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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.

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
$51.68

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.7%)

71cl, 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%)
$90.35

Old Grand-Dad

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

Traditional bourbon from one of the oldest whiskey brands around, now bottled at the lower abv of 40%.  More info

Old Grand-Dad
3
$25.87

Evan Williams Extra Aged

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

A popular brand of bourbon from Kentucky, U.S.A., where it has been produced since 1783. Rich with vanilla and caramel on the nose which continues on the palate, it's produced by the Heaven Hill…  More info

Evan Williams Extra Aged
7
$24.80

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
$33.71

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
$100.39

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
$33.98

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
$25.06

Texas Legation - Batch No.1

70cl, 46%
Texas Legation

A bourbon distilled by Ironroot Republic Distillery in Texas for Berry Bros. & Rudd, named after the Texas legation which was set up above the historic London-based wine shop back in the 1840s.  More info

Texas Legation - Batch No.1
3
$49.78

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
$46.69

Heaven Hill Bourbon

70cl, 40%
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
18
$20.92

Maker's Mark

70cl, 45%
Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark maintain that they distil their bourbon to the lowest proof of any US whiskey distillery. This proffers a bourbon that retains a rich flavour. Developed by Bill Samuels Sr, he replaced…  More info

Maker's Mark
56
$25.65

Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Rebel Yell

This famous bourbon brand, originally named after a Confederate war cry, has undergone a rebrand for a new generation of rebels. "Rowdy yet refined", this new look straight bourbon is the original…  More info

Rebel Yell Kentucky Straight Bourbon
1
$24.80

Four Roses Bourbon

70cl, 40%
Four Roses

A brand that dates back to the late 19 century. This Yellow Label bottling of Four Roses was released for the European and Japanese markets and is made up of whiskeys aged between 5 and 6 years of…  More info

Four Roses Bourbon
11
$21.33

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

70cl, 45%
Four Roses

The Small Batch bottling is one of the select few releases from Four Roses. This edition was given a Five Stars in 2007 by Spirit Journal as well as a Silver Medal at the 2007 International Spirits…  More info

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
13
$25.49

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
4
$53.23

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

70cl, 43.2%
Woodford Reserve

It's finally here - the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. This expression begins life being aged in the same way as the classic Woodford Reserve, but following this, it…  More info

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
8
$46.29

Basil Hayden's Bourbon 70cl

70cl, 40%
Kentucky Springs Distilling Co

Basil Hayden's Bourbon dates back to 1796, when master distiller Basil Hayden used a traditional corn base, but mixed in small grains with the mash. A Kentucky straight bourbon with plenty of rye at…  More info

Basil Hayden's Bourbon 70cl
5
$36.91

Stagg Jr. 66.05%

75cl, 66.1%
Buffalo Trace

'Like father, like son.' Stagg Jr. bourbon features many of the characteristics of one of Buffalo Trace's most sought after expressions, the George T. Stagg. It's big and bold with a high ABV, though…  More info

Stagg Jr. 66.05%
5
$77.14

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon

75cl, 50%
Smooth Ambler

A bourbon of two sides from Smooth Ambler. Their Contradiction Bourbon is made with a blends of two whiskeys - one is a rather young wheated bourbon distilled by Smooth Ambler themselves, the other…  More info

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon
5
$70.26

Buffalo Trace

70cl, 40%
Buffalo Trace

The new edition of the classic Kentucky straight bourbon, Buffalo Trace. A great whiskey, with oodles of vanilla, barrel char and spicy complexity.  More info

Buffalo Trace
72
$24.24

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
32
$27.42

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon

70cl, 43.2%
Woodford Reserve

The mashbill for Woodford Reserve features a high percentage of rye: 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malt. Unusual also for being triple distilled and having the lowest proof upon entering the barrel where…  More info

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon
72
$29.76

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 Year Old

70cl, 47%
Heaven Hill

Elijah Craig was named for a reverend who lived in Virginia. He kept a warehouse where he stored barrels and one day experienced a devastating fire. He used the charred casks regardless and found…  More info

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 12 Year Old
67
$31.90

Four Roses Single Barrel 100 Proof

70cl, 50%
Four Roses

A great single barrel bourbon from Four Roses. Plummy and fruity with lots of character and at higher strength. This won Whisky Magazine's 2008 Best Bourbon Whiskey No Age award, as well as a host of…  More info

Four Roses Single Barrel 100 Proof
20
$39.87

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