that Evan Williams used himself when he first made the fantastic bourbon...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$40.17
Produced in the 1970s, this quart bottled of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a relic from years gone by. Fans of the famous brand will be happy to see this antique bottle in such good...  More info
$232.75
This is an 8 year old 101 proof (50.5% abv) bottling of Wild Turkey - the legendary bourbon from Austin Nichols. This is a rare 1970s bottling.

Already sold out? Not to worry, we have plenty more...  More info
$290.94
Criminally good bourbon from St. George Spirits in California. Their Breaking & Entering Bourbon is made with whiskey sourced from rickhouses in Kentucky, "liberated" by St. George distillers Lance...  More info
$88.01
This handmade 12 year old Johnny Drum has been made by a method that has remained unchanged for 5 generations of master distillers.  More info
$41.59
A 4 year old bourbon from Heaven Hill. This is quite a smooth and easy style of bourbon.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$29.50
From the Rock Town Distillery in beautiful Arkansas, comes their Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey (previously known as the Arkansas Young Bourbon, which won Double Gold in the Small Batch Bourbon 10 Years and...  More info
$63.93
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)
$75.14
A sour mash bourbon from Heaven Hill, JW Dant Special Reserve has a strong rye influence.  More info
$29.50
This is a 2013 release of Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon from the renowned Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY. Made with one of 10 distinct recipes which the Four Roses distillers use...  More info
$138.07
An old bottling of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Or 'Old, Old Crow', if you will. If you won't, then let's just agree to call it 'Olden Days Old Crow' and be done with it. If you won't accept...  More info
$193.96
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