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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.

Jim Beam White 4 Year Old - 1980s

75cl, 40%
Jim Beam

A 1980s bottling of Jim Beam's classic White Label, drink whilst listening to classic 80s electronica.  More info

Jim Beam White 4 Year Old - 1980s
$132.27

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

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

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old 101 Proof - 1980s

75cl, 50.50%
Wild Turkey

A rare, old 1980s bottling of the astonishingly lovely Wild Turkey 101 proof, aged for eight years and bottled at 50.5% abv...  More info

Wild Turkey 8 Year Old 101 Proof - 1980s

Jim Beam White 5 Year Old - 1970s

100cl, 43%
Jim Beam

A classic bottle of Beam from the 1970s. This 1 litre bottle is in great shape and makes a great collectors' item.  More info

Jim Beam White 5 Year Old - 1970s
$198.41

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
$264.54

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
$264.54

Evan Williams 1997 Single Barrel

70cl, 43%
Heaven Hill

Evan Williams is a single cask bourbon from the Jim Beam company, this 1997 vintage is the most recent bottling from the range and won a Silver Medal at the 1997 San Francisco World Spirits…  More info

Evan Williams 1997 Single Barrel

Evan Williams 1998 Single Barrel

70cl, 43.30%
Heaven Hill

Made by the folks at Buffalo Trace - this exquisite single barrel bourbon is matured to perfection.  More info

Evan Williams 1998 Single Barrel
4

William Larue Weller (2009 Release)

75cl, 67.40%
Buffalo Trace

Jim Hansell of Malt Advocate rated this 2009 release of William Larue Weller an amazing 96 points! A great bourbon from Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection.  More info

William Larue Weller (2009 Release)

Parker's 27 Year Old Heritage Collection

75cl, 48%
Heaven Hill

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…  More info

Parker's 27 Year Old Heritage Collection
1

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

70cl, 43%
Four Roses

A single barrel edition from Four Roses, this bottling has received marked acclaim with Gold Medals in the 2005 Whisky Magazine and the International Spirits Challenge respectively.  More info

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
$49.05

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2009 Release)

75cl, 70.70%
Buffalo Trace

Great small batch bourbon from Buffalo Trace, at a high cask strength. As well as being voted Best American Whiskey at the 2008 World Whiskies Awards, George T Stagg is also Jim Murray's most highly…  More info

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2009 Release)
3

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - 1838 Sweet Mash

70cl, 43.20%
Woodford Reserve

From Woodford Reserve's experimental Master's Collection, this is a Sweet Mash, made with fresh grains, as opposed to previously used grains (sour mash - a technique used to maintain consistency).  More info

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection - 1838 Sweet Mash
3
$130.95

Parker's Golden Anniversary Heritage Collection

70cl, 50%
Heaven Hill

Created to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Parker Beam's tenure at Heaven Hill Distillery, this superb Bourbon is a limited release of only 4,500 bottles. Get it while you can.  More info

Parker's Golden Anniversary Heritage Collection

William Larue Weller (2008 Release)

75cl, 62.70%
Buffalo Trace

The stunning third release of William Laure Weller from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. This was released in 2008, and it's exquisite. William Larue is a wheated bourbon and, despite its…  More info

William Larue Weller (2008 Release)

William Larue Weller 12 Year Old 1l

100cl, 45%
Buffalo Trace

A 12 year old wheated Kentucky straight bourbon named for William Larue Weller, allegedly the first to substitute rye for wheat.  More info

William Larue Weller 12 Year Old 1l
3
$44.76

Evan Williams 2000 Single Barrel

70cl, 43.30%
Heaven Hill

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

Evan Williams 2000 Single Barrel

Jefferson's 17 Year Old Presidential Select

70cl, 47%
McLain & Kyne

We loved the first two Jefferson's bourbons - classic US whiskeys with great balance. This 17 year old is bottled at higher strength and it's aged for a substantial amount more than the others -…  More info

Jefferson's 17 Year Old Presidential Select
$114.57

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2010 Release)

75cl, 71.50%
Buffalo Trace

The 2010 release of George T Stagg from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. It is aged for around 15 years, and released every Autumn, and they are always highly rated, also at super high strength…  More info

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2010 Release)
$161.79

William Larue Weller (2005 Release)

75cl, 61%
Buffalo Trace

From Buffalo Trace's wonderful Antique Collection, William Larue well is a wheated bourbon, bottled unfiltered and at natural cask strength.  More info

William Larue Weller (2005 Release)
1

Buffalo Trace 1.75l (Old Bottling)

175cl, 45%
Buffalo Trace

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

Buffalo Trace 1.75l (Old Bottling)
1
$64.39

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2011 Release)

75cl, 71.30%
Buffalo Trace

George T Stagg is an utterly superb high strength bourbon. Weighing in at a potent 71.3%. Every year this is a critically acclaimed whiskey from Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection. Roughly 15 years…  More info

George T. Stagg Bourbon (2011 Release)

Evan Williams 23 Year Old

75cl, 53.50%
Heaven Hill

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

Evan Williams 23 Year Old
$143.30

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old (stumpy)

70cl, 45%
Old Rip Van Winkle

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 is a well-aged sour mash Kentucky bourbon, well rated by the Beverage Tasting Institute who awarded it 90 points.  More info

Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year Old (stumpy)
$51.02

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