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Elijah Craig Bourbon Single Barrel 18yr 2015 750ml

Rated 98 - Dark honey color, lushly aromatic, fragrance like a bouquet of wildflowers: honeysuckle and clover. Viscous and luxurious on the tongue,...
$599.94
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Pappy Van Winkle 10 Year Old Rip Van Winkle 2015 750ml

Rated 95 - Rich copper color. Aromas of fruity, buttery caramel fudge, roasted pecans, and fine brown spices with a plush, chewy, fruity-yet-dry...
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Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year Family Reserve 2015 750ml

This very rare, limited edition bourbon takes generations of distilling know-how to produce. Only the most careful and expensive distilling method...

2015 Bourbon Bourbon Whiskey Kentucky Spirits United States

Bourbon has survived all manner of difficulties and restrictions to become one of the world’s best selling and most recognizable spirits. This unique and distinctly American whiskey came from humble origins, allowing poor farmers in the fields of Pennsylvania and Maryland to make a living from their crops. Prohibition, temperance movements and conflict continuously threatened to wipe Bourbon from existence, but today the drink is stronger than ever and has a global audience of millions. Over time, it has become more refined, and innovation and experimentation has set modern Bourbon apart from other whiskey styles.

Today, the Bourbon heartland and spiritual home is in Kentucky, where the whiskey producers of northern states traveled to seek a new home, free from oppressive tax regimes in the early days. It is now far from the rough and ready spirit of yesteryear, governed by strict rules and regulations to maintain standards and keep quality high. Modern Bourbon must be made from a mash which is no less than 51% and no more than 80% corn (the rest of the mash being made from rye, wheat or barley), giving it a distinctive sweetness, and it must be aged in charred, white oak casks with no other added ingredient but water.

The varied flavors of different Bourbons come about mainly from the different quantities of the permitted grains in the mash. A larger proportion of rye will produce a spicy, peppery whiskey, whereas more wheat will result in a smoother, more subtle drink. Ageing and water quality, as well as the expertise and vision of the craftsmen who distill it, will also make a difference, meaning there is much more to Bourbon than might first meet the eye.

Of all the spirits produced in the United States of America, whiskey is surely king, and no state is as closely associated with this spirit as Kentucky. The history of Kentucky whiskey stretches back to the beginnings of the 18th century, when Irish settlers in the state began distilling the corn and grains they were growing into spirits, partly as a way of using up their crops, and partly as a sweet reminder of the home they’d left behind. Over the following decades, the whiskey industry boomed, as the country as a whole developed a taste for Bourbon, and many of the distilleries we know and love today were first founded.

Kentucky Bourbon is now very much an international spirit, enjoyed in every corner of the globe by those seeking out authenticity and originality in their whiskey. In 1968, the American Congress officially recognized Kentucky Bourbon whiskey by declaring it a ‘distinctive product of the United States’, and new laws and regulations sprung up as a way of protecting and preserving the reputation the state and the spirit enjoyed. These included the rule that Kentucky Bourbon must be aged for a minimum of two years (with many aged for a great deal longer) in white oak barrels, and contain absolutely nothing other than a fine grain mash, yeast and water.

Of all the New World wine countries, perhaps the one which has demonstrated the most flair for producing high quality wines - using a combination of traditional and forward-thinking contemporary methods - has been the United States of America. For the past couple of centuries, the United States has set about transforming much of its suitable land into vast vineyards, capable of supporting a wide variety of world-class grape varietals which thrive on both the Atlantic and the Pacific coastlines. Of course, we immediately think of sun-drenched California in regards to American wines, with its enormous vineyards responsible for the New World's finest examples of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based wines, but many other states have taken to viticulture in a big way, with impressive results. Oregon, Washington State and New York have all developed sophisticated and technologically advanced wine cultures of their own, and the output of U.S wineries is increasing each year as more and more people are converted to their produce.