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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.

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
$32.97

Four Roses Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Four Roses

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

Four Roses Bourbon
13
$23.35

PennyPacker Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 40%
PennyPacker

PennyPacker is a good value Bourbon with all sorts of very American items on the label, like the American flag, American pennies and a particularly honest American President.  More info

PennyPacker Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
$25.93

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 143

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Brilliant Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon, drawn from but one barrel matured in the legendary Warehouse H, just like what the Colonel Blanton used to treat his friends and family with.…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 143
$65.79

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 308

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

The Original Single Barrel bottlings from Blanton's range harks back to the days when Colonel Albert B. Blanton bottled his own private reserve almost a century ago, drawn from a single barrel and…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 308
1
$54.93

Baker's 7 Year Old

70cl, 53.50%
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
$50.18

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
21
$22.91

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
$53.82

Garrison Brothers Texas Single Barrel

70cl, 47%
Garrison Brothers

An exclusive UK single barrel bourbon (selected by Master Distiller Dennis Todd) from Garrison Brothers, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas. Their previous releases, at the time of writing,…  More info

Garrison Brothers Texas Single Barrel
1
$101.65

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
$37.20

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
3
$35.82

Old Pepper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 43%
Royal Spring

The Pepper surname goes back in the history of bourbon, reaching into the 1700s! Could it be this legacy that this bottle of Old Pepper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is referencing with its…  More info

Old Pepper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
$27.56

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
25
$27.70

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
$46.55

Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea

75cl, 45%
McLain & Kyne

An exciting release from the Jefferson's range, this bourbon is initially matured on land for the lion's share of its maturation, before embarking on a sea-faring voyage, crossing the equator 4…  More info

Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea
4
$98.91

Jim Beam White Label

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

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

Jim Beam White Label
63
$20.08

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon 2015

70cl, 47%
Garrison Brothers

Straight bourbon from Garrison Brothers, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas! Highly rated by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible, this Lone Star state whisky is produced in Hye. (That's Hye, not…  More info

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon 2015
$81.32

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
$28.80

Marshall's Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 40%
De Luxe Distilling Company

Marshall's is a good value for money Kentucky bourbon, evidently produced in Bardstown since 1935 (a few years after Prohibition was repealed).  More info

Marshall's Bourbon Whiskey
$25.41

Evan Williams Extra Aged 43%

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

The "Extra" in "Evan Williams Extra" stands for extra aged, as it has been aged for seven years. Still made using techniques that Evan Williams used himself when he first made the fantastic bourbon…  More info

Evan Williams Extra Aged 43%
6
$26.76

Rock Town Fifth Anniversary Bourbon 37.5cl

37cl, 50%
Rock Town

A limited edition bourbon distilled in 2011, a year after this fantastic distillery was founded, and aged for four years in 53 gallon barrels before being bottled in bond to celebrate Rock Town's…  More info

Rock Town Fifth Anniversary Bourbon 37.5cl
$74.51

Johnny Drum Black Label

70cl, 43%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

Johnny Drum Black Label has been made by a method that has remained unchanged for 5 generations of master distillers.  More info

Johnny Drum Black Label
$30.06

1776 Straight Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 50%
James E. Pepper & Co.

The Pepper name goes way back in terms of bourbon production, back to 1776. Even James E. Pepper nick-named the whiskey 'Old 1776'. However, in the latter half of the 1900s, the James E. Pepper name,…  More info

1776 Straight Bourbon Whiskey
$49.91

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 599)

75cl, 49.50%
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)
$57.41

Michter's US*1 Bourbon

70cl, 45.70%
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
$56.58

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