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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.

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
17
$21.83

Texas Legation - Batch No.1

70cl, 46%
Texas Legation

A bourbon distilled by Ironroot Republic Distillery in Texas for Berry Bros. & Rudd, named after the Texas legation which was set up above the historic London-based wine shop back in the 1840s.  More info

Texas Legation - Batch No.1
1
$51.94

Basil Hayden's Bourbon 70cl

70cl, 40%
Kentucky Springs Distilling Co

Basil Hayden's Bourbon dates back to 1796, when master distiller Basil Hayden used a traditional corn base, but mixed in small grains with the mash. A Kentucky straight bourbon with plenty of rye at…  More info

Basil Hayden's Bourbon 70cl
5
$38.51

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
$26.99

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 361

70cl, 46.5%
Buffalo Trace

Single barrel bourbon from the Blanton's range, drawn specifically from barrel #361. Always popular among whiskey enthusiasts, and always delicious indeed! Please Note: Unfortunately, the gold wax…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 361
$52.35

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
$20.65

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
5
$35.58

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
4
$30.40

Johnny Drum Private Stock (70cl)

70cl, 50.5%
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
$44.37

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
6
$25.88

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old

75cl, 51.5%
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
6
$30.70

Old Ezra 7 Year Old

70cl, 50.5%
Ezra Brooks

A 7 year old sour mash bourbon from the Ezra Brooks range (though on this one you'll find the name 'Old Ezra' emblazoned on the label).  More info

Old Ezra 7 Year Old
$43.79

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
$55.53

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
2
$28.77

Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon

75cl, 50.1%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

A 75cl bottling of Rowan's Creek small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co. who also produce Noah's Mill. Smooth, rounded spicy and fruity 12 year old whiskey. Yummy.  More info

Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon
3
$42.92

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
$48.72

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof (69.7%)

71cl, 69.7%
Heaven Hill

Barrel strength bourbon from Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig, aged for 12 years before being bottled at a very generous 69.7% ABV. A few drops of water ought to help bring out the deep vanilla and fruits…  More info

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof (69.7%)
$99.50

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #1

100cl, 46%
Jefferson's

The first box set in the Jefferson's Wood Experiment series! These boxes contain 5 different 20cl bottles of Jefferson's bourbon, each of which have been finished in different ways. Box Set #1…  More info

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #1
$107.65

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
$36.36

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
$47.83

Rock Town Arkansas Single Barrel Bourbon

75cl, 57.4%
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
$70.22

Jim Beam Devils Cut

70cl, 45%
Jim Beam

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

Jim Beam Devils Cut
22
$25.88

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 599)

75cl, 49.5%
Ezra Brooks

Ezra Brooks single barrel bourbon, produced at Heaven Hill, matured for 12 years in heavily charred cask (#599) and bottled at 49.5% abv.  More info

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 599)
$52.35

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 159

70cl, 46.5%
Buffalo Trace

Delicious single barrel bourbon from the Blanton's Original Single Barrel range. This particular bottling was drawn from barrel #159 and bottled at 46.5% ABV. The guy on the horse seems pretty stoked.  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 159
$52.35

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
$31.43

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