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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.

Michter’s 10 Year Old Bourbon

70cl, 47.20%
Michter's Distillery

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

Michter’s 10 Year Old Bourbon
$94.09

Wathen's Single Barrel Bourbon

75cl, 47%
Wathen's

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

Wathen's Single Barrel Bourbon
$51.28

Old Forester Bourbon 1l

100cl, 43%
Old Forester

A genuine classic bourbon, Old Forester has been in production since the 1870s! This bourbon was founded by George Garvin Brown and is still owned by his family today. It was the first bourbon to be…  More info

Old Forester Bourbon 1l
1
$53.19

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
$157.65

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - Seasoned Oak Finish

70cl, 50.20%
Woodford Reserve

Woodford Reserve's Master's Collection explores some rather interesting production processes. The 2009 release from the range is the Seasoned Oak Finish, which sees their properly excellent bourbon…  More info

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - Seasoned Oak Finish
$131.38

Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year Old

75cl, 45.20%
Old Rip Van Winkle

This bottling of Van Winkle Special Reserve was aged for 12 years, it received a Gold medal at the 2008 International Wine and Spirit Competition, bottled at 90.4 proof, this is a smooth, mature…  More info

Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year Old
5
$476.23

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old

75cl, 45.20%
Old Rip Van Winkle

Incredibly old for a bourbon, this bottling of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve was aged for 20 years and retains a beautiful sweetness, a perfect digestif bourbon. This bottle was part of a…  More info

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old
21
$1636.71

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old 107 Proof (75cl)

75cl, 53.50%
Old Rip Van Winkle

A new 75cl bottle and label (which features a rather intense looking fellow with an intimidating beard) for Old Rip Van Winkle 10 year old, bottled at 107 proof. It's still an awesome bourbon, packed…  More info

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old 107 Proof (75cl)
2
$410.55

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 284

70cl, 64.60%
Buffalo Trace

Fantastic single barrel bourbon from Blanton's Straight From The Barrel range, bottled at cask strength and without any chill-filtration. This particular bottle features whiskey drawn from barrel…  More info

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 284
$86.59

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 592

70cl, 65.70%
Buffalo Trace

The Blanton's Straight From The Barrel range is a very popular series of bourbons - a favourite among those who like their whiskey packing an intense flavour profile. This one was matured in barrel…  More info

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 592
$86.59

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 108

70cl, 64.60%
Buffalo Trace

A cask strength bourbon from the Blanton's range, drawn from barrel #108, which was matured in the legendary Warehouse H. Yes, it's another fantastic Blanton's Straight From The Barrel…  More info

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 108
$86.59

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 643

70cl, 66.50%
Buffalo Trace

Delicious cask strength bourbon from the Blanton's Straight from the Barrel range. This one was drawn from barrel #643, and has been bottled at 66.5% ABV. Absolutely superb stuff, this. Always a…  More info

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 643
$86.59

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
$21.95

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2014 Release)

75cl, 69.10%
Buffalo Trace

A big, brawny Buffalo Trace bourbon which needs no introduction (but we'll give it one anyway, because we're nice like that), the 2014 edition George T. Stagg from the annually adored Antique…  More info

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2014 Release)
$492.10

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 646

70cl, 66.40%
Buffalo Trace

Here's another cracking Blanton's Straight from the Barrel bottling, this time featuring bourbon drawn from barrel #646 - if that number holds some sort of significance to you, then this is your…  More info

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 646
$86.59

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Barrel Proof (69.4%)

70cl, 69.40%
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 12 Year Old Barrel Proof (69.4%)
$103.94

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old - 1978

75cl, 50.50%
Wild Turkey

This Wild Turkey 101 Proof (50.5% abv), aged for 8 years, offers a window into the past. It is bourbon from nearly four decades ago!  More info

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old - 1978
$328.44

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 672

70cl, 66.40%
Buffalo Trace

Blanton's Straight from the Barrel range is a well-loved range of cask strength bourbons which are drawn from individual casks and aren't blended with any other whiskeys. This one came from barrel…  More info

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 672
$86.59

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 101

70cl, 64.30%
Buffalo Trace

Blanton's Straight from the Barrel range shows off the excellent bourbon at a full-on ABVs. This one, coming from Barrel 101, was bottled at a very generous 64.3% ABV.  More info

Blanton's Straight From The Barrel - Barrel 101
$86.59

John J Bowman Single Barrel Bourbon

75cl, 50%
A. Smith Bowman

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

John J Bowman Single Barrel Bourbon
1
$85.07

Old Crow Kentucky Bourbon 1.97l - 1970s

197cl, 40%
The Old Crow

A 66 2/3 fl. oz. bottling of Old Crow straight bourbon whiskey thought to date from the 1970s. This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information and photographs of this…  More info

Old Crow Kentucky Bourbon 1.97l - 1970s
$551.78

1792 Port Cask Finish

75cl, 44.50%
Barton 1972

Named after the year Kentucky became a state, this bourbon was spent a two year finishing period in Port barrels.  More info

1792 Port Cask Finish
$52.00

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 539

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Yet another superb single barrel bourbon from the Blanton's Original Single Barrel range. These handsome whiskeys are drawn from barrels which have been matured in the famous Warehouse H, and whiskey…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 539
2
$49.70

Four Roses Small Batch - Barrel Strength 2014

70cl, 55.90%
Four Roses

This is the 2014 release of Four Roses Small Batch Barrel Strength, made with barrels which were specially selected by the master distiller, resulting in a spectacularly flavoursome bourbon with…  More info

Four Roses Small Batch - Barrel Strength 2014
$99.10

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
$131.38

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