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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.

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)
$57.47

Heaven Hill - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)

50cl, 50.0%
Heaven Hill

That Boutique-y Whisky Company continues to explore the wonderful world of American whiskey with their first batch of independently bottled bourbon from Heaven Hill! Top stuff from a legendary…  More info

Heaven Hill - Batch 1 (That Boutique-y Whisky Company)
4
$88.87

Corner Creek

75cl, 44.0%
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
1
$49.33

Evan Williams White Label

70cl, 50.0%
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
$32.48

Old Forester Bourbon

70cl, 43.0%
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
3
$36.81

Garrison Brothers Texas Single Barrel

70cl, 47.0%
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
2
$100.26

David Nicholson 1843

75cl, 50.0%
David Nicholson

A somewhat seldom-seen (at least on these shores) brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, David Nicholson 1843 shows off a big, bold flavour profile and is bottled at 50% ABV.  More info

David Nicholson 1843
$42.36

Old Pepper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 43.0%
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
$27.18

Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish

75cl, 45.1%
McLain & Kyne

Jefferson's Reserve finished for nine months in casks that previously held Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Groth Vineyards in Napa Valley!  More info

Jefferson's Groth Reserve Cask Finish
$108.39

High West American Prairie Reserve

75cl, 46.0%
High West

American Prairie Reserve is named after the impressive 5,000 square mile wildlife reserve in northeastern Montana, the largest in the lower 48 states. High West are also donating 10% of post tax…  More info

High West American Prairie Reserve
$47.45

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon

35cl, 46.0%
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
$41.30

Jim Beam Devils Cut

70cl, 45.0%
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
21
$27.32

Kentucky Vintage 75cl

75cl, 45.0%
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
$35.33

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
$73.55

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
$55.80

Ezra Brooks Black Label Bourbon

70cl, 40.0%
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
$23.93

Stetson Bourbon

70cl, 42.0%
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
$32.52

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
$31.77

Koval Bourbon

50cl, 47.0%
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
$45.49

Rock Town Arkansas Single Barrel Bourbon

75cl, 57.4%
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
$72.67

Jim Beam Black Label 6 Year Old - Triple Aged

70cl, 43.0%
Jim Beam

This is an updated version of the classic Jim Beam Black Label. This Bourbon has been aged for six years and is one of the most recognisable whisky brands in the world.  More info

Jim Beam Black Label 6 Year Old - Triple Aged
4
$24.48

Rock Town Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey

75cl, 46.0%
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
$53.08

Heaven Hill Bourbon

70cl, 40.0%
Heaven Hill

A classic Kentucky straight bourbon from Heaven Hill, aged for around four years. This is quite a smooth and easy style of bourbon.  More info

Heaven Hill Bourbon
17
$22.59

Wild Turkey 81 Proof

70cl, 40.5%
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
14
$23.74

Benchmark Bourbon Old Number 8

70cl, 40.0%
Buffalo Trace

Benchmark by name, benchmark by nature. This really is one for the more well Bourbon producers to beat, and despite its status as an outsider, really warrants some attention - especially if cocktails…  More info

Benchmark Bourbon Old Number 8
7
$19.95

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