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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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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
$201.11
Great small batch bourbon from Buffalo Trace, at a high cask strength. As well as being voted Best American Whiskey at the 2008 World Whiskies Awards, George T Stagg is also Jim Murray's most highly...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
Made by the folks at Buffalo Trace - this exquisite single barrel bourbon is matured to perfection.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
A single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery. This was named for Master Distiller Elmer T Lee, who joined the distillery in 1949.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$69.39
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An intense 17 year old from Buffalo Trace, Eagle Rare is much thicker than some of the other small batch releases from the distillery.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$195.14
Eagle Rare is a great single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery. This 10 year old expression was very well-rated by Spirit Journal's F Paul Pacult.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$59.29
Basil Hayden's
(75cl, 40%)
An 8 year old small batch bourbon. This was named for Jim Beam's historic Master Distiller, Basil Hayden Sr who, in 1796, created a bourbon with a mashbill whose base was of corn, with a mix of small...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$115.76
Baker's 7 Year Old
(75cl, 53.50%)
An excellent small batch bourbon, named for the grand nephew of Jim Beam, Baker Beam. This is a well-aged expression which makes use of a special strain of jug yeast which the Beam family have made...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$90.82
Owned by the guitarist and singer of the rock band Jackyl (who also happens to be called Jesse James) this 3 year matured bourbon is a rare collectible from the 1990s, made in honour of the rough...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$38.61
If the clock on the label of this 1970s Old Charter Kentucky Bourbon only moved forwards 1 hour every year, it would accurately tell you how old this bourbon it, as it's pointing at 7 o'clock and this...  More info
$193.07
Wonderfully packaged, this 1970s bottle of Four Roses 6 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon comes with a glass. A very collectible and rather useful gift pack from over 30 years ago.  More info
$173.76
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
$154.45
A 2000s bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old Bourbon, still produced by the Van Winkle family today, although now they do so at the Buffalo Trace distillery. Their bourbon is made with corn, wheat...  More info
$231.68
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
$201.29
The horse atop the Blanton's bottle is almost as recognisable as the wonderful single barrel bourbon. Almost is obviously the major word in that last sentence, as Blanton's make some bloomin'...  More info
$84.27
A well aged whiskey from Old Rip Van Winkle, this bottling of Family Reserve has been aged for 15 years in heavily charred barrels, there is a high wheat con10t in the mashbill.  More info
Incredibly old for a bourbon, this bottling of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve was aged for 20 years and retains a beautiful sweetness, a perfect digestif bourbon.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
$269.30
Jim Beam Black Label
(70cl, 43%)
The Black edition from Jim Beam is a marriage of whiskeys aged for 8 years before bottling at 43%, slightly higher than the standard bourbon proof, proffering greater complexity.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (2.0/5)
$35.80
Evan Williams is a single cask bourbon from the Jim Beam company, this 1997 vintage is the most recent bottling from the range and won a Silver Medal at the 1997 San Francisco World Spirits...  More info
A single barrel edition from Four Roses, this bottling has received marked acclaim with Gold Medals in the 2005 Whisky Magazine and the International Spirits Challenge respectively.  More info
$71.60
Buffalo Trace was first introduced in 1999 and is a marriage of no more than 45 barrels of 9 year old whiskey, Buffalo Trace is also bottled by hand.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
"Eau de I. W. Harper... '12 year old'."

Oh, hold on - this isn't a massive aftershave bottle! It's whiskey from the 1970s!  More info
$231.68
Jim Beam honoured the first 50 years of the naval Fleet Reserve Association with this tasteful bourbon whisky decanter in 1974.  More info
$289.60
A collectible bottle of the well known Jim Beam Black 8 Year old, from the 2000s.  More info
$57.92
The sun shines bright above Kentucky, just not all year round, which is why it's great for making whiskey. This bottle of Golden Sun 6 Year Old dates from the 2000s.  More info
$38.61
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