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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.

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
83
$26.07

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
23
$42.89

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
$82.98

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
90
$34.93

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
$39.92

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 69

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

A Blanton's Original Single Barrel bourbon here, which was allowed to age in barrel #69 in the legendary Warehouse H.  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 69
$59.01

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
$67.24

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
$75.58

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
$113.27

Willett's Pot Still Reserve (70cl)

70cl, 47%
Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co

A 70cl bottling of the excellent Willet's Pot Still Reserve - not only is it a cracking small batch Kentucky bourbon, but it comes in bottles shaped like a pot still, which we love.  More info

Willett's Pot Still Reserve (70cl)
$57.64

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
$41.37

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
$68.95

The Bourbon Advent Calendar (2016 Edition)

72cl, 46.70%
Drinks by the Dram

Estimated despatch October 10th Incredibly popular last year, the Bourbon Advent Calendar makes a return for 2016! Count down to Christmas with a Drinks by the Dram Advent Calendar filled to the…  More info

The Bourbon Advent Calendar (2016 Edition)
$162.02

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 144

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

A bottle of Blanton's Original Single Barrel, containing bourbon which was drawn from barrel #144 - as we all know, the number 144 is the 12th number of the Fibonacci sequence, and it's also the sum…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 144
$53.98

Angel's Envy

75cl, 43.30%
Louisville Distilling Company

Angel's Envy is a rather splendid bourbon that has interestingly been finished in Port casks! The combination of the vanilla-y richness with the sweet, sticky Port notes (which really come to the…  More info

Angel's Envy
2
$102.65

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

Four Roses 6 Year Old Bourbon - 1973

Four Roses

Four Roses has long been a classic bourbon brand, well loved by many. If you've been a long-time fan, this'll be an interesting piece for your collection - a bottle of Four Roses 6 Year Old Bourbon,…  More info

Four Roses 6 Year Old Bourbon - 1973
$194.48

Evan Williams 7 Year Old - bottled 1978

75cl, 45%
Heaven Hill

An antique bottle of Evan William 7 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a classic of Heaven Hill's range. We think this bottle was produced in 1978.  More info

Evan Williams 7 Year Old - bottled 1978
$129.66

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 317

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

From the Blanton's range comes yet another cracking Original Single Barrel bourbon - this one drawn from barrel 317. As ever, these are matured in the famous Warehouse H, which Colonel Blanton felt…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 317
$64.28

Beam's Choice 8 Year Old - 1960s

76cl, 43%
Jim Beam

This collectible 1960s bottling of Beam's Choice 8 Year Old bourbon, is presented in a decanter featuring Frans Hals' "Boy Holding A Flute". The boy seems to be holding his hand up for a high-five -…  More info

Beam's Choice 8 Year Old - 1960s
$194.48

Old Crow Kentucky Bourbon - 1960s

95cl, 43%
The Old Crow

A large bottle of Old Crow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which we believe to have been produced all the way back in the 1960s. Very collectible among American whiskey enthusiasts and spirits…  More info

Old Crow Kentucky Bourbon - 1960s
$194.48

Maker's Mark - 1990s

70cl, 45%
Maker’s Mark

Good old Maker's Mark from the 1990s, made with red winter wheat rather than rye.  More info

Maker's Mark - 1990s
$77.79

Balcones 5th Anniversary Single Barrel Bourbon - 2nd Release

75cl, 65.70%
Balcones

STRICTLY 1 PER CUSTOMER The second of four single barrel bourbons from Balcones, released as part of their fifth anniversary spectacular. The previous release sold like hot cakes on a cold day,…  More info

Balcones 5th Anniversary Single Barrel Bourbon - 2nd Release
$135.06

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
$77.74

Old Charter 7 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon - 1970s

75cl, 43%
Old Charter Distillery Co.

If the clock on the label of this 1970s Old Charter Kentucky Bourbon only moved forwards 1 hour every year, it would accurately tell you how old this bourbon it, as it's pointing at 7 o'clock and…  More info

Old Charter 7 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon - 1970s
$129.66

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