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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.

Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch

75cl, 50%
Buffalo Trace

This small batch bourbon is named after Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, an incredibly important figure in bourbon's history from the 1800s who owned a whole host of distilleries and innovated…  More info

Colonel EH Taylor Small Batch
13
$103.74

Colonel EH Taylor Single Barrel

75cl, 50%
Buffalo Trace

An excellent brand owned by Buffalo Trace that uses similar methods and recipes to the ones Colonel E. H. Taylor introduced and improved during his time as a bourbon distiller in the late 1800s. The…  More info

Colonel EH Taylor Single Barrel
5
$114.54

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
86
$35.32

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
12
$29.16

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
1
$30.00

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon (56.4%)

70cl, 56.40%
Wild Turkey

The Wild Turkey Rare Breed bottle has received a little bit of a redesign, it has! The shape is the same as before, but the label is new and shiny, as is the presentation tube (with focus on the…  More info

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon (56.4%)
3
$52.39

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
31
$26.98

Booker's 7 Year Old True Barrel Bourbon 63.7%

70cl, 63.70%
Jim Beam

Stunning cask strength Kentucky straight bourbon from the Booker's True Barrel series - a fantastic line from the Jim Beam range named after the one and only Booker Noe. This one has been bottled at…  More info

Booker's 7 Year Old True Barrel Bourbon 63.7%
2
$68.00

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old

70cl, 45%
Buffalo Trace

Single barrel bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery in a new 70cl bottle. This stuff is great and good value for money too.  More info

Eagle Rare 10 Year Old
20
$40.37

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - Four Wood

70cl, 47.20%
Woodford Reserve

This is the 2012 edition of Woodford Reserve's Master's Collection - the Four Wood (nothing to do with golf). This was initially matured in American oak, then finished in a selection of Maple Wood,…  More info

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - Four Wood
$157.18

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
3
$72.06

Stagg Jr. 66.05%

75cl, 66.10%
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%
3
$83.91

Blanton's Special Reserve

70cl, 40%
Buffalo Trace

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
8
$41.84

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old Bourbon

70cl, 49.50%
Smooth Ambler

When the Smooth Ambler folks are out and about, they'll come across a great bourbon, as you do (remind me to visit America some time soon), and bottle it under the Old Scout name in homage to the…  More info

Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7 Year Old Bourbon
7
$54.58

Blanton's Gold Edition

70cl, 51.50%
Buffalo Trace

A superb single barrel bourbon. Blanton's Gold is distilled from a mashbill of corn, rye and malted barley. Each bottle is hand filled, sealed, labelled and individually numbered. Please Note:…  More info

Blanton's Gold Edition
17
$69.73

Basil Hayden's 75cl

75cl, 40%
Jim Beam

An 8 year old small batch bourbon. This was named for Jim Beam's historic Master Distiller, Basil Hayden Sr who, in 1796, created a bourbon with a mashbill whose base was of corn, with a mix of small…  More info

Basil Hayden's 75cl
4
$78.62

Maker's Mark 46

75cl, 47%
Maker’s Mark

We tasted this back in 2010, and now it's finally coming to the UK! The first line extension to the Maker's Mark range since the '50s, Maker's 46 is essentially the standard expression with added…  More info

Maker's Mark 46
13

Jim Beam Straight Kentucky Bourbon - 1970s

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

Jim Beam has been making its famous Bourbon for many years. We've managed to get our hands on this bottle from the 1970s for you to see how the brand has developed over the years!  More info

Jim Beam Straight Kentucky Bourbon - 1970s
$131.12

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old - 1970s

75cl, 50.50%
Wild Turkey

A very cool Bourbon, this is a cask strength, 8 year old edition of Wild Turkey, bottled in 1976 and imported into Milan, Italy. Comes in a lovely old-fashioned cardboard box.  More info

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old - 1970s

Jim Beam Blue Decanter - 1960s

75cl, 45%
Jim Beam

A 4/5 quart, very rare blue glass decanter bottle of Jim Beam 8 year old. A real collector's item...  More info

Jim Beam Blue Decanter - 1960s

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon - 1980s

75cl, 47%
Heaven Hill

This is 1980's bottling of the classic small batch Bourbon - the Elijah Craig 12 Years Old. Elijah Craig is attributed with having made the first Bourbon, although in reality it was most likely an…  More info

Elijah Craig 12 Year Old Bourbon - 1980s
$52.45

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof - 1990s

70cl, 54.50%
Wild Turkey

This is a barrel proof (54.5%abv in this case) 1990's bottling of the Wild Turkey Rare Breed Bourbon from Austin Nichols.  More info

Wild Turkey Rare Breed Barrel Proof - 1990s
$78.67

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2012 Release)

70cl, 71.40%
Buffalo Trace

It's here! This is the 2012 bottling of the acclaimed George T Stagg Bourbon from the Buffalo Trace distillery and boasts an incredible strength of 71.4% abv. This is a big, take-your-breath-away…  More info

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2012 Release)
2
$124.73

Jim Beam Bowling Pin

70cl, 43%
Jim Beam

A truly iconic bottle from Jim Beam, the bowling pins are even sought-after collectors' items when they're empty. This one is infinitely superior, because it's still full of Jim Beam. Dating from the…  More info

Jim Beam Bowling Pin
$262.23

Jim Beam Bowling Pin

70cl, 40%
Jim Beam

A truly iconic bottle from Jim Beam, the bowling pins are even sought-after collectors' items when they're empty. This one is infinitely superior, because it's still full of Jim Beam. Dating from the…  More info

Jim Beam Bowling Pin
$262.23

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