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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

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FEW Spirits
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an utter classic small batch bourbon from Jim Beam, first created by Booker Noe and introduced in 1992. It was named after the creek which flows near...  More info
$42.69
Maker's Mark
(70cl, 45%)
Maker’s Mark maintain that they distil their bourbon to the lowest proof of any US whiskey distillery. This proffers a bourbon that retains a rich flavour. Developed by Bill Samuels Sr, he replaced...  More info
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$36.94
A vintage bottle of Medley's Kentucky Bourbon from the 1970s. Rare, collectible and patriotic.  More info
$177.95
Michter's US*1 Bourbon
(70cl, 45.70%)
The US*1 Bourbon from Michter's Distiller in Louisville, Kentucky, is made in small batches, typically comprised of no more than two dozen barrels. Top quality stuff, brimming with caramel, vanilla...  More info
$76.31
A large bottle of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which we believe to have been produced all the way back in the 1960s. Very collectible among American whiskey enthusiasts and spirits...  More info
$266.92
An old bottling of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon. Or 'Old, Old Crow', if you will. If you won't, then let's just agree to call it 'Olden Days Old Crow' and be done with it. If you won't accept...  More info
$177.95
An interestingly shaped Traveler bottle of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which we believe was produced in the 1960s. Highly sought after by collectors.  More info
$266.92
A 1970s bottling of Old Crow Traveler Kentucky Straight Bourbon, produced for the Italian market. A rare, old example of "The Original Sour Mash".  More info
$213.53
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
$65.01
Old Forester Bourbon
(100cl, 43%)
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
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$72.59
A 1970s bottling of classic Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Old Lewis Hunter. Guaranteed 6 years old.  More info
$266.92
In the midnight hour, she cried “more, more, more”, more delicious bourbon please. Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is now made at Heaven Hill, using William Larue Weller's original wheat...  More info
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$34.77
A straight American bourbon whiskey from the Redemption range, featuring a rather high rye content and aged over 3 years. Take a look at the mash bill proudly displayed on the bottle and you'll see...  More info
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$55.42
From the Rock Town Distillery in beautiful Arkansas, comes their Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey (previously known as the Arkansas Young Bourbon, which won Double Gold in the Small Batch Bourbon 10 Years and...  More info
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$57.28
From the Roughstock distillery in Montana - the Land of Shining Mountains - comes a straight bourbon whiskey, made with a blend of four in-house bourbon recipes.  More info
$71.76
A 75cl bottling of Rowan's Creek small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co. who also produce Noah's Mill. Smooth, rounded spicy and fruity 12 year old whiskey. Yummy.  More info
$60.74
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
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$97.80
When the Smooth Ambler folks are out and about, they'll come across a great bourbon, as you do (remind me to visit America some time soon), and bottle it under the Old Scout name in homage to the...  More info
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$68.95
Criminally good bourbon from St. George Spirits in California. Their Breaking & Entering Bourbon is made with whiskey sourced from rickhouses in Kentucky, "liberated" by St. George distillers Lance...  More info
$80.74
Stagg Jr. 66.05%
(75cl, 66.10%)
'Like father, like son.' Stagg Jr. bourbon features many of the characteristics of one of Buffalo Trace's most sought after expressions, the George T. Stagg. It's big and bold with a high ABV, though...  More info
$111.14
Stetson Bourbon
(70cl, 42%)
Named for John B Stetson and originally launched for the German market, this bourbon honours the chap who invented a stalwart in my "top 7 hats" list, recently knocked off the number 3 spot by the...  More info
$45.72
Dating from the 1960s, this is a huge US half gallon bottle (about 1.9 litres) of Stillbrook straight bourbon whiskey. It was distilled and bottled in Pekin, Illinois and aged for 4 years.  More info
$667.30
Wild Turkey 101
(70cl, 50.50%)
This bottling of Wild Turkey has been aged for at least 6 years before coming out of the barrel at 109 proof, it is only diluted slightly before bottling at 101 proof with plenty of pep.  More info
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$41.97
This is an 8 year old 101 proof (50.5% abv) bottling of Wild Turkey - the legendary bourbon from Austin Nichols. This is a rare 1970s bottling.

Already sold out? Not to worry, we have plenty more...  More info
$266.92
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
$266.92
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