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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
$348.53

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
$149.37

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
$186.71

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
$99.58

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
$186.71

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
$186.71

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
$149.37

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)
$54.97

Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea

75cl, 45%
McLain & Kyne

An exciting release from the Jefferson's range, this bourbon is initially matured on land for the lion's share of its maturation, before embarking on a sea-faring voyage, crossing the equator 4…  More info

Jefferson's Ocean: Aged At Sea
2
$93.31

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
$31.07

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
$28.57

Marshall's Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 40%
De Luxe Distilling Company

Marshall's is a good value for money Kentucky bourbon, evidently produced in Bardstown since 1935 (a few years after Prohibition was repealed).  More info

Marshall's Bourbon Whiskey
$23.97

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
4
$50.20

Old Virginia 6 Year Old

70cl, 40%
Old Virginia

Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey aged for 6 years and bottled for the European market, especially France where the brand is best known. Good value and perfect for a variety of classic cocktails.  More info

Old Virginia 6 Year Old
$21.06

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
$46.63

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
$70.35

Garrison Brothers Texas Single Barrel

70cl, 47%
Garrison Brothers

An exclusive UK single barrel bourbon (selected by Master Distiller Dennis Todd) from Garrison Brothers, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas. Their previous releases, at the time of writing,…  More info

Garrison Brothers Texas Single Barrel
3
$95.89

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
$31.11

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon 2015

70cl, 47%
Garrison Brothers

Straight bourbon from Garrison Brothers, the first legal whiskey distillery in Texas! Highly rated by Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible, this Lone Star state whisky is produced in Hye. (That's Hye, not…  More info

Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon 2015
1
$76.71

Koval Bourbon

50cl, 47%
Koval

Koval bourbon is made with 51% corn (the minimum required for a bourbon) with the rest of the mashbill being made up by millet. This unusual choice, used to make distilled spirits in Nepal, is…  More info

Koval Bourbon
$43.52

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
$106.55

Corner Creek

75cl, 44%
Corner Creek Distilling Co

An 8 year old bourbon from the Corner Creek distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This is distilled from wheat corn and rye, and has a full bodied, round flavour. Made in small batches, each bottle…  More info

Corner Creek
2
$47.19

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
$26.00

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
$35.67

Early Times Old Reserve

70cl, 40%
Early Times Distillery

Early Times Old Reserve Kentucky bourbon - a tasty expression from a very long-running brand. Interestingly, Early Times have their own cooperage to create the barrels that their whiskey ages in! A…  More info

Early Times Old Reserve
$20.80

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