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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.

Old Forester Bourbon 1l

100cl, 43%
Old Forester

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

Old Forester Bourbon 1l
1
$53.56

Old Grand-Dad

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Traditional bourbon from one of the oldest whiskey brands around, now bottled at the lower abv of 40%.  More info

Old Grand-Dad
4
$28.39

Old Lewis Hunter 6 Year Old - 1970s

75cl, 43%
Old Lewis Hunter

A 1970s bottling of classic Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Old Lewis Hunter. Guaranteed 6 years old.  More info

Old Lewis Hunter 6 Year Old - 1970s
$264.54

Old Pepper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 43%
Royal Spring

The Pepper surname goes back in the history of bourbon, reaching into the 1700s! Could it be this legacy that this bottle of Old Pepper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is referencing with its…  More info

Old Pepper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
$27.63

Pappy Van Winkle's 23 Year Old Family Reserve

75cl, 47.80%
Old Rip Van Winkle

We had the immense pleasure of trying this at Whisky Live, really great stuff; Van Winkle 23 is a super bourbon of epic proportions. They release yearly batches of this, all of which sell out rather…  More info

Pappy Van Winkle's 23 Year Old Family Reserve
$2176.94

PennyPacker Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 40%
PennyPacker

PennyPacker is a good value Bourbon with all sorts of very American items on the label, like the American flag, American pennies and a particularly honest American President.  More info

PennyPacker Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
$25.99

Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Rebel Yell

This famous bourbon brand, originally named after a Confederate war cry, has undergone a rebrand for a new generation of rebels. "Rowdy yet refined", this new look straight bourbon is the original…  More info

Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1
$28.48

Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve

70cl, 45.30%
Rebel Yell

A small batch release from the bourbon brand once favoured by Keith Richards and Billy Idol. A wheated bourbon made to William Larue Weller's original recipe, this 'Rebel Reserve' is bottled at a…  More info

Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve
$37.29

Rock Town Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey

75cl, 46%
Rock Town

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…  More info

Rock Town Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey
6
$53.95

Rock Town Arkansas Single Barrel Bourbon

75cl, 57.40%
Rock Town

Another of Rock Town's well-regarded single barrel bourbon releases, which have received scores as high as 96.5 points in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible! Milled, mashed, fermented, distilled, aged,…  More info

Rock Town Arkansas Single Barrel Bourbon
$73.86

Rock Town Fifth Anniversary Bourbon 37.5cl

37cl, 50%
Rock Town

A limited edition bourbon distilled in 2011, a year after this fantastic distillery was founded, and aged for four years in 53 gallon barrels before being bottled in bond to celebrate Rock Town's…  More info

Rock Town Fifth Anniversary Bourbon 37.5cl
$74.69

Roughstock Montana Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 45%
Roughstock

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

Roughstock Montana Bourbon Whiskey
2
$53.34

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon

75cl, 50%
Smooth Ambler

A bourbon of two sides from Smooth Ambler. Their Contradiction Bourbon is made with a blends of two whiskeys - one is a rather young wheated bourbon distilled by Smooth Ambler themselves, the other…  More info

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon
3
$72.70

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old Bourbon

70cl, 49.50%
Smooth Ambler

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

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old Bourbon
7
$55.06

Smooth Ambler Yearling

37cl, 46%
Smooth Ambler

Pot distilled bourbon made with a mashbill of 60% corn, 20% wheat and 20% malted barley by the craft distillers at Smooth Ambler and matured in tiny casks within their West Virginia rick house. This…  More info

Smooth Ambler Yearling
$37.42

Stetson Bourbon

70cl, 42%
Stetson

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

Stetson Bourbon
$33.05

The Bourbon Advent Calendar (2015 Edition)

72cl, 49%
Drinks by the Dram

When it comes to advent calendars full of delicious whisky, whiskey and other types of spirit, Drinks by the Dram are naturally the people you turn to. Over these last few delightfully festive years…  More info

The Bourbon Advent Calendar (2015 Edition)
$154.25

Whiskey Thief

70cl, 40%
Whiskey Thief

It's whiskey with a mask! Is it super whiskey? Whiskey Thief, you say? Well I'm sure he only robs so you can enjoy this straight bourbon, like some kind of Robin Zorro. It's matured in fresh oak…  More info

Whiskey Thief
$28.87

Wild Turkey 81 Proof

70cl, 40.50%
Wild Turkey

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

Wild Turkey 81 Proof
16
$24.13

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon (56.4%)

70cl, 56.40%
Wild Turkey

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

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon (56.4%)
3
$52.86

Willett's Pot Still Reserve

75cl, 47%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

A small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, packaged in an unusual, and rather smart Pot Still shaped bottle.  More info

Willett's Pot Still Reserve
25
$51.40

Willett's Pot Still Single Barrel 1.75l

175cl, 47%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

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

Willett's Pot Still Single Barrel 1.75l
2
$120.66

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

70cl, 43.20%
Woodford Reserve

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

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
8
$50.80

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

70cl, 43.20%
Woodford Reserve

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

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon
92
$32.41

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - Four Wood

70cl, 47.20%
Woodford Reserve

This is the 2012 edition of Woodford Reserve's Master's Collection - the Four Wood (nothing to do with golf). This was initially matured in American oak, then finished in a selection of Maple Wood,…  More info

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - Four Wood
$158.57

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