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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.

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
$36.31

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
$47.56

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
$27.56

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
$29.73

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
$35.25

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
$55.23

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
$28.49

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
6
$38.29

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
57
$26.65

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
16
$22.81

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

The Jim Beam Signature Craft is the Kentucky distillery's small batch range of bourbons, including this 12 year old expression. The 12 years in the barrel seems to have been just the right amount of…  More info

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old
4
$36.16

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
14
$27.69

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
$51.65

Gun Fighter Bourbon

75cl, 50%
Golden Moon

Gun Fighter Bourbon from Colorado's Golden Moon distillery is initially aged in new American oak casks before, interestingly, being finishing in French fortified wine barrels.  More info

Gun Fighter Bourbon
$44.45

Johnny Drum Private Stock (70cl)

70cl, 50.5%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

A cask strength bourbon, this is the flagship bourbon from the Johnny Drum range of handmade bourbons, produced in small batches. (Previously a 15 year old.)  More info

Johnny Drum Private Stock (70cl)
6
$49.44

Widow Jane 10 Year Old (cask 1086) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)

70cl, 45.5%
Widow Jane

One of a pair of 10 year old bourbons released for La Maison du Whisky's 60th Anniversary celebrations from Widow Jane. This one features a high-rye content in its mash-bill, and has been bottled at…  More info

Widow Jane 10 Year Old (cask 1086) (La Maison du Whisky 60th Anniversary)
$127.49

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

70cl, 50%
Jim Beam

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an utter classic small batch bourbon from Jim Beam, first created by Booker Noe and introduced in 1992. It was named after the creek which flows near…  More info

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
5
$30.23

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
8
$25.88

Rock Town Arkansas Bourbon Whiskey

75cl, 46%
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
$51.01

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 52

70cl, 46.5%
Blavod

Another delicious Blanton's Original Single Barrel Bourbon, drawn from cask #52. These bottlings are much adored by whiskey enthusiasts and always fly out the door, so make sure you grab one for…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 52
$61.84

Blanton's Special Reserve

70cl, 40%
Blanton's

Special Reserve is a lower strength single barrel bourbon from Blanton's. Each bottle is hand-filled, hand-labeled, hand-sealed and individually numbered. Please Note: Unfortunately, the wax atop…  More info

Blanton's Special Reserve
6
$39.91

Benchmark Bourbon Old Number 8

70cl, 40%
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
9
$18.96

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
$26.04

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 579

70cl, 46.5%
Blanton's

Brilliant bourbon from Blanton's! Here's yet another bottling from the Blanton's Original Single Barrel Range, this time drawn from barrel #579. Please Note: Unfortunately, the gold wax atop…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 579
$62.31

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.4%)

70cl, 69.4%
Heaven Hill

A barrel proof bottling of Elijah Craig 12 Year Old bourbon. Absolutely incredible stuff - powerful but not clumsy, it's an intense and awesome bit of whiskey deliciousness. This has been bottled at…  More info

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (69.4%)
1
$93.75

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