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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.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

70cl, 43.20%
Woodford Reserve

The mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Unusual also for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where…  More info

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon
87
$36.84

Jim Beam Green Label

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

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

Jim Beam Green Label
3
$31.84

Buffalo Trace

70cl, 40%
Buffalo Trace

The new edition of the classic Kentucky straight bourbon, Buffalo Trace. A great whiskey, with oodles of vanilla, barrel char and spicy complexity.  More info

Buffalo Trace
75
$29.56

Maker's Mark

70cl, 45%
Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark maintain that they distil their bourbon to the lowest proof of any US whiskey distillery. This proffers a bourbon that retains a rich flavour. Developed by Bill Samuels Sr, he replaced…  More info

Maker's Mark
62
$31.47

Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve

70cl, 45.30%
Rebel Yell

A small batch release from the bourbon brand once favoured by Keith Richards and Billy Idol. A wheated bourbon made to William Larue Weller's original recipe, this 'Rebel Reserve' is bottled at a…  More info

Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve
$41.44

1792 Small Batch Bourbon

75cl, 46.90%
Barton Distilling Company

In the year 1792, Kentucky became a state. 1792 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is named after that wonderful year. It's a spicy, rye-rich bourbon which is just asking to be enjoyed on a sunny evening with…  More info

1792 Small Batch Bourbon
7
$60.18

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

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

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old
5
$42.50

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon

75cl, 45.10%
McLain & Kyne

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

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon
4
$64.92

Michter's US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon Limited Release

70cl, 45.70%
Michter's Distillery

Ever wondered what would happen if you took Michter's US*1 Bourbon (matured in charred American oak) and then went and gave it an additional maturation in toasted, but not charred, barrels (made with…  More info

Michter's US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon Limited Release
1
$75.94

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 50%
Jim Beam

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

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
2
$35.53

Wild Turkey 101

70cl, 50.50%
Wild Turkey

This bottling of Wild Turkey has been aged for at least 6 years before coming out of the barrel at 109 proof, it is only diluted slightly before bottling at 101 proof with plenty of pep.  More info

Wild Turkey 101
50
$37.69

Johnny Drum Private Stock (70cl)

70cl, 50.50%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

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

Johnny Drum Private Stock (70cl)
6
$50.03

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old

75cl, 51.50%
Heaven Hill

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

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old
7
$35.88

Evan Williams 1783

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

A superb Kentucky straight bourbon from Evan Williams, produced in small batches. The 1783 expression is named after the year that Evan Williams set up his distillery on the banks of the Ohio River.  More info

Evan Williams 1783
3
$39.00

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof (64%)

70cl, 64%
Heaven Hill

This batch of 12 year old Elijah Craig Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey was bottled at a barrel proof (or cask strength) of 64% abv. A truly stunning expression, with everything you want from barrel…  More info

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof (64%)
$116.31

Jim Beam Double Oak

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

A new permanent addition to the Jim Beam range, aged in freshly charred American oak barrels before being moved to a fresh set of freshly charred American oak barrels for the second part of its…  More info

Jim Beam Double Oak
1
$33.63

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 158

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

For admirers of top-notch bourbon, you can't go wrong with a bottle of Blanton's Original Single Barrel. It's matured in the legendary Warehouse H and each one is drawn from a single barrel - this…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 158
$73.30

Hudson Baby Bourbon

35cl, 46%
Tuthilltown Spirits

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…  More info

Hudson Baby Bourbon
1
$50.03

Whiskey Thief

70cl, 40%
Whiskey Thief

It's whiskey with a mask! Is it super whiskey? Whiskey Thief, you say? Well I'm sure he only robs so you can enjoy this straight bourbon, like some kind of Robin Zorro. It's matured in fresh oak…  More info

Whiskey Thief
$32.09

Stetson Bourbon

70cl, 42%
Stetson

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

Stetson Bourbon
$36.74

Old Grand-Dad

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Traditional bourbon from one of the oldest whiskey brands around, now bottled at the lower abv of 40%.  More info

Old Grand-Dad
4
$31.55

Old Forester Bourbon 1l

100cl, 43%
Old Forester

A genuine classic bourbon, Old Forester has been in production since the 1870s! This bourbon was founded by George Garvin Brown and is still owned by his family today. It was the first bourbon to be…  More info

Old Forester Bourbon 1l
1
$59.52

Rock Town Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey

75cl, 46%
Rock Town

From the Rock Town Distillery in beautiful Arkansas, comes their Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey (previously known as the Arkansas Young Bourbon, which won Double Gold in the Small Batch Bourbon 10 Years…  More info

Rock Town Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey
6
$59.96

Rock Town Arkansas Single Barrel Bourbon

75cl, 57.40%
Rock Town

Another of Rock Town's well-regarded single barrel bourbon releases, which have received scores as high as 96.5 points in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible! Milled, mashed, fermented, distilled, aged,…  More info

Rock Town Arkansas Single Barrel Bourbon
$82.09

Jim Beam Black Label 6 Year Old - Triple Aged

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

This is an updated version of the classic Jim Beam Black Label. This Bourbon has been aged for six years and is one of the most recognisable whisky brands in the world.  More info

Jim Beam Black Label 6 Year Old - Triple Aged
7
$27.40

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