Those of you in the United States may be forgiven for being familiar with the following bourbons, but those of us on the other side of the Atlantic have only just been granted the luxury of being able to purchase these wonderful small batch bourbons on our own shores. There is a definite boom in bourbons recently which is all down to the maturing tastes of gentlemen being open to new flavours they might not have been familiar with.
The rise of small batch product has also offered spirit fans the chance of tasting new and exciting flavours. We select some of the stand out ones from the Beam Suntory stable that produces Jim Beam and Makers Mark, with their exquisite small batch selection.
Bottled at 80 proof – unlike traditional bourbons that use a corn based mash, this uses nearly twice as much rye compared to other bourbons, giving it a gentle yet spicy flavour. Whenever you hear the term ‘smooth’, this is a prime example of that. Wonderful taste and universal appeal that deserves to be shared, sipped and savoured.
Appearance: Golden amber
Nose: Spice, tea
Palette: Spicy, honey, light-bodied, gentle bite
Finish: Dry, clean, short
Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – £50 RRP
Aged for seven years and bottled at 107 proof. Uses a special strain of jug yeast which results in a silky smooth texture, giving it a deeply mellow, medium bodied but with full flavour. Proving that bourbon whiskey can be any match to their Scottish and Irish cousins.
Appearance: Amber, nutty brown
Nose: Caramel, Vanilla
Palette: Toasted nuts, vanilla, silky texture
Finish: Sweet, smooth, medium-long
Baker’s 7 Year Matured Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – £55 RRP
Aged between six to eight years and bottled between 121 – 127 proof. This the only bourbon bottled straight-from-the-barrel, uncut and unfiltered. With that in mind, it has a wonderful complexity that makes it so exciting to drink.
Appearance: Deep, rich, smoky amber
Nose: Vanilla, oak, smoky charcoal
Palette: Intense, tobacco, fruit
Finish: Clean, long, intense
Booker’s True Barrel Bourbon – £55