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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.

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
$46.68

1792 Small Batch Bourbon

75cl, 46.9%
Barton 1792

In the year 1792, Kentucky became a state. 1792 Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey is named after that wonderful year. It's a spicy, rye-rich bourbon which is just asking to be enjoyed on a sunny evening with…  More info

1792 Small Batch Bourbon
11
$51.02

Baker's 7 Year Old

70cl, 53.5%
Jim Beam

An excellent small batch bourbon, named for the grand nephew of Jim Beam, Baker Beam. This is a well-aged expression which makes use of a special strain of jug yeast which the Beam family have made…  More info

Baker's 7 Year Old
1
$47.39

Basil Hayden's Bourbon 70cl

70cl, 40%
Kentucky Springs Distilling Co

Basil Hayden's Bourbon dates back to 1796, when master distiller Basil Hayden used a traditional corn base, but mixed in small grains with the mash. A Kentucky straight bourbon with plenty of rye at…  More info

Basil Hayden's Bourbon 70cl
6
$38.16

Benchmark Bourbon Old Number 8

70cl, 40%
Buffalo Trace

Benchmark by name, benchmark by nature. This really is one for the more well Bourbon producers to beat, and despite its status as an outsider, really warrants some attention - especially if cocktails…  More info

Benchmark Bourbon Old Number 8
9
$20.46

Blanton's Gold Edition

70cl, 51.5%
Buffalo Trace

A superb single barrel bourbon. Blanton's Gold is distilled from a mashbill of corn, rye and malted barley. Each bottle is hand filled, sealed, labelled and individually numbered. Please Note:…  More info

Blanton's Gold Edition
20
$66.27

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 54

70cl, 46.5%
Buffalo Trace

It's a bottling of Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon! These are incredibly popular, and absolutely delicious indeed. This particular bottling was drawn from barrel #54. Please Note:…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 54
$51.88

Buffalo Trace

70cl, 40%
Buffalo Trace

The new edition of the classic Kentucky straight bourbon, Buffalo Trace. A great whiskey, with oodles of vanilla, barrel char and spicy complexity.  More info

Buffalo Trace
75
$25.06

Bulleit Bourbon

70cl, 45%
Bulleit

Enjoy Bulleit Bourbon like the Americans do! Previously it has been bottled at 40% abv for the UK market, but now you can get the Frontier Whiskey at 45% abv, just like they have in Kentucky. A…  More info

Bulleit Bourbon
32
$28.35

Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch

75cl, 50%
Buffalo Trace

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…  More info

Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch
12
$98.60

Corner Creek

75cl, 44%
Corner Creek Distilling Co

An 8 year old bourbon from the Corner Creek distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This is distilled from wheat corn and rye, and has a full bodied, round flavour. Made in small batches, each bottle…  More info

Corner Creek
2
$47.24

David Nicholson 1843

75cl, 50%
David Nicholson

A somewhat seldom-seen (at least on these shores) brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, David Nicholson 1843 shows off a big, bold flavour profile and is bottled at 50% ABV.  More info

David Nicholson 1843
1
$41.49

Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101

70cl, 50.5%
Dry Fly Distilling

A flavoursome bourbon from Dry Fly Distillers in Spokane, Washington, which was "100% hand crafted in the Pacific Northwest with real hands", as the label proudly proclaims. It's presented at 101…  More info

Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101
$70.44

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old

70cl, 45%
Buffalo Trace

10 year old bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery in a new 70cl bottle. This stuff is great and good value for money too.  More info

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old
19
$38.37

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
$20.82

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (67.4%)

70cl, 67.4%
Heaven Hill

A barrel proof bottling of hugely flavoursome 12 year old Elijah Craig Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Sitting at a sturdy 67.4% ABV, it's an intense bourbon, so perhaps a drop or two of water…  More info

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (67.4%)
2
$93.42

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.4%)

70cl, 69.4%
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 Barrel Proof (69.4%)
1
$93.42

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%)

70cl, 69.7%
Heaven Hill

Barrel strength bourbon from Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig, bottled at a very generous 69.7% ABV. A few drops of water ought to help bring out the deep vanilla and fruits notes further.  More info

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%)
$93.42

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 Year Old

70cl, 47%
Heaven Hill

Elijah Craig was named for a reverend who lived in Virginia. He kept a warehouse where he stored barrels and one day experienced a devastating fire. He used the charred casks regardless and found…  More info

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 Year Old
67
$32.99

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
5
$29.02

Evan Williams Extra Aged

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

A popular brand of bourbon from Kentucky, U.S.A., where it has been produced since 1783. Rich with vanilla and caramel on the nose which continues on the palate, it's produced by the Heaven Hill…  More info

Evan Williams Extra Aged
8
$25.65

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014)

70cl, 43.3%
Heaven Hill

The Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey releases from Evan Williams are always a treat. They're well made, aged for around 9 years and offer great value for money. Ace. This is the 2004…  More info

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014)
3
$33.92

Evan Williams White Label

70cl, 50%
Heaven Hill

A classic in every sense of the word, Evan Williams White Label Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is a favourite of the back-bar around the world. Bottled at a higher ABV than the regular Evan…  More info

Evan Williams White Label
$31.11

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 591)

75cl, 49.5%
Ezra Brooks

A 12 year old Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey from the Ezra Brooks range, produced at Heaven Hill. This particular bottling was drawn from a single barrel - barrel #591, in case you were wondering.  More info

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 591)
$74.72

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
$22.92

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