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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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A very cool Bourbon, this is a cask strength, 8 year old edition of Wild Turkey, bottled in 1976 and imported into Milan, Italy. Comes in a lovely old-fashioned cardboard box.  More info
A 4 year old Jim Beam bourbon, this bottle of white label is a rare collector's piece, bottled during the 1970s.  More info
A litre bottle of the glorious 101 proof, 8 year old Wild Turkey. This is a rare bottling from the 1980s - a collector's piece for sure!  More info
Wild Turkey - 1990s
(100cl, 40%)
A delicious and very rare 80 proof bottling of Wild Turkey bourbon. This was bottled at some time during the 1990s…  More info
Old Grand-Dad - 1970s
(70cl, 43%)
This is a very old edition of the classic bourbon Old Grand Dad, distilled at the Booker Noe distillery in Boston, Kentucky. This is a 1970s bottling.  More info
A rare, old 1980s bottling of the astonishingly lovely Wild Turkey 101 proof, aged for eight years and bottled at 50.5% abv...  More info
Old Rip Van Winkle is a world-renowned bourbon maker whose whiskies have won several awards over the years. This is the 10 year old expression.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
£69.53
This is a bottle of Very Old Fitzgerald, bottled at 50% abv after eight years' maturation… at some point in the 1960s. So one might refer to this as Very, Very Old Fitzgerald. Tantalising. It has some...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.5/5)
£150.00
A classic bottle of Beam from the 1970s. This 1 litre bottle is in great shape and makes a great collectors' item.  More info
£180.00
Jim Beam Bowling Pin
(70cl, 40%)
A truly iconic bottle from Jim Beam, the bowling pins are even sought-after collectors' items when they're empty. This one is infinitely superior, because it's still full of Jim Beam. Dating from the...  More info
£240.00
Jim Beam Bowling Pin
(70cl, 43%)
A truly iconic bottle from Jim Beam, the bowling pins are even sought-after collectors' items when they're empty. This one is infinitely superior, because it's still full of Jim Beam. Dating from the...  More info
£240.00
Old Grand-Dad 43%
(70cl, 43%)
Old Grand-Dad is a very highly regarded traditional style bourbon and this older bottling is 43% abv.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
£25.00
Blanton's, in all its iterations and guises, holds a special place in the hallowed halls of the very finest products the world has ever known. In a recent and quite possibly fictitious test, Blanton's...  More info
£83.95
A unique bourbon from Parker's Heritage range. This is a very rare example of a cognac cask-finished bourbon, although strictly speaking, we can't call it a bourbon at all as US laws dictate whiskey...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
£79.99
This is a twelve year old Bourbon from the Heaven Hill Distillery bottled by Murray McDavid of Bruichladdich fame.  More info
George T Stagg is an utterly superb high strength bourbon. Weighing in at a potent 71.3%. Every year this is a critically acclaimed whiskey from Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection. Roughly 15 years...  More info
From the 2011 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
User Rating:  Rating (3.5/5)
£102.95
Try Wild Turkey as it was enjoyed in the early 1980s, by hellraisers such as Hunter S. Thompson, who would no doubt have swigged it straight from the neck, then shot it with a magnum. Bottled at a...  More info
£144.00
Barrel 115 of Blanton's Original Single Barrel was emptied in 2005! Somehow, this bottle has survived since then without being opened.  More info
£60.00
Colonel Albert B. Blanton was the first to bottle single barrel bourbon years and years ago for his own personal reserve. Luckily, now we can all pretend were are the Colonel. This bottle of Blanton's...  More info
£59.49
Complete with stars & stripes and the red, white & blue, this bottle of Medley's Kentucky Bourbon is a real American hero. This bottling comes from the 1970s.  More info
£120.00
Wild Turkey as it was enjoyed by good ole boys in the early 1980s. The bottle is in great shape which probably can't be said for the good ole boys themselves. The seal is intact.  More info
£96.00
This bright, bonded bottle of Old Forester Bourbon was produced in the 2000s, before the brand had got its snazzy redesign. Saying that, these classic bottles are handsome in their own right. When it...  More info
£48.00
A new 75cl bottle and label (which features a rather intense looking fellow with an intimidating beard) for Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old, bottled at 107 proof. It's still an awesome bourbon, packed...  More info
£74.25
50cl of 4 year old Stillbrook Bourbon, distilled and bottled in Illinois. Not exactly the first place you'd think of for bourbon production, but they obviously had a pretty good thing going back in...  More info
£78.00
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