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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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Grain Whisky
(226)
Origin Gin
FEW Spirits
Mature Your Own Kit
The Hot Enough Vodka Co
American White Oak Toasted Barrels
Worship Street Whistling Shop
The famous bourbon brand Old Fitzgerald was named for John E. Fitzgerald, who according to a family biography of Pappy Van Winkle may have been a rather more colourful character than we...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$72.56
Made with corn, rye, wheat and malted barley, this is a 4-grain bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits, producers of the first legal pot-still whiskey in New York since prohibition! Each bottle is numbered...  More info
$63.93
Jim Beam Green Label
(70cl, 40%)
Jim Beam Green Label is aged for five years then filtered through charcoal, which gives it a remarkably smooth flavour. It's great for bourbon cocktails, and is one of our favourite Beams.  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$38.99
Hudson Baby Bourbon
(35cl, 46%)
Hudson Baby Bourbon is the first legal pot-still whiskey to be produced in New York since prohibition!

In the days before prohibition farm distillers could be found throughout the state of New York...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$63.93
A cask strength bourbon, this is the flagship bourbon from the Johnny Drum range of handmade bourbons, produced in small batches. (Previously a 15 year old.)  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
$63.74
Part of the Old Scout range from Smooth Ambler, this 10 year old bourbon is rye-rich, well-aged and an absolute treat for long, sunny evenings. Bottled at 50% ABV, you can bet your bottom dollar this...  More info
$93.56
Michter's US*1 Bourbon
(70cl, 45.70%)
The US*1 Bourbon from Michter's Distiller in Louisville, Kentucky, is made in small batches, typically comprised of no more than two dozen barrels. Top quality stuff, brimming with caramel, vanilla...  More info
$80.31
The Jim Beam Signature Craft is the Kentucky distillery's small batch range of bourbons, including this 12 year old expression. The 12 years in the barrel seems to have been just the right amount of...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$54.23
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:  (4 Reviews)
$73.27
The Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey releases from Evan Williams are always a treat. They're well made, aged for around 9 years and offer great value for money. Ace. This is the 2004...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$52.74
Stetson Bourbon
(70cl, 42%)
Named for John B Stetson and originally launched for the German market, this bourbon honours the chap who invented a stalwart in my "top 7 hats" list, recently knocked off the number 3 spot by the...  More info
$46.81
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:  (10 Reviews)
$32.42
Jefferson's Bourbon
(70cl, 41.20%)
A limited release, small batch artisan bourbon. This is very unusual, and offers a thoroughly distinctive flavour profile, thanks to its 6 to 10 year ageing in very lightly charred (Number 1 char)...  More info
User Rating:  (12 Reviews)
$53.67
An absolutely superb single barrel bourbon. Wine Enthusiast rate this 96 points, commenting: "Wow". Rock Hill Farms was also Recommended by Whisky Magazine.  More info
User Rating:  (8 Reviews)
$153.81
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:  (23 Reviews)
$45.82
All the way from the FEW Spirits craft distillery out in Evanston, Illinois, here's a cracking cask strength Bourbon Whiskey, ready to impart awe into every American whiskey fan's consciousness...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$107.61
Fighting Cock 6 Year Old
(75cl, 51.50%)
Bottled at 103 proof (or 51.5% if you are a fellow Limey), this higher strength proffers a far more punchy character. Fighting Cock is a Kentucky bourbon aged for 6 years.  More info
User Rating:  (5 Reviews)
$45.71
The bigger, higher proof brother to the standard (and also excellent Jefferson's), Jefferson's Reserve is a well-aged, medium bodied bourbon. The previous edition was labelled as a 15 year old, also...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$83.36
Wild Turkey 81 Proof
(70cl, 40.50%)
A lower strength bourbon from Wild Turkey, bottled at 81 proof (40.5% abv) and created by the associate distiller Eddie Russell, the son of master distiller Jimmy Russell. This has a high rye content...  More info
User Rating:  (9 Reviews)
$34.30
Heaven Hill Bourbon
(70cl, 40%)
A classic Kentucky straight bourbon from Heaven Hill, aged for around four years. This is quite a smooth and easy style of bourbon.  More info
User Rating:  (13 Reviews)
$30.96
Jim Beam Devils Cut
(70cl, 45%)
This is the result of taking 90 proof Jim Beam Bourbon and extracting spirit absorbed into the wood of the barrels itself and blending them together. The result is a punchy oak-fest of a Bourbon...  More info
User Rating:  (11 Reviews)
$39.44
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an utter classic small batch bourbon from Jim Beam, first created by Booker Noe and introduced in 1992. It was named after the creek which flows near...  More info
$44.93
Jim Beam White Label
(70cl, 40%)
Jim Beam bourbon undergoes distillation at lower temperatures and is distilled to no more than 62.5%, the White label is aged for four years and has quite a high percentage of rye in the mashbill.  More info
User Rating:  (49 Reviews)
$27.72
Baker's 7 Year Old
(70cl, 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:  (1 Review)
$70.78
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
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$58.32
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