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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

Tasting Sets
Monkey Shoulder Whisky
St George Spirits
Filliers Distillery
Smooth Ambler Distillery
Spirit of Hven Distillery
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
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$115.37
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
$46.16
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
$692.69
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
User Rating:  (36 Reviews)
$43.35
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
$277.08
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
$277.08
Dating from 1995, this bottle of "Austin Nichols" Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon is labelled 8 years old.  More info
$110.83
Wild Turkey 81 Proof
(70cl, 40.50%)
A lower strength bourbon from Wild Turkey, bottled at 81 proof (40.5% abv) and created by the associate distiller Eddie Russell, the son of master distiller Jimmy Russell. This has a high rye content...  More info
User Rating:  (9 Reviews)
$33.83
The Wild Turkey Rare Breed bottle has received a little bit of a redesign, it has! The shape is the same as before, but the label is new and shiny, as is the presentation tube (with focus on the...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$73.63
Willett's Pot Still Single Barrel is a massively popular single barrel bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. If you're a big fan, why not get a big bottle of it? This right here is a 1.75 litre...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$146.93
Looking for a wheated bourbon? William Larue Weller is one of the big names you want to keep your eye out for. Now owned by Buffalo Trace, it's been a staple of wonderfully mellow wheated bourbon...  More info
$44.38
It's finally here - the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. This expression begins life being aged in the same way as the classic Woodford Reserve, but following this, it...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$73.81
The mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Unusual also for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where...  More info
User Rating:  (59 Reviews)
$44.26
10 year old Ancient Age Bourbon, which is now the brand's 10 Star expression, from the 1980s. Ancient Age is now owned by Buffalo Trace. A very rare bottle, complete with the fancy presentation box.  More info
$147.77
Ancient Age Bourbon
(75cl, 40%)
Ancient Age is a Kentucky straight bourbon that has been around since 1946, currently made by Buffalo Trace. A simple, classic bourbon, no stranger to being sipped neat or splashed in a cocktail.  More info
$36.68
Well then, Ancient Age seem to have already written my bottling note with its brand name, but never-the-less, let it be known that this is an ancient bottle of Kentucky bourbon from the 1980s, which...  More info
$147.77
This is the premium 10 year old version of Ancient Age - a Kentucky bourbon produced at Buffalo Trace. This is a rare old bottling from the 1980s.  More info
$147.77
A rare 6 year old straight bourbon from the 1960s produced for the Austrian market by the Frankfort Distilling Company.  More info
$277.08
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

A special single barrel release from the craft distillery that brought us the first ever Texan whisky. This release marks 5 years since Chip Tate founded Balcones (which...  More info
$184.64
STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER

The second of four single barrel bourbons from Balcones, released as part of their fifth anniversary spectacular. The previous release sold like hot cakes on a cold day, and...  More info
$192.41
Basil Hayden's 75cl
(75cl, 40%)
An 8 year old small batch bourbon. This was named for Jim Beam's historic Master Distiller, Basil Hayden Sr who, in 1796, created a bourbon with a mashbill whose base was of corn, with a mix of small...  More info
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
$110.75
We believe this bottle of Beam's Black Label 101, was bottled in 1983. Back then, the labels of Beam's Black Label proudly proclaimed that the wonderful sour mash Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey was...  More info
$277.08
Beam's Black Label 101
(100cl, 40%)
This is an antique bottling of Jim Beam's 101 sour mash Bourbon which has been bottled at 90 proof and in a litre bottle. It is both a collectable and also a great opportunity to try this whiskey from...  More info
$67.95
This antique decanter from the Bourbon distillery of Jim beam is a lavish commemoration of American Samoa and is a collectable piece.  More info
$67.95
This is the Jim Beam Bourbon presented in a decanter shaped like, well, like an armadillo... probably collectable but certainly amusing!  More info
$67.95
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