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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.

Bourbon Whisky

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Popular Bourbon Whiskey Vintages

Mature Your Own Kit
Glenfarclas Whisky Distillery
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STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

An excellent brand owned by Buffalo Trace that uses similar methods and recipes to the ones Colonel E. H. Taylor introduced and improved during his time as a bourbon...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$167.07
"Leg it! It's The Five-0!"
Don't worry, you're not going to get nicked for having a bottle of St. George Breaking & Entering Bourbon. In fact, it's the Californian distillery that's potentially...  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
$186.96
Kentucky Vintage 75cl
(75cl, 45%)
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
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
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Jefferson's Bourbon
(70cl, 41.20%)
A limited release, small batch artisan bourbon. This is very unusual, and offers a thoroughly distinctive flavour profile, thanks to its 6 to 10 year ageing in very lightly charred (Number 1 char)...  More info
User Rating:  (11 Reviews)
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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
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Single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon from Four Roses, made using their OBSK recipe - a rich, full bodied whiskey. A 2013 release, bottled at an eye-watering 64.6% ABV. These Single Barrel releases...  More info
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A well aged bourbon, Old Fitzgerald 12 is a very complex, rich whiskey from Heaven Hill. Jim Murray awarded this a staggering 93.5 points!  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
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A 75cl bottle of Buffalo Trace's stunning bourbon William Larue Weller, named after the man famed for being the first to create "wheated bourbon", in which the spicy rye grain is substituted for wheat...  More info
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$55.25
This is a 2013 release of Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon from the renowned Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY. Made with one of 10 distinct recipes which the Four Roses distillers use...  More info
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Charter 101 Bourbon
(75cl, 50.50%)
A rye-rich Kentucky straight bourbon, bottled at 50.5% ABV. The Old Charter brand has been around since the late 1800s, so when you read on the bottle that it was distilled "using the old, time-proven...  More info
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STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

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...  More info
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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:  (7 Reviews)
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10 year old single barrel bourbon from the Michter's Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. A brilliant expression - well balanced notes of dried fruit, oak-y spice and vanilla with a subtle herbaceous...  More info
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Ooh, a Blanton's Straight From The Barrel bottling! These little rascals are some properly awesome bourbons, all presented at enjoyably high strength. This particular bottling was matured in cask 388...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
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Single Barrel bourbon from Buffalo trace. Huge depth of flavour and a beautiful decanter to boot.  More info
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Smooth Ambler is a fantastic craft distillery in West Virginia established in 2009 by TAG Galyean and John Little. Whilst they produce their own vodka, gins and whiskeys from grain to glass, this is...  More info
Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Four Roses Bourbon in the best way possible: by raising a glass of this limited edition small batch, barrel strength bourbon. It is an expertly married mix of 3 ages...  More info
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Bowman Brothers Small Batch Bourbon, from the American distillery, A. Smith Bowman. Named after four Virginian Bowman brothers, John, Abraham, Joseph and Isaac. While that...  More info
$97.90
Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon is a favourite of many, and it's not hard to see why. Fantastic notes of vanilla, warm caramel, chocolate and orange, who wouldn't love to be served up a glass...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$90.35
As the years go by, the Single Barrel releases from Elijah Craig seem to get older too. It makes sense, doesn't it? And let us tell you - sense tastes like awesome 23 year old Elijah Craig bourbon...  More info
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A smashing gift set of Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a cocktail book and a Julep Tin. These metal cups would traditionally be used for Mint Juleps, a tasty cocktail of bourbon, spearmint...  More info
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Now: $32.58
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
$106.00
An experimental release of wheated bourbon from Buffalo Trace, with all sorts of in-depth, behind-the-scenes info about its distillation on the label. This edition went into the casks (two barrels) at...  More info
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STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

Autumn is always exciting. Not because it means Christmas is on the way and Halloween is just around the corner, but because it means the yearly edition of George T. Stagg...  More info
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