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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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Master of Malt Whisky Liqueurs
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
$74.72
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
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Dating back to the late 1960s, this bottling of Jim Beam's classic white label is presented in a 1.9 litre bottle complete with handle for ease of pouring!  More info
$604.51
Old Grand-Dad - 1963
(75cl, 43%)
Wondering what to get your old Grand Dad? Why not a 1963 bottling of Old Grand-Dad Kentucky Bourbon? It's got his name already on it! Maybe cover up the "Old" bit to avoid offending him.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (1.0/5)
$403.01
An incredibly rare bottling of Jim Beam's 4 year old bourbon that dates from 1959 - over half a century ago!  More info
$503.76
A rare 6 year old straight bourbon from the 1960s produced for the Austrian market by the Frankfort Distilling Company.  More info
$302.25
Old Grand-Dad - 1960s
(95cl, 43%)
A 95cl bottling of Old Grand-Dad dating from the 1960s! This classic Kentucky Bourbon was established in 1882 and was produced as 'medicinal whiskey' during prohibition!  More info
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$403.01
A 1990s bottling of Jim Beam White Label, a classic bourbon that is aged for 4 years. As with all Jim Beam whiskey this collectible has a high rye content, lending it a spicy character.  More info
$80.60
This is a rare 1980s bottling of Four Roses Yellow Label, first created in the late 19th century. This is a deliciously spicy, rich bourbon aged for a minimum of 6 years before bottling.  More info
$120.90
A staggering single cask bourbon from the Blanton's range, this was distilled at Buffalo Trace and it was aged in barrel number 3 before bottling at natural cask strength (a whopping 131.9 proof!)...  More info
$134.94
This is the premium 10 year old version of Ancient Age - a Kentucky bourbon produced at Buffalo Trace. This is a rare old bottling from the 1980s.  More info
$161.20
Jim Beam has been making its famous Bourbon for many years. We've managed to get our hands on this bottle from the 1970s for you to see how the brand has developed over the years!  More info
$201.50
Blanton's regularly gets rave reviews so fans of this American whiskey will be pleased with this barrel strength whisky. Try Blanton's as it tastes in the cask!  More info
$121.59
Produced at the Heaven Hill distillery, Old Fitzgerald 1849 is a classic 8 year old bourbon, made with more wheat than rye. The result is a creamy, smooth whiskey. This is a rare edition, bottled in...  More info
$403.01
This is the replacement for the popular Elijah Craig 18 Year Old Single Barrel, and we have to say it's a rather fine replacement! Elijah Craig is attributed, by some, with the invention of Bourbon...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$206.94
It's here! This is the 2012 bottling of the acclaimed George T Stagg Bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery and boasts an incredible strength of 71.4% abv. This is a big, take-your-breath-away...  More info
$191.70
From the 2012 release of Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection, William Larue Weller's high proof bourbon is a true monster, exploding with cinnamon, vanilla and massive spice. Truly a delicious whiskey.  More info
$200.09
This is a bottle of Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon from 1997 and is great for reminiscing about Bourbons past, present and future!  More info
$120.90
This is a 1990's bottling of the acclaimed Wild Turkey 8 Year Old Bourbon from Austin Nichols.  More info
$80.60
This is a barrel proof (54.5%abv in this case) 1990's bottling of the Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon from Austin Nichols.  More info
$120.90
This is a 1996 bottling of the Knob Creek Kentucky Bourbon with an abv of 50%.  More info
$80.60
This is 1980's bottling of the classic small batch Bourbon - the Elijah Craig 12 Years Old. Elijah Craig is attributed with having made the first Bourbon, although in reality it was most likely an...  More info
$80.60
Beam's Black Label 101
(100cl, 40%)
This is an antique bottling of Jim Beam's 101 sour mash Bourbon which has been bottled at 90 proof and in a litre bottle. It is both a collectable and also a great opportunity to try this whiskey from...  More info
$74.12
This is an antique bottling of Jim Beam's eight year old whiskey presented in a decanter commemorating Beethoven, the composer not the dog...  More info
$74.12
This antique decanter from the Bourbon distillery of Jim beam is a lavish commemoration of American Samoa and is a collectable piece.  More info
$74.12
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