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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.

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
$27.16

Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon

75cl, 50.1%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

A 75cl bottling of Rowan's Creek small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co. who also produce Noah's Mill. Smooth, rounded spicy and fruity 12 year old whiskey. Yummy.  More info

Rowan's Creek Straight Kentucky Bourbon
3
$57.58

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
$23.96

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
$50.17

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%)

70cl, 69.7%
Heaven Hill

Barrel strength bourbon from Heaven Hill's Elijah Craig, bottled at a very generous 69.7% ABV. A few drops of water ought to help bring out the deep vanilla and fruits notes further.  More info

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%)
$93.26

Old Forester Bourbon

70cl, 43%
Old Forester

Old Forester Bourbon was the first to be sold in America in sealed glass bottles, to avoid any unsavoury folks tampering with their carefully-considered recipe. It was first seen on shelves back in…  More info

Old Forester Bourbon
6
$35.69

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old

75cl, 51.5%
Heaven Hill

Bottled at 103 proof (or 51.5% if you are a fellow Limey), this higher strength proffers a far more punchy character. Fighting Cock is a Kentucky bourbon aged for 6 years.  More info

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old
6
$34.25

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
$43.32

Hudson Baby Bourbon

35cl, 46%
Tuthilltown Spirits

Hudson Baby Bourbon is the first legal pot-still whiskey to be produced in New York since prohibition! In the days before prohibition farm distillers could be found throughout the state of New…  More info

Hudson Baby Bourbon
3
$42.34

Michter's US*1 Bourbon

70cl, 45.7%
Michter's Distillery

The US*1 Bourbon from Michter's Distiller in Louisville, Kentucky, is made in small batches, typically comprised of no more than two dozen barrels. Top quality stuff, brimming with caramel, vanilla…  More info

Michter's US*1 Bourbon
1
$55.81

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
$124.16

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014)

70cl, 43.3%
Heaven Hill

The Single Barrel Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey releases from Evan Williams are always a treat. They're well made, aged for around 9 years and offer great value for money. Ace. This is the 2004…  More info

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2004 (bottled 2014)
3
$36.12

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
$35.66

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon

35cl, 46%
Tuthilltown Spirits

Made with corn, rye, wheat and malted barley, this is a 4-grain bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits, producers of the first legal pot-still whiskey in New York since prohibition! Each bottle is numbered…  More info

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon
$42.65

Baker's 7 Year Old

70cl, 53.5%
Jim Beam

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

Baker's 7 Year Old
1
$47.31

Bulleit Bourbon

70cl, 45%
Bulleit

Enjoy Bulleit Bourbon like the Americans do! Previously it has been bottled at 40% abv for the UK market, but now you can get the Frontier Whiskey at 45% abv, just like they have in Kentucky. A…  More info

Bulleit Bourbon
34
$27.42

Rebel Yell Small Batch Reserve

70cl, 45.3%
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
$35.07

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon

75cl, 45.1%
McLain & Kyne

The bigger, higher proof brother to the standard (and also excellent Jefferson's), Jefferson's Reserve is a well-aged, medium bodied bourbon. The previous edition was labelled as a 15 year old, also…  More info

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon
5
$56.84

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
$115.88

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
$21.05

John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon

100cl, 46%
Heaven Hill

The famous bourbon brand Old Fitzgerald was named for John E. Fitzgerald, who according to a family biography of Pappy Van Winkle may have been a rather more colourful character than we…  More info

John E. Fitzgerald Larceny Kentucky Straight Bourbon
5
$48.20

Rebel Yell Kentucky Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Heaven Hill

In the midnight hour, she cried “more, more, more”, more delicious bourbon please. Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is now made at Heaven Hill, using William Larue Weller's original wheat…  More info

Rebel Yell Kentucky Bourbon
1
$27.42

Evan Williams 1783

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

A superb Kentucky straight bourbon from Evan Williams, produced in small batches. The 1783 expression is named after the year that Evan Williams set up his distillery on the banks of the Ohio River.  More info

Evan Williams 1783
5
$30.52

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
$21.39

Jim Beam Double Oak

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

A new permanent addition to the Jim Beam range, aged in freshly charred American oak barrels before being moved to a fresh set of freshly charred American oak barrels for the second part of its…  More info

Jim Beam Double Oak
4
$28.34

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