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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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Blanton's Original Single Barrel Bourbon are very much up our street - excellent bourbon, matured in the famous Warehouse H and each bottling is drawn from a single barrel. They're also very...  More info
We think that this collectible bottle of Old-Grand Dad was bottled in 1990. A classic brand - one of the selection of "The Olds", including Old Crow and Old Overholt.  More info
A collectible bottle of Ancient Old Kentucky De Luxe 12 Year Old Bourbon, bottled for Toorank in the 2000s. A rather decorative piece for collectors.  More info
A collectible bottled of Old Grand-Dad Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey - 'The Head Of The Bourbon Family' as it's known to some. We think this one was bottled in 1991. A lot of good LPs came out...  More info
Old Grand-Dad - 1990s
(75cl, 40%)
Collector of cool bourbon bottles? Check this out - a bottle of Old Grand-Dad Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, which we think was produced in the 1990s.  More info
Four Roses has long been a classic bourbon brand, well loved by many. If you've been a long-time fan, this'll be an interesting piece for your collection - a bottle of Four Roses 6 Year Old Bourbon...  More info
This is a collectible bottle of Old Grand-Dad Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, which we believe to have been bottled back in 1991. The brand is currently owned by Beam, and has made several TV and...  More info
A bottle of Jim Beam White Label which we think was bottled way back in the '80s. 1982, to be specific. Oddly, the label doesn't seem to feature an ABV listing...

Please note that the label does...  More info
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 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
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
Wild Turkey - 1995
(70cl, 43.40%)
This is a collectible bottle of "Austin Nichols" Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which we believe was produced back in 1995. We did plan to include a turkey pun in this bottling note, but we've...  More info
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
A large 1970s bottle of Jim Beam White Label Bourbon, which is aged for four years before it's bottled. Unfortunately, while this bottle is bigger than your average one, they didn't actually put its...  More info
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
A huge 175cl bottle of Jim Beam's 4 year old White Label. It's got a jug handle! In fact it's almost as big as mobile phone from the same era. Slick back your hair and take the plunge; it's in great...  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
A 1970s bottling of classic Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Old Lewis Hunter. Guaranteed 6 years old.  More info
A rare bourbon from The Bourbon de Luxe Distillery Company, based in Frankfort. This spirit was bottled at some time during the 1970s…

Already sold out? Not to worry, we have plenty more Antique...  More info
Jim Beam White Label
(70cl, 40%)
Jim Beam bourbon undergoes distillation at lower temperatures and is distilled to no more than 62.5%, the White label is aged for four years and has quite a high percentage of rye in the mashbill.  More info
User Rating:  (52 Reviews)
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
This handmade 12 year old Johnny Drum has been made by a method that has remained unchanged for 5 generations of master distillers.  More info
Baker's 7 Year Old
(70cl, 53.50%)
An excellent small batch bourbon, named for the grand nephew of Jim Beam, Baker Beam. This is a well-aged expression which makes use of a special strain of jug yeast which the Beam family have made...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
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
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
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
User Rating:  (4 Reviews)
Jim Beam Devils Cut
(70cl, 45%)
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
User Rating:  (17 Reviews)
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