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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

St George Spirits
Balcones Whisky Distillery
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A classic bottle of Beam from the 1970s. This 1 litre bottle is in great shape and makes a great collectors' item.  More info
$269.34
An incredibly rare bottling of Jim Beam's 4 year old bourbon that dates from 1959 - over half a century ago!  More info
$448.90
A bottle of Jim Beam White Label, their four year old Kentucky straight bourbon, released in 1966, the same year that Batman defeated a fearsome shark with his Bat-Shark repellent. What a difference a...  More info
$215.47
A 4 year old Jim Beam bourbon, this bottle of white label is a rare collector's piece, bottled during the 1970s.  More info
A 1990s bottling of Jim Beam White Label, a classic bourbon that is aged for 4 years. As with all Jim Beam whiskey this collectible has a high rye content, lending it a spicy character.  More info
$71.82
This bottle of Jim Beam's classic White Label that dates from the 2000s.  More info
$35.91
This bottling of Jim Beam White Label comes from the early 1980s. A definite classic Kentucky bourbon which is matured for four years before being bottled.  More info
$143.65
Dating back to the late 1960s, this bottling of Jim Beam's classic white label is presented in a 1.9 litre bottle complete with handle for ease of pouring!  More info
$538.68
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
$93.80
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
$34.98
Joshua Brook is a Kentucky bourbon whiskey bottled by Frank-lin Distillers Products Ltd. This bottle dates from the 1990s.  More info
$71.82
This bottle of Kentucky Colonel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey comes from the 1970s, a rare antique for collectors.  More info
$179.56
This is a rare 1980s bottling of Kentucky Colonel - a 4 year old bourbon from Kentucky. This is a collectible edition which was bottled especially for the Italian market.  More info
$143.65
A collectible bottle of Kentucky Eagle Bourbon Whiskey, which we think was produced in the early 1980s. The eagle on the bottle has a shield with the American flag on it tattooed on its chest. Ouch.  More info
$143.65
Kentucky Vintage
(70cl, 45%)
A small batch bourbon made from only a select few barrels. This is aged longer than most standard bourbons, which gives it an extra dimension. Each bottle is hand numbered.  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$46.61
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)
$48.09
This is a 1996 bottling of the Knob Creek Kentucky Bourbon with an abv of 50%.  More info
$71.82
Maker's Mark - 1972
(75cl, 45%)
This is a 1972 bottling of Maker's Mark bourbon - an excellent collector's piece for American whiskey enthusiasts.  More info
$269.34
Maker's Mark 46
(75cl, 47%)
This is for "educational" purposes only - not for sale, sorry!The first line extension to the Maker's Mark range since the '50s, Maker's 46 is essentially the standard expression with added spice...  More info
User Rating:  (7 Reviews)
$53.79
The Master's Rare Bourbon brand was founded in 1836, although this bottling dates from the 1970s.  More info
$179.56
Complete with stars & stripes and the red, white & blue, this bottle of Medley's Kentucky Bourbon is a real American hero. This bottling comes from the 1970s.  More info
$179.56
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
$128.61
20 year old bourbon whiskey from the Michter's Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, taken from single barrels personally selected by Master Distiller Willie Pratt. Matured for two decades in charred...  More info
$582.75
Noah's Mill
(75cl, 57.20%)
Noah's Mill is an outstanding old small batch bourbon, containing whiskeys between 4 and 20 years old. Quite rare this, and very enjoyable in an old-fashioned.  More info
User Rating:  (25 Reviews)
$79.80
If the clock on the label of this 1970s Old Charter Kentucky Bourbon only moved forwards 1 hour every year, it would accurately tell you how old this bourbon it, as it's pointing at 7 o'clock and this...  More info
$179.56
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ATOM Supplies Ltd trading as Master of Malt. Registered office: North House, 198 High Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1BE. Registered in England & Wales. Company number 3193057, VAT number GB 662241553.