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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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Four Roses Bourbon
(70cl, 40%)
A brand that dates back to the late 19 century. This Yellow Label bottling of Four Roses was released for the European and Japanese markets and is made up of whiskeys aged between 5 and 6 years of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$33.92
Old Grand-Dad
(70cl, 40%)
Traditional bourbon from one of the oldest whiskey brands around, now bottled at the lower abv of 40%.  More info
$50.78
A Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon, released in 2014 and bottled at 53.9% ABV. These releases are made using one of ten recipes which Four Roses use for their whiskeys, with this one...  More info
$142.03
Breckenridge Bourbon
(75cl, 43%)
A wonderful small batch high-rye bourbon produced in Colorado. The mash bill for Breckenridge contains 56% yellow corn, 38% green rye and 6% unmalted barley, and it's aged for 2 to 3 years in American...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$103.32
In the midnight hour, she cried “more, more, more”, more delicious bourbon please. Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is now made at Heaven Hill, using William Larue Weller's original wheat...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$35.40
Stagg Jr.
(75cl, 67.20%)
The first batch of Stagg Jr. is here! It may be a younger, more approachable version of the George T. Stagg bourbon, one of Buffalo Trace's most loved (and hardest to get hold of) bourbons, but that...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$119.38
If you like your bourbon intense and packed with flavour, Blanton's Straight from the Barrel releases are a must-have for your collection. This particular edition came from barrel 389 and was bottled...  More info
$128.94
The Small Batch bottling is one of the select few releases from Four Roses. This edition was given a Five Stars in 2007 by Spirit Journal as well as a Silver Medal at the 2007 International Spirits...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$43.20
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

An excellent brand owned by Buffalo Trace that uses similar methods and recipes to the ones Colonel E. H. Taylor introduced and improved during his time as a bourbon...  More info
$159.63
Blanton's Gold Edition
(70cl, 51.50%)
A superb single barrel bourbon, bottled at cask strength. Blanton's Gold is distilled from a mashbill of corn, rye and malted barley. Each bottle is hand filled, sealed, labeled and individually...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$116.00
From the famous Four Roses distillery comes this fantastic Single Barrel 2014 release, made with their OESF recipe, a 75% corn mashbill with a full, minty and fruit flavour profile. It has been...  More info
$144.32
A great single barrel bourbon from Four Roses. Plummy and fruity with lots of character and at higher strength. This won Whisky Magazine's 2008 Best Bourbon Whiskey No Age award, as well as a host of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$63.87
The 2013 release of the Four Roses Single Barrel, a cracking Kentucky straight bourbon coming from single barrels rather than a blend of multiple barrels. This comes from batch #3-4D and has been...  More info
$127.36
Maker's Mark
(70cl, 45%)
Maker’s Mark maintain that they distil their bourbon to the lowest proof of any US whiskey distillery. This proffers a bourbon that retains a rich flavour. Developed by Bill Samuels Sr, he replaced...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
$41.06
Buffalo Trace
(70cl, 40%)
The new edition of the classic Kentucky straight bourbon, Buffalo Trace. A great whiskey, with oodles of vanilla, barrel char and spicy complexity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$34.82
FEW Bourbon Whiskey
(75cl, 46.50%)
This Bourbon is from a mash of 70% corn, 20% rye and 10% two row malt. More interestingly it is aged in barrels made from Minnesota oak which has a shorter growing season hence a tighter grain...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$75.54
A single barrel bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, packaged in an unusual, and rather smart Pot Still shaped bottle.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$69.26
Wild Turkey 101
(70cl, 50.50%)
This bottling of Wild Turkey has been aged for 8 years before coming out of the barrel at 109 proof, it is only diluted slightly before bottling at 101 proof with plenty of pep.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$43.46
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

This small batch bourbon is named after Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, an incredibly important figure in bourbon's history from the 1800s who owned a whole host of...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$159.63
The mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Unusual also for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$47.29
Knob Creek 9 Year Old
(70cl, 50%)
Knob Creek is a small batch bourbon produced by Jim Beam, distilled in a more traditional style and aged 9 nine years. It is named for the area in Kentucky where Abraham Lincoln grew up, it is said...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$45.89
Special Reserve is a lower strength single barrel bourbon from Blanton's. Each bottle is hand-filled, hand-labeled, hand-sealed and individually numbered.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$59.01
Elijah Craig was named for a reverend who lived in Virginia. He kept a warehouse where he stored barrels and one day experienced a devastating fire. He used the charred casks regardless and found they...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$49.75
Noah's Mill
(75cl, 57.20%)
Noah's Mill is an outstanding old small batch bourbon, containing whiskeys between 4 and 20 years old. Quite rare this, and very enjoyable in an old-fashioned.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$75.89
Single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery in a new 70cl bottle. This stuff is great and good value for money too.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$58.85
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