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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.

Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon - pre 1964

75cl, 43%
Seagram's

An old bottling of Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon, which we think was produced prior to 1964. Back in the day, they used to use the tagline "Measure your bourbon against it." This bottle was part of…  More info

Seagram's Benchmark Bourbon - pre 1964
$349.40

Jim Beam White Label 1l - 1995

100cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Jim Beam's famous White Label is distilled from a mashbill with a high rye content. The result of this is extra spice notes. This stuff would work well in an 'old' Old Fashioned cocktail! This…  More info

Jim Beam White Label 1l - 1995
$149.74

Seagram's Benchmark 6 Year Old (1.13L) - pre-1964

113cl, 43%
Seagram's

This is a 1.13 litre bottle of 6 Year Old Benchmark 6 Year Old Bourbon, produced before 1964 by Seagram's (these days, Benchmark is made by Buffalo Trace). This bottle was part of a private…  More info

Seagram's Benchmark 6 Year Old (1.13L) - pre-1964
$436.75

Jim Beam White Label - Early 1980s

75cl, 40%
Jim Beam

We believe that this bottle of Jim Beam White Label bourbon was produced back in the early 1980s. Sadly, the label looks to have suffered some water damage over the years, but never-the-less, this is…  More info

Jim Beam White Label - Early 1980s
$187.18

Jim Beam White Label - 1995

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Dating from the 1990s, this is a bottle of Jim Beam's classic White Label Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. This bottle was part of a private collection. More detailed information and…  More info

Jim Beam White Label - 1995
$99.83

Jim Beam White Label - 1978

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

This is a bottle of Jim Beam White Label, which we think was produced in 1978. A collectible antique for whiskey lovers, though unfortunately this bottle looks to have suffered at the hands of time,…  More info

Jim Beam White Label - 1978
$187.18

Jim Beam White Label - 1970s

75cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Jim Beam White Label sour mash Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, produced all the way back in the 1970s. Jim Beam boffins would surely love this collectible piece.  More info

Jim Beam White Label - 1970s
$187.18

Kentucky Boat Bourbon - 1970s

70cl, 40%
Kentucky Boat

This is an ancient bottle of Kentucky Boat Bourbon Whiskey, produced over 30 years ago in the 1970s. Is the name (and the wonderful label) a reference to how bourbon used to be transported from…  More info

Kentucky Boat Bourbon - 1970s
$149.74

Hiram Walker's 8 Year Old Bourbon - 1970s

75cl, 40%
Hiram Walker and Sons

The Hiram Walker name might conjure up memories of cracking Canadian whisky for some, but for other, it brings to mind the brilliant Walker's 8 Year Old Bourbon. We think this was distilled in 1965…  More info

Hiram Walker's 8 Year Old Bourbon - 1970s
$374.36

Images of Bardstown (Malts of Scotland)

70cl, 53.2%
Malts of Scotland

An independent bottling of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from an undisclosed distillery. Rather rare to see indie bottling of bourbon - this one comes to us via German bottler Malts of Scotland…  More info

Images of Bardstown (Malts of Scotland)
$55.11

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
$31.15

Johnny Drum Black Label

70cl, 43%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

Johnny Drum Black Label has been made by a method that has remained unchanged for 5 generations of master distillers.  More info

Johnny Drum Black Label
$33.73

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
$24.52

1776 Straight Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 50%
James E. Pepper & Co.

The Pepper name goes way back in terms of bourbon production, back to 1776. Even James E. Pepper nick-named the whiskey 'Old 1776'. However, in the latter half of the 1900s, the James E. Pepper name,…  More info

1776 Straight Bourbon Whiskey
$50.68

Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101

70cl, 50.5%
Dry Fly Distilling

A flavoursome bourbon from Dry Fly Distillers in Spokane, Washington, which was "100% hand crafted in the Pacific Northwest with real hands", as the label proudly proclaims. It's presented at 101…  More info

Dry Fly Washington Bourbon 101
$71.15

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
$31.18

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #2

100cl, 46%
Jefferson's

Here is the second box set from Jefferson's Wood Experiment series, which sees their bourbon finished in a number of ways, including in casks with different barrel char profiles, wine casks, insert…  More info

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #2
$116.23

Jefferson's Bourbon

70cl, 41.2%
McLain & Kyne

Jefferson's Bourbon is made in small batches with a mashbill of 60% corn, 30% rye and 10% malted barley. Interestingly, it's aged in lightly charred barrels, which imparts a distinctive flavour…  More info

Jefferson's Bourbon
$35.76

Old Ezra 7 Year Old

70cl, 50.5%
Ezra Brooks

A 7 year old sour mash bourbon from the Ezra Brooks range (though on this one you'll find the name 'Old Ezra' emblazoned on the label).  More info

Old Ezra 7 Year Old
$43.45

Jim Beam Devils Cut

70cl, 45%
Jim Beam

This is the result of taking 90 proof Jim Beam Bourbon and extracting spirit absorbed into the wood of the barrels itself and blending them together. The result is a punchy oak-fest of a Bourbon,…  More info

Jim Beam Devils Cut
23
$26.19

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Old (cask 599)

75cl, 49.5%
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)
$74.82

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
$27.38

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #1

100cl, 46%
Jefferson's

The first box set in the Jefferson's Wood Experiment series! These boxes contain 5 different 20cl bottles of Jefferson's bourbon, each of which have been finished in different ways. Box Set #1…  More info

Jefferson's Wood Experiment - Box Set #1
$116.23

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
$26.64

Kentucky Vintage 75cl

75cl, 45%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

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

Kentucky Vintage 75cl
2
$42.27

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