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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.

Bourbon Whisky

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Popular Bourbon Whiskey Vintages

Mature Your Own Kit
Glenfarclas Whisky Distillery
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Spirit of Hven Distillery
We had the immense pleasure of trying this at Whisky Live, really great stuff; Van Winkle 23 is a super bourbon of epic proportions. They release yearly batches of this, all of which sell out rather...  More info
$562.88
One of the most astonishing bourbons you'll ever try. This was made in memory of Parker Beam - a member of the Beam family who had been in the industry for over 50 years. John Hansell even went so far...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
Evan Williams 23 Year Old
(75cl, 53.50%)
Incredibly good, incredibly well aged bourbon. This is a cask strength Evan Williams, Jim Murray awarded this 95.5 points in this 2010 Whisky Bible - it was bourbon of the year! It was also an...  More info
$201.41
A really big bottle of Buffalo Trace, this is a 175cl bottle. Buffalo Trace is one of our favourite bourbons, it's a consistent, dependable whiskey which is great on the rocks, and great in an...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$90.50
An incredible single barrel bourbon from Heaven Hill, Evan Williams 2000 vintage is a beautiful whiskey, which Malt Advocate rated with 95 points! Amazing.  More info
Yet another lovely Original Single Barrel release from the Blanton's range, this one coming from barrel #325, which was matured in the legendary Warehouse H. We're got some real superb bourbon here.  More info
$92.16
Strictly 1 Per Customer!

A big, brawny Buffalo Trace bourbon which needs no introduction (but we'll give it one anyway, because we're nice like that), the 2014 edition George T. Stagg from the...  More info
$224.46
Oh yes, it's another Blanton's Original Single Barrel bottling! We love these around here, we do. This one comes from barrel 327, which matured the bourbon in the esteemed Warehouse H, as all the...  More info
$92.16
A Blanton's Original Single Barrel, taken from barrel 330 matured in their famous Warehouse H.
Colonel Albert B. Blanton was the first to bottle single barrel bourbon years upon years ago, for his...  More info
$92.16
We believe this bottle of Beam's Black Label 101, was bottled in 1983. Back then, the labels of Beam's Black Label proudly proclaimed that the wonderful sour mash Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey was...  More info
$278.85
Maker's Mark - 1972
(75cl, 45%)
This is a 1972 bottling of Maker's Mark bourbon - an excellent collector's piece for American whiskey enthusiasts.  More info
$278.85
Beam's Choice bourbon, presented in a very handsome (and very blue) decanter, which we believe to have been produced in 1966. It looks rather futuristic for something produced almost 4 decades ago...  More info
$371.81
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
$278.85
A wheated FEW Spirits bourbon whiskey bottling from That Boutique-y Whisky Company presented at 48.4% abv! On the label you'll find Maverick Drinks' Michael Vachon, who first brought FEW Spirits to...  More info
From Smooth Ambler's Old Scout Range comes a very exciting single barrel straight bourbon whiskey - marvel at its glory! For their single barrel releases, the Smooth Ambler chaps out in West Virginia...  More info
User Rating:  (2 Reviews)
$111.46
A classic bottle of Very Old Barton 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, produced in the 1970s. The brand is still around today, though it is mostly found as four and six year old whiskeys. Very...  More info
$223.08
Corner Creek
(75cl, 44%)
An 8 year old bourbon from the Corner Creek distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This is distilled from wheat corn and rye, and has a full bodied, round flavour. Made in small batches, each bottle...  More info
Echo Spring
(75cl, 40%)
A 4 year old bourbon, Echo Spring is produced at Heaven Hill.  More info
An 18 year old single barrel bourbon named after the Reverend Elijah Craig, credited with discovering the benefits of ageing bourbon in charred barrels. This is a rich and delectable whiskey, the...  More info
$71.11
Rowan's Creek is a small batch bourbon from Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Co. This has a very smooth, rounded character with lovely spicy, fruity flavours.  More info
$59.43
Kentucky Vintage
(70cl, 45%)
A small batch bourbon made from only a select few barrels. This is aged longer than most standard bourbons, which gives it an extra dimension. Each bottle is hand numbered.  More info
User Rating:  (3 Reviews)
$48.26
Just looking at this gorgeous antique bottle of Old Quaker Bourbon from the 1950s makes me want a big bowl of porridge, but I'm not sure why. Never mind. This old American brand was once owned by...  More info
$743.61
An antique bottle of Seagram's Selected Bourbon Whiskey, produced during the 1940s in Waterloo. Why, that's just down the road! We could go there and see where this bottle was made! ...Oh, Waterloo in...  More info
$557.71
A bourbon with two faces, one that carries a double-headed coin and is not friends with a certain bat-shaped super... Wait, it's Dant Bourbon, not Dent Bourbon! Oh, this is an antique bottle of J.W...  More info
$223.08
Catching Dollar Fever is easier than catching a cold, you just need to ask that the person passing you the bottle to throw it softly. If for some reason you want to get rid of Dollar Fever, guess...  More info
$74.36
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