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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.

Breckenridge Bourbon

75cl, 43%
Breckenridge

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…  More info

Breckenridge Bourbon
4
$85.23

Hiram Walker's Ten High Ten - 1990

75cl, 43%
Hiram Walker and Sons

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

Hiram Walker's Ten High Ten - 1990
$146.22

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old 101

70cl, 50.50%
Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey 101 Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey in its older style of bottle, and aged for at least 8 years. Excellent value bourbon, this is - well aged and packed with brown sugar and vanilla…  More info

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old 101
$33.18

Four Roses 6 Year Old Bourbon 37.5cl - 1970s

38cl, 43%
Four Roses

A half bottle of Four Roses Kentucky Bourbon from the 1970s, labelled 6 years old.  More info

Four Roses 6 Year Old Bourbon 37.5cl - 1970s
$87.73

Jim Beam White Label - 1979

75cl, 40%
Jim Beam

A bottle of Jim Beam White Label, produced in 1979, the same year as the classic 'Life of Brian'. The label is a tiny bit torn in places, but look on the bright side of life and you'll see that this…  More info

Jim Beam White Label - 1979
$116.98

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 285

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Blanton's Original Single Barrel began as Colonel Blanton's private reserve, but these days people the world over can enjoy top quality single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery! This…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel  285
$72.50

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 284

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Another fantastic Blanton's Original Single Barrel bottling, a top quality bourbon from the Buffalo Trace's collection of brands. This particular release was drawn from barrel 284 - if that happens…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel  284
$72.50

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 11 Year Old Bourbon (cask 811) Single Barrel Release

75cl, 56.10%
Smooth Ambler

From Smooth Ambler's Old Scout Range comes a very exciting single barrel straight bourbon whiskey - marvel at its glory! For their single barrel releases, the Smooth Ambler chaps out in West Virginia…  More info

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 11 Year Old Bourbon (cask 811) Single Barrel Release
2

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 315

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Another top quality Blanton's bourbon from their Original Single Barrel range. This one in particular was drawn from 315, which matured in Warehouse H, one of Colonel Blanton's favourite warehouses…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 315
$72.50

Johnny Drum Private Stock (75cl)

75cl, 50.50%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

Remarkably great value well-aged straight Kentucky bourbon whiskey. Previously a 15 year old, Johnny Drum Private Stock is made in small batches and is hugely satisfying. This is a 75cl bottling.  More info

Johnny Drum Private Stock (75cl)
$49.04

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 294

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon, matured in Warehouse H and drawn from barrel 294. These are excellent bourbons from the Blanton's range - if you're a big American whiskey buff, you should…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 294
$72.50

Blanton's Straight From the Barrel - Barrel 389

70cl, 66.70%
Buffalo Trace

If you like your bourbon intense and packed with flavour, Blanton's Straight from the Barrel releases are a must-have for your collection. This particular edition came from barrel 389 and was bottled…  More info

Blanton's Straight From the Barrel - Barrel 389
2
$97.65

Old Grand-Dad - 1987

75cl, 40%
The Old Grand-dad Distillery Co

If Willie Stokes is the same age as Billy Bob Thornton who plays him, then he'd have been 32 in 1987 when this Kentucky bourbon was bottled. You know, he was that department store Santa. An eating,…  More info

Old Grand-Dad - 1987
$146.22

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 311

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

This is another fabulous bottling of Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon - a properly awesome range. This one came from barrel 311, which should make anyone who was paying attention to American…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 311
$72.50

Kentucky Gentleman - 1970s

73cl, 43%
Barton Brands

The packaging of Kentucky Gentleman Bourbon hasn't changed much since since the 1970s, when this particular bottle was produced. We suppose it's a case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." This one…  More info

Kentucky Gentleman - 1970s
$175.46

Beam's Choice 8 Year Old - 1966

76cl, 45%
Jim Beam

Beam's Choice bourbon, presented in a very handsome (and very blue) decanter, which we believe to have been produced in 1966. It looks rather futuristic for something produced almost 4 decades ago.…  More info

Beam's Choice 8 Year Old - 1966
$292.44

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon (54.1%)

70cl, 54.10%
Wild Turkey

Made using a blend of 6, 8 and 12 year old stock and bottled at barrel proof, this is a decidedly more intense, flavoursome bottling of Wild Turkey Bourbon. Serve chilled and share it with friends…  More info

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon (54.1%)
3
$58.28

Medley’s Kentucky Bourbon - 1970s

70cl, 40%
Medley Distilling Co.

A vintage bottle of Medley's Kentucky Bourbon from the 1970s. Rare, collectible and patriotic.  More info

Medley’s Kentucky Bourbon - 1970s
$146.22

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 48

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Ah yes, one of them there Blanton's Original Single Barrel bottlings! Top quality bourbon, this is. Really excellent stuff. This one came from barrel #48 - a good gift for someone turning 48, or for…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 48
$72.50

Bulleit Bourbon 40%

70cl, 40%
Bulleit

Bulleit is bottled in an old-fashioned style bottle, there is a relatively high proportion of rye in the mashbill which proffers plenty of pep. This bourbon was awarded a Gold medal at the 2004 San…  More info

Bulleit Bourbon 40%
36
$29.48

Johnny Drum Green Label 4 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

A handmade Kentucky bourbon, this 4 year old Johnny Drum has been produced in a method that has remained the same through 5 generations of master distillers. Produced in small batches.  More info

Johnny Drum Green Label 4 Year Old
$28.48

JW Dant Special Reserve

70cl, 40%
Heaven Hill

A sour mash bourbon from Heaven Hill, JW Dant Special Reserve has a strong rye influence.  More info

JW Dant Special Reserve

Old Fitzgerald 12 Year Old (75cl)

75cl, 45%
Heaven Hill

12 year old sour mash bourbon whiskey from the Old Fitzgerald brand, currently owned by Heaven Hill. Lots of corn, caramel and spice behind this one - lovely stuff.  More info

Old Fitzgerald 12 Year Old (75cl)
$53.41

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 330

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

A Blanton's Original Single Barrel, taken from barrel 330 matured in their famous Warehouse H. Colonel Albert B. Blanton was the first to bottle single barrel bourbon years upon years ago, for his…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 330
$72.50

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 186

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

Here at Master of Malt there are those who adore Blanton's single barrel bourbon, and also some who simply adore the bottles it comes in. Just think, you could have both - imagine that! This one's…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 186
$72.50

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