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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.

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
3
$39.00

Evan Williams Extra Aged 43%

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

The "Extra" in "Evan Williams Extra" stands for extra aged, as it has been aged for seven years. Still made using techniques that Evan Williams used himself when he first made the fantastic bourbon…  More info

Evan Williams Extra Aged 43%
6
$28.95

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014)

70cl, 43.30%
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)
4
$41.40

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
$36.69

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 599)

75cl, 49.50%
Ezra Brooks

Ezra Brooks single barrel bourbon, produced at Heaven Hill, matured for 12 years in heavily charred cask (#599) and bottled at 49.5% abv.  More info

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 599)
$63.96

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
$29.71

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old

75cl, 51.50%
Heaven Hill

Bottled at 103 proof (or 51.5% if you are a fellow Limey), this higher strength proffers a far more punchy character. Fighting Cock is a Kentucky bourbon aged for 6 years.  More info

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old
7
$35.88

Four Roses Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Four Roses

A brand that dates back to the late 19 century. This Yellow Label bottling of Four Roses was released for the European and Japanese markets and is made up of whiskeys aged between 5 and 6 years of…  More info

Four Roses Bourbon
13
$25.87

Four Roses Single Barrel 100 Proof

70cl, 50%
Four Roses

A great single barrel bourbon from Four Roses. Plummy and fruity with lots of character and at higher strength. This won Whisky Magazine's 2008 Best Bourbon Whiskey No Age award, as well as a host of…  More info

Four Roses Single Barrel 100 Proof
23
$48.63

Garrison Brothers Texas Single Barrel

70cl, 47%
Garrison Brothers

An exclusive UK single barrel bourbon (selected by Master Distiller Dennis Todd) from Garrison Brothers, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas. Their previous releases, at the time of writing,…  More info

Garrison Brothers Texas Single Barrel
1
$113.25

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon 2015

70cl, 47%
Garrison Brothers

Straight bourbon from Garrison Brothers, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas! Highly rated by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible, this Lone Star state whisky is produced in Hye. (That's Hye, not…  More info

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon 2015
$90.60

Gold Country 8 Year Old Bourbon - 1990s

70cl, 40%
Gold Country

This is a collectible bottle of Gold Country 8 Year Old Bourbon, produced in the 1990s. If you lived in Gold Country, you might wear a top hat a yell at unidentified things like the chap on the label.  More info

Gold Country 8 Year Old Bourbon - 1990s
$147.01

Heaven Hill - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50%
Heaven Hill

That Boutique-y Whisky Company continues to explore the wonderful world of American whiskey with their first batch of independently bottled bourbon from Heaven Hill! Top stuff from a legendary…  More info

Heaven Hill - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
7
$100.39

Heaven Hill Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Heaven Hill

A classic Kentucky straight bourbon from Heaven Hill, aged for around four years. This is quite a smooth and easy style of bourbon.  More info

Heaven Hill Bourbon
18
$24.30

High West American Prairie Reserve

75cl, 46%
High West

American Prairie Reserve is named after the impressive 5,000 square mile wildlife reserve in northeastern Montana, the largest in the lower 48 states. High West are also donating 10% of post tax…  More info

High West American Prairie Reserve
$53.60

Hiram Walker's Ten High - 1979

113cl, 40%
Hiram Walker and Sons

Ten high is not a great poker hand, but this bottle of Hiran Walker's Ten High is an awesome antique! This particular 113cl bottle of Ten High was produced back in 1979... This bottle was part of…  More info

Hiram Walker's Ten High - 1979
$264.61

Hudson Baby Bourbon

35cl, 46%
Tuthilltown Spirits

Hudson Baby Bourbon is the first legal pot-still whiskey to be produced in New York since prohibition! In the days before prohibition farm distillers could be found throughout the state of New…  More info

Hudson Baby Bourbon
1
$50.03

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon

35cl, 46%
Tuthilltown Spirits

Made with corn, rye, wheat and malted barley, this is a 4-grain bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits, producers of the first legal pot-still whiskey in New York since prohibition! Each bottle is numbered…  More info

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon
$46.66

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon

75cl, 45.10%
McLain & Kyne

The bigger, higher proof brother to the standard (and also excellent Jefferson's), Jefferson's Reserve is a well-aged, medium bodied bourbon. The previous edition was labelled as a 15 year old, also…  More info

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon
4
$64.92

Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish

75cl, 45.10%
McLain & Kyne

Jefferson's Reserve finished for nine months in casks that previously held Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Groth Vineyards in Napa Valley!  More info

Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish
$122.44

Jim Beam Black Label 6 Year Old - Triple Aged

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

This is an updated version of the classic Jim Beam Black Label. This Bourbon has been aged for six years and is one of the most recognisable whisky brands in the world.  More info

Jim Beam Black Label 6 Year Old - Triple Aged
7
$27.40

Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece

70cl, 50%
Jim Beam

A very interesting release from Jim Beam, their Distiller's Masterpiece has been treated to a longer ageing duration than their standard bourbon, and has then been finished in Pedro Ximénez casks to…  More info

Jim Beam Distiller's Masterpiece
$366.29

Jim Beam Double Oak

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

A new permanent addition to the Jim Beam range, aged in freshly charred American oak barrels before being moved to a fresh set of freshly charred American oak barrels for the second part of its…  More info

Jim Beam Double Oak
1
$33.63

Jim Beam Green Label

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Jim Beam Green Label is aged for five years then filtered through charcoal, which gives it a remarkably smooth flavour. It's great for bourbon cocktails, and is one of our favourite Beams.  More info

Jim Beam Green Label
3
$31.84

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

The Jim Beam Signature Craft is the Kentucky distillery's small batch range of bourbons, including this 12 year old expression. The 12 years in the barrel seems to have been just the right amount of…  More info

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old
5
$42.50

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