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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.

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Popular Bourbon Whiskey Vintages

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A rather handsome presentation of Woodford Reserve's Double Oak bourbon, which is initially matured in charred oak barrels before enjoying a second maturation in heavily toasted, lightly charred...  More info
This small batch bourbon is named after Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, an incredibly important figure in bourbon's history from the 1800s who owned a whole host of distilleries and innovated production...  More info
User Rating:  (10 Reviews)
From the Blanton's Original Single Barrel range comes yet another delicious bourbon - this one drawn from barrel #566. As ever, this cask slumbered in Warehouse H, one of the favourite warehouses of...  More info
Made to commemorate the brave soul that was John J. Bowman, who explored the American frontier in 1775, presided over Kentucky's first county court and was the great, great uncle of Abram Bowman...  More info
Always popular among bourbon lovers, Blanton's Straight From The Barrel doesn't disappoint. Single cask bourbon, bottled at cask strength after being matured in Buffalo Trace's famous Warehouse H...  More info
A Buffalo Trace bourbon from their Single Oak Project, a fascinating undertaking from the Kentucky distillers which investigates the variables of bourbon production. This includes details about the...  More info
Four Roses Kentucky Bourbon has been produced since the late 19th century. This bottle of their 6 year old bourbon is nowhere near that old, although it is a rather handsome antique from the 1970s.  More info
This is a single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey from the Wathen's range. Distillation is obviously a tradition in the family behind Wathen's, with the current distillers being the 8th...  More info
"Head of the Bourbon Family" proclaims this collectible bottle of Old Grand Dad Bourbon, which we believe was bottled back in 1992. Get it? "Head of the Bourbon Family", because it's a Grand-Dad?...  More info
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 name?...  More info
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17 year old Eagle Rare Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey from the 2014 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. Simply, unabashedly awesome and sure to fly off the shelves. If...  More info
This handmade 12 year old Johnny Drum has been made by a method that has remained unchanged for 5 generations of master distillers.  More info
An old bottling of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Or 'Old, Old Crow', if you will. If you won't, then let's just agree to call it 'Olden Days Old Crow' and be done with it. If you won't accept...  More info
12 year old Elijah Craig Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, bottled at a sturdy barrel proof of 66.2% ABV. A truly stunning expression, with everything you want from barrel strength, well-aged bourbon...  More info
An absolutely superb single barrel bourbon. Wine Enthusiast rate this 96 points, commenting: "Wow". Rock Hill Farms was also Recommended by Whisky Magazine.  More info
User Rating:  (8 Reviews)
One of them there Traveller bottles of Old Crow 6 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which we believe to have been produced in the 1960s. Awesome stuff.  More info
Yummy bourbon from Blanton's Straight From The Barrel series, this one bottled at a spooky 66.6% ABV. Fans of Iron Maiden might be interested in this one...  More info
Single Barrel bourbon from Buffalo trace. Huge depth of flavour and a beautiful decanter to boot.  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
Old Weller Antique
(75cl, 53.50%)
Old Weller Antique is a gorgeous, excellent value wheated bourbon from the Buffalo Trace-owned William Larue Weller range, presented at 53.5% ABV. Plenty of oak-y character supported by...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Booker's True Barrel Bourbon is a full-bodied, intense whiskey from the Jim Beam range, named in honour of Booker Noe, their former Master Distiller. Presented uncut and unfiltered, after a 6-to-8...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
From the famous Four Roses distillery comes this fantastic Single Barrel 2014 release, made with their OESF recipe, a 75% corn mashbill with a full, minty and fruit flavour profile. It has been...  More info
A 1990s bottle of Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon, labelled 8 years old.  More info
Breckenridge Bourbon
(75cl, 43%)
A wonderful small batch high-rye bourbon produced in Colorado. The mash bill for Breckenridge contains 56% yellow corn, 38% green rye and 6% unmalted barley, and it's aged for 2 to 3 years in American...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
A rare bottle of Hiram Walker's Ten High Ten - a ten year old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. The Ten High name comes from barrel storage methods, where barrels were sometimes stored on racks that...  More info
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 and...  More info
User Rating:  (6 Reviews)
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