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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.

Bulleit Bourbon

70cl, 45%
Bulleit

Enjoy Bulleit Bourbon like the Americans do! Previously it has been bottled at 40% abv for the UK market, but now you can get the Frontier Whiskey at 45% abv, just like they have in Kentucky. A…  More info

Bulleit Bourbon
32
$28.56

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
3
$26.94

Baker's 7 Year Old

70cl, 53.5%
Jim Beam

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

Baker's 7 Year Old
1
$47.74

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon

75cl, 45.1%
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
$55.44

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
2
$42.72

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 52

70cl, 46.5%
Buffalo Trace

Another delicious Blanton's Original Single Barrel Bourbon, drawn from cask #52. These bottlings are much adored by whiskey enthusiasts and always fly out the door, so make sure you grab one for…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 52
$52.26

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 591)

75cl, 49.5%
Ezra Brooks

A 12 year old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey from the Ezra Brooks range, produced at Heaven Hill. This particular bottling was drawn from a single barrel - barrel #591, in case you were wondering.  More info

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 591)
$75.28

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (67.4%)

70cl, 67.4%
Heaven Hill

A barrel proof bottling of hugely flavoursome 12 year old Elijah Craig Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Sitting at a sturdy 67.4% ABV, it's an intense bourbon, so perhaps a drop or two of water…  More info

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (67.4%)
2
$94.11

Heaven Hill Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Heaven Hill

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

Heaven Hill Bourbon
18
$21.79

John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon

100cl, 46%
Heaven Hill

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

John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon
5
$48.64

Michter's US*1 Bourbon

70cl, 45.7%
Michter's Distillery

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

Michter's US*1 Bourbon
1
$53.83

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
57
$26.72

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%)

70cl, 69.7%
Heaven Hill

Barrel strength bourbon from Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig, bottled at a very generous 69.7% ABV. A few drops of water ought to help bring out the deep vanilla and fruits notes further.  More info

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%)
$94.11

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
5
$30.34

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014)

70cl, 43.3%
Heaven Hill

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

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014)
3
$34.17

Benchmark Bourbon Old Number 8

70cl, 40%
Buffalo Trace

Benchmark by name, benchmark by nature. This really is one for the more well Bourbon producers to beat, and despite its status as an outsider, really warrants some attention - especially if cocktails…  More info

Benchmark Bourbon Old Number 8
9
$20.61

Old Forester Bourbon

70cl, 43%
Old Forester

Old Forester Bourbon was the first to be sold in America in sealed glass bottles, to avoid any unsavoury folks tampering with their carefully-considered recipe. It was first seen on shelves back in…  More info

Old Forester Bourbon
6
$35.52

Evan Williams Extra Aged

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

A popular brand of bourbon from Kentucky, U.S.A., where it has been produced since 1783. Rich with vanilla and caramel on the nose which continues on the palate, it's produced by the Heaven Hill…  More info

Evan Williams Extra Aged
8
$25.84

David Nicholson 1843

75cl, 50%
David Nicholson

A somewhat seldom-seen (at least on these shores) brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, David Nicholson 1843 shows off a big, bold flavour profile and is bottled at 50% ABV.  More info

David Nicholson 1843
1
$40.86

Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish

75cl, 45.1%
McLain & Kyne

Jefferson's Reserve finished for nine months in casks that previously held Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Groth Vineyards in Napa Valley!  More info

Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish
1
$104.56

High West American Prairie Reserve

75cl, 46%
High West

American Prairie Reserve is named after the impressive 5,000 square mile wildlife reserve in northeastern Montana, the largest in the lower 48 states. High West are also donating 10% of post tax…  More info

High West American Prairie Reserve
$45.77

Kentucky Vintage 75cl

75cl, 45%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

Kentucky Vintage is a delicious small-batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. It's a classically styled whiskey with a lovely flavour. We can see it working very well in an Old-Fashioned.  More info

Kentucky Vintage 75cl
2
$35.11

Rebel Yell Kentucky Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Heaven Hill

In the midnight hour, she cried “more, more, more”, more delicious bourbon please. Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is now made at Heaven Hill, using William Larue Weller's original wheat…  More info

Rebel Yell Kentucky Bourbon
1
$27.67

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
4
$36.29

Wild Turkey 81 Proof

70cl, 40.5%
Wild Turkey

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

Wild Turkey 81 Proof
16
$22.90

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