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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.

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 158

70cl, 46.50%
Buffalo Trace

For admirers of top-notch bourbon, you can't go wrong with a bottle of Blanton's Original Single Barrel. It's matured in the legendary Warehouse H and each one is drawn from a single barrel - this…  More info

Blanton's Original Single Barrel - Barrel 158
$65.37

Fighting Cock 6 Year Old

75cl, 51.50%
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
9
$32.01

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

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

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

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

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

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
$54.58

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
$103.81

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
$196.68

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
$131.12

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
$65.01

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
$196.68

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
$196.68

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
$78.67

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