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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

Origin Gin
Kentucky Oak Barrels
Compass Box Distillery
Vintage Cocktails
The Hot Enough Vodka Co
Ardbeg Whisky Distillery
Prepare yourself for hellz-a-poppin' good times, Blanton's Straight from the Barrel is the very finest thing there is in all of the world. Oh my. This stuff is a sour mash whiskey, distilled from a...  More info
$103.39
Aged for 12 years and 3 months. This was distilled during the summer of 1998, and it was aged on the 4th and 9th floors of Buffalo Trace's warehouses I and P, respectively. This offers notes of...  More info
$162.47
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
$172.43
Created to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Parker Beam's tenure at Heaven Hill Distillery, this superb Bourbon is a limited release of only 4,500 bottles. Get it while you can.  More info
The 2010 release of George T Stagg from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. It is aged for around 15 years, and released every Autumn, and they are always highly rated, also at super high strength...  More info
$243.47
From Woodford Reserve's experimental Master's Collection, this is a Sweet Mash, made with fresh grains, as opposed to previously used grains (sour mash - a technique used to maintain consistency).  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$197.06
From Buffalo Trace's wonderful Antique Collection, William Larue well is a wheated bourbon, bottled unfiltered and at natural cask strength.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
The stunning third release of William Laure Weller from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. This was released in 2008, and it's exquisite. William Larue is a wheated bourbon and, despite its...  More info
Maker's Mark 46
(75cl, 47%)
This is for "educational" purposes only - not for sale, sorry!The first line extension to the Maker's Mark range since the '50s, Maker's 46 is essentially the standard expression with added spice...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$59.63
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 is a well-aged sour mash Kentucky bourbon, well rated by the Beverage Tasting Institute who awarded it 90 points.  More info
$76.77
We had the immense pleasure of trying this at Whisky Live, really great stuff; Van Winkle 23 is a super bourbon of epic proportions. They release yearly batches of this, all of which sell out rather...  More info
$602.69
One of the most astonishing bourbons you'll ever try. This was made in memory of Parker Beam - a member of the Beam family who had been in the industry for over 50 years. John Hansell even went so far...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
Evan Williams 23 Year Old
(75cl, 53.50%)
Incredibly good, incredibly well aged bourbon. This is a cask strength Evan Williams, Jim Murray awarded this 95.5 points in this 2010 Whisky Bible - it was bourbon of the year! It was also an...  More info
$215.65
A really big bottle of Buffalo Trace, this is a 175cl bottle. Buffalo Trace is one of our favourite bourbons, it's a consistent, dependable whiskey which is great on the rocks, and great in an...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$96.90
An incredible single barrel bourbon from Heaven Hill, Evan Williams 2000 vintage is a beautiful whiskey, which Malt Advocate rated with 95 points! Amazing.  More info
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
$100.98
A straight American bourbon whiskey from the Redemption range, featuring a rather high rye content and aged over 3 years. Take a look at the mash bill proudly displayed on the bottle and you'll see...  More info
$57.41
This is a rare bottle of Old Huckleberry Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, produced in the 1980s. A well celebrated brand, known in part for packs of poker cards, which they also made. The label has faded...  More info
$159.24
Corner Creek
(75cl, 44%)
An 8 year old bourbon from the Corner Creek distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This is distilled from wheat corn and rye, and has a full bodied, round flavour. Made in small batches, each bottle...  More info
Echo Spring
(75cl, 40%)
A 4 year old bourbon, Echo Spring is produced at Heaven Hill.  More info
An 18 year old single barrel bourbon named after the Reverend Elijah Craig, credited with discovering the benefits of ageing bourbon in charred barrels. This is a rich and delectable whiskey, the...  More info
$76.14
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
$159.24
A 12 year old wheated Kentucky straight bourbon named for William Larue Weller, allegedly the first to substitute rye for wheat.  More info
$67.36
Jim Hansell of Malt Advocate rated this 2009 release of William Larue Weller an amazing 96 points! A great bourbon from Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection.  More info
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

The second of four single barrel bourbons from Balcones, released as part of their fifth anniversary spectacular. The previous release sold like hot cakes on a cold day, and...  More info
$207.34
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