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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.

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon

35cl, 46%
Tuthilltown Spirits

Made with corn, rye, wheat and malted barley, this is a 4-grain bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits, producers of the first legal pot-still whiskey in New York since prohibition! Each bottle is numbered…  More info

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon
$49.71

Kentucky Gentleman

70cl, 40%
Barton Distilling Company

A long-running brand, Kentucky Gentleman is a simple value-for-money bourbon with handsomely retro packaging. Evidently, the name dates back to 1879 - over 100 years ago!  More info

Kentucky Gentleman
$25.64

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
$29.52

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
$55.26

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
$38.75

Rock Town Arkansas Sour Mash Bourbon

75cl, 46%
Rock Town

Made with 62.5% corn and equal parts wheat, rye and malted barley with around 30% of the mashing water carried over from the previous fermentation to start the fermentation of the new batch. A must…  More info

Rock Town Arkansas Sour Mash Bourbon
$61.88

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
$36.50

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
$33.03

Willett's Pot Still Single Barrel 1.75l

175cl, 47%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

Willett's Pot Still Single Barrel is a massively popular single barrel bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. If you're a big fan, why not get a big bottle of it? This right here is a 1.75 litre…  More info

Willett's Pot Still Single Barrel 1.75l
2
$133.25

Bourbon de Luxe - 1970s

100cl, 40%
Bourbon de Luxe

A rare bourbon from The Bourbon de Luxe Distillery Company, based in Frankfort. This spirit was bottled at some time during the 1970s… Already sold out? Not to worry, we have plenty more Antique…  More info

Bourbon de Luxe - 1970s
$262.93

Old Lewis Hunter 6 Year Old - 1970s

75cl, 43%
Old Lewis Hunter

A 1970s bottling of classic Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Old Lewis Hunter. Guaranteed 6 years old.  More info

Old Lewis Hunter 6 Year Old - 1970s
$292.14

Jim Beam White Label - 1970s

Jim Beam

A large 1970s bottle of Jim Beam White Label Bourbon, which is aged for four years before it's bottled. Unfortunately, while this bottle is bigger than your average one, they didn't actually put its…  More info

Jim Beam White Label - 1970s
$219.11

Kentucky Boat Bourbon - 1970s

70cl, 40%
Kentucky Boat

This is an ancient bottle of Kentucky Boat Bourbon Whiskey, produced over 30 years ago in the 1970s. Is the name (and the wonderful label) a reference to how bourbon used to be transported from…  More info

Kentucky Boat Bourbon - 1970s
$175.28

Jim Beam White Label - 1970s

75cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Jim Beam White Label sour mash Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, produced all the way back in the 1970s. Jim Beam boffins would surely love this collectible piece.  More info

Jim Beam White Label - 1970s
$219.11

Jim Beam White Label - 1978

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

This is a bottle of Jim Beam White Label, which we think was produced in 1978. A collectible antique for whiskey lovers, though unfortunately this bottle looks to have suffered at the hands of time,…  More info

Jim Beam White Label - 1978
$219.11

Jim Beam White Label - bottled 1982

70cl, 0%
Jim Beam

A bottle of Jim Beam White Label which we think was bottled way back in the '80s. 1982, to be specific. Oddly, the label doesn't seem to feature an ABV listing... Please note that the label does…  More info

Jim Beam White Label - bottled 1982
$175.28

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)
$63.56

Woodford Reserve 2001 - Kentucky Derby 127

100cl, 45.20%
Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve's annual Kentucky Derby special edition bottling from 2001, the third release of its kind.  More info

Woodford Reserve 2001 - Kentucky Derby 127
$127.55

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
$28.13

Kentucky's Friend Bourbon - 1990s

100cl, 40%
Kentucky's Friend

A collectible bottle of Kentucky's Friend Bourbon, which we believe to have been produced in the 1990s. It's got a pretty hefty-looking steam locomotive on the label. There's also a floating pocket…  More info

Kentucky's Friend Bourbon - 1990s
$175.28

Gold Country 8 Year Old Bourbon - 1990s

70cl, 40%
Gold Country

This is a collectible bottle of Gold Country 8 Year Old Bourbon, produced in the 1990s. If you lived in Gold Country, you might wear a top hat a yell at unidentified things like the chap on the label.  More info

Gold Country 8 Year Old Bourbon - 1990s
$146.07

Ancient Age Kentucky Bourbon 1l - 1980s

100cl, 40%
Ancient Age

This rare bottling of Ancient Age Kentucky Bourbon comes from the 1980s, with its name becoming increasingly apt. This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information and…  More info

Ancient Age Kentucky Bourbon 1l - 1980s
$175.28

Bowman's Classic Bourbon - 1990s

70cl, 40%
A. Smith Bowman

A collectible bottle of Bowman's Classic Bourbon from the 1990s. Very unlikely this was named after David Bowman from 2001: A Space Odyssey - more likely it was named after Abram Smith Bowman, who…  More info

Bowman's Classic Bourbon - 1990s
1
$146.07

Black Eagle Bourbon - 1980s

100cl, 40%
Eagle Distilled Products

A 1980s bottling of sour mash Kentucky bourbon whisky featuring a black eagle and a Confederate flag. This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information and photographs of…  More info

Black Eagle Bourbon - 1980s
$219.11

Hiram Walker's Ten High - 1979

113cl, 40%
Hiram Walker and Sons

Ten high is not a great poker hand, but this bottle of Hiran Walker's Ten High is an awesome antique! This particular 113cl bottle of Ten High was produced back in 1979... This bottle was part of…  More info

Hiram Walker's Ten High - 1979
$262.93

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