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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.

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
$30.32

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
$27.12

Ezra Brooks Black Label Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Ezra Brooks

This is the entry level bourbon from the Ezra Brooks range, which was first produced back in the 1950s. These days it's produced by Heaven Hill in Kentucky. Good value for money, this one, and well…  More info

Ezra Brooks Black Label Bourbon
$22.84

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.4%)

70cl, 69.4%
Heaven Hill

A barrel proof bottling of Elijah Craig 12 Year Old bourbon. Absolutely incredible stuff - powerful but not clumsy, it's an intense and awesome bit of whiskey deliciousness. This has been bottled at…  More info

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.4%)
1
$93.11

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
5
$28.93

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
$47.24

Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve

70cl, 45.3%
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
$35.02

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
$42.39

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
55
$18.90

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
$70.14

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
$25.56

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old - 1979

75cl, 50.5%
Wild Turkey

This is an 8 year old 101 proof (50.5% abv) bottling of Wild Turkey - the legendary bourbon from Austin Nichols. This is a rare 1979 bottling. Already sold out? Not to worry, we have plenty more…  More info

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old - 1979
$372.58

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
$43.25

Early Times Old Reserve

70cl, 40%
Early Times Distillery

Early Times Old Reserve Kentucky bourbon - a tasty expression from a very long-running brand. Interestingly, Early Times have their own cooperage to create the barrels that their whiskey ages in! A…  More info

Early Times Old Reserve
$20.76

Jefferson's Bourbon

70cl, 41.2%
McLain & Kyne

Jefferson's Bourbon is made in small batches with a mashbill of 60% corn, 30% rye and 10% malted barley. Interestingly, it's aged in lightly charred barrels, which imparts a distinctive flavour…  More info

Jefferson's Bourbon
$35.60

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
$25.95

Corner Creek

75cl, 44%
Corner Creek Distilling Co

An 8 year old bourbon from the Corner Creek distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This is distilled from wheat corn and rye, and has a full bodied, round flavour. Made in small batches, each bottle…  More info

Corner Creek
2
$47.09

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #2

100cl, 46%
Jefferson's

Here is the second box set from Jefferson's Wood Experiment series, which sees their bourbon finished in a number of ways, including in casks with different barrel char profiles, wine casks, insert…  More info

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #2
$106.32

Koval Bourbon

50cl, 47%
Koval

Koval bourbon is made with 51% corn (the minimum required for a bourbon) with the rest of the mashbill being made up by millet. This unusual choice, used to make distilled spirits in Nepal, is…  More info

Koval Bourbon
$43.42

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
1
$76.55

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
$31.04

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
3
$95.69

Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101

70cl, 50.5%
Dry Fly Distilling

A flavoursome bourbon from Dry Fly Distillers in Spokane, Washington, which was "100% hand crafted in the Pacific Northwest with real hands", as the label proudly proclaims. It's presented at 101…  More info

Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101
$70.20

Old Virginia 6 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Old Virginia

Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey aged for 6 years and bottled for the European market, especially France where the brand is best known. Good value and perfect for a variety of classic cocktails.  More info

Old Virginia 6 Year Old
$21.02

Roughstock Montana Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 45%
Roughstock

From the Roughstock distillery in Montana - the Land of Shining Mountains - comes a straight bourbon whiskey, made with a blend of four in-house bourbon recipes.  More info

Roughstock Montana Bourbon Whiskey
4
$50.09

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