Bourbon and American Whisky Christmas Buying Guide for Novices

Bourbon and American whisky Christmas buying guide for Novices


Buying whisky – any type of whisky – if you are a beginner can be a daunting experience. That is the case if you are buying for yourself or as a Christmas present. It is a bit like those first romantic experiences you had as a teenager, with the constant angst and sheer panic that you might be doing something wrong while everyone else appears to be an expert and is laughing at you.


November: Cheapest Month To Buy Jack Daniels And Jim Beam

Cheapest month to buy Jack Daniels

There are two American whiskies you can be sure of getting at any off licence or supermarket in the UK – Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. They are the biggest selling American whisky brands in the world so that is not surprising. What is surprising is that right now they are cheaper than ever.


Father's Day Bourbon And Whisky Gift Ideas 2013


Fathers Day bourbon and whisky gift ideasEvery man needs socks, t-shirts and after shave. However, it does become a bit tedious getting them for every special occasion. So this Father's Day, get your dad something different. Something bourbon or American whisky related. If he loves the drink, he will love your gift. This page shows our top bourbon and whisky gift ideas for 2013.

We have broken it up into the main categories and shown our top three choices. The categories include clothes, bourbon, glasses and more.

Don't worry if you can't find anything you like in our top selections as you can always browse our extensive gift pages.

So treat your dad to something really special this Father's Day.


New products

FEW Bourbon ** FEW Rye Whiskey ** Barton Reserve Bottled 1970s ** Old Grand Dad Bottled 1978 ** Park & Tilford Private Stock Bottled 1960s


We have added a couple of whiskies from a Chicago based craft distillery today plus some rare and collectable single bottle examples that have come onto the market. FEW Spirits is the young distillery making an impact both here in the UK and in the US. We have added FEW Bourbon and FEW Rye Whiskey, the later of which is the best in their growing range. The collectable bourbons start with a 1970s era bottle of Barton Reserve, which is a blended American whisky. Next we have a 1978 bottling of Old Grand Dad which was bottled in bond. Finally there is a very rare Park & Tilford Private Stock which we are told is from the 1960s.



Billboards are better in America

Makers Mark Billboard


The just do billboards better in the US!


Jack Daniels Prices

It is an unfortunate fact that Jack Daniels prices in the UK fluctuate considerably, from week to week and retailer to retailer. At its core, Jack Daniels is a value whisky, designed to be affordable for everyone. However, prices in the UK change often, and at any one time can vary from as low as £18 to as high as £26.

The cheaper prices are typically available at the supermarkets when they run special offers. Those offers are available most of the time, but can vary between the big three chains – Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda. The more expensive prices are usually charged by drink’s retailers who do not specialise in whisky. They are more often than not trying to capitalise on the prestige of the brand and as a result charge higher prices.

Average Jack Daniels prices can be found at specialist whisky retailers and on Amazon. They do not (or rather cannot) offer the low cost offers available at the supermarkets, but at the same time they do not over-charge.


New products

Larceny Bourbon ** Old Potrero ** Wasmund's Rye Barrel Kit ** Wasmund's Single Malt Barrel Kit ** William Larue Weller 2012 ** Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Rare Rye Selection


We have added six interesting and different bourbons and whiskies today. We start with Larceny Bourbon, a new small batch from Heaven Hill made with a wheat recipe. Then we have Old Potrero, one of the most intriguing whiskies from the US that we have seen in a while. It is just as we imagine whisky used to be made in the 19th century, when distillers were usually farmers and production was small-scale. We also have another 2012 release from the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, this time William Larue Weller, the super-premium wheated bourbon whisky. Finally, we have three products that all whisky lovers will love as they are more than just a bottle. Firstly we have two barrel kits from small, craft distiller Wasmund's. The whisky is un-aged, white spirit, but in the kit you also get a barrel so you can age the whisky yourself, which is a fantastic idea. There are rye and single malt kits available. The final whisky in this update is Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Rare Rye Selection. This product from Brown-Forman includes two bottles of whisky, both made from the same recipe but aged differently. One was aged in a new barrel, the other in a used, giving us whisky lovers a chance to see up-close-and-personal how the barrel and aging process impacts on the drink we pour in our glass every day.



New products

Jack Daniel's Holiday Select 2012 ** Wild Turkey 8 Year Old 101 ** Kentucky's Old Reserve Whiskey ** Old Crow Reserve ** St George Breaking and Entering Bourbon ** Jim Beam Small Batch ** Guckenheimer Blended Whiskey bottled in the 1970s


We have added 7 new bourbons and whiskies in this update. Three are from some of the most famous brands in the world - Jack Daniel's, Wild Turkey and Old Crow. The JD is Jack Daniel's Holiday Select 2012, a collectable whisky released once a year. Both Wild Turkey 8 Year Old 101 and Old Crow Reserve are fantastic versions of the respected brands which are more akin to the old way of making bourbon, as opposed to the modern, high-volume way. We then have St George Breaking and Entering Bourbon and Kentucky's Old Reserve Whisky, both of which are blends from US drinks companies who bought barrels from Kentucky's big distilleries. Finally we have two hard to find and collectable bottles. The first is Jim Beam Small Batch, a product that was primarily available in the Australian market. There is also a 1970s bottle of Guckenheimer Blended Whiskey, a brand with a heritage that goes back to the very early days of US whisky production. So there is something for everyone including low cost bourbons, good quality value bourbons, rare bourbons and collectable whiskies.



New products

Four Roses Single Barrel Limited Edition 2012 ** E H Taylor Straight Rye ** Balcones '1' Texas Single Malt ** Balcones Brimstone ** Balcones True Blue ** Corsair Triple Smoke ** Corsair Wry Moon** Bourbon Supreme One Quart Bottled 1970s ** FEW White Whiskey ** Fleischmann's Preferred Blended Whiskey Bottled 1970s


There are 10 new bourbons in this update, started with two premium whiskies from great distilleries. The first is E H Taylor Straight Rye from Buffalo Trace. The other is the 2012 release of Four Roses Single Barrel Limited Edition. Both are different, but both are fantastic. We also have six hand-crafted whiskies from US craft distilleries. Three are from the Texas distillery Balcones - '1' Single Malt, Brimstone and True Blue. Two are from Corsair - Wry Moon and the brilliant Triple Smoke. Craft distilleries are a growing industry in the US and the whiskies they produce are becoming more popular. That is good for us as many are now making their way to these shores so we can buy them here in the UK. The final whiskies we have added today are both rare and collectable examples. Both are from the 1970s. They are a bottle of Bourbon Supreme and a bottle of Fleischmann's Preferred Blended Whiskey Bottled 1970s.



Top 10 Unusual Jack Daniel's Gift Ideas


Jack Daniel's is one of the biggest and most famous whisky brands in the world. It is steeped in history and has an image that is very stylish, modern and cool. It is therefore not surprising that there are loads of products that are Jack Daniel's related. There are hundreds to choose from, from the classic every day type gifts, to the unusual and distinctive. So, you could get that someone special a straightforward gift like a belt buckle, a t shirt or a hip flask.

But for those looking for something different we have created a list of the Top 10 Unusual Jack Daniel's Gift Ideas.



New products

George T Stagg 2012 ** Thomas H Handy Sazerac 2012 ** Willet's Family Estate Single Barrel Rye ** Jack Daniel's Edward Giaccone 20th Anniversary ** Jack Daniel's 5 Year Old 1960 ** Heaven Hill Bourbon Bottled 1970s ** Wild Turkey Turkey & Fox Decanter 1985


We start the update this week with two bourbons from the 2012 Antique Collection by Buffalo Trace. They are George T Stagg 2012 and Thomas H Handy Sazerac 2012. Both are produced in limited quantities and are highly sought after so do not expect them to be around for very long. Then we have a young but excellent rye whisky - Willet's Family Estate Single Barrel Rye. To round off, we have four very rare collectable bottles of bourbon and whisky. There are two from Jack Daniel's, one from the 1970s and the other even older - from the 1960s. There is also a Heaven Hill bourbon from the 1970s and an intact Wild Turkey ceramic decanter - this one depicts a wild turkey meeting a fox and is very collectable.



Wild Turkey Ceramic Decanters


The Austin Nichols Distilling Co is the company behind Wild Turkey bourbon whisky. In the 1970s and 1980s, it released a range of ceramic decanters, all depicting the bird its famous bourbon was named after - the wild turkey. There were four main series plus another in the late 1980s. All were very intricate and colourful - and nothing like a standard bourbon whisky bottle.

They are collector's items now, both full of the original bourbon or empty. They are very rare today. This is down to many factors, including how long ago they were produced and sold. Another factor is the fact the decanters were made of ceramic - many have probably ended up in pieces on kitchens floors around the world.



New products

Jim Beam Honey ** Jack Daniel's Honey ** Jack Daniel's White Rabbit Saloon ** McCormick Gold Label Bourbon Bottled 1980s ** Old Charter Bourbon 7 Year Old Bottled 1970s ** Old Fitzgerald 6 Year Old Bottled 1970s ** Old Forester Bottled 1970s


The update this week is all about honey. Well, not all about honey, but we have two new, and very popular, honey flavoured whiskies. Both Jim Beam Honey and Jack Daniel's Honey have been added to Bourbon Whisky. We have also added Jack Daniel's White Rabbit Saloon, a commemorative bottle of Jack Daniel's. Then we have four hard to find, collectible bottles of bourbon whisky. Three are from the 1970s: Old Charter Bourbon 7 Year Old, Old Fitzgerald 6 Year Old and an Old Forester. The other was bottled sometime in the 1980s - it is a bottle of McCormick Gold Label.



New products

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2002 ** W L Weller 7 Year Old ** Four Roses 6 Year Old Bottled 1970s ** Imperial Hiram Walker ** Beam's Eight Star Bottled 1980s ** Bootlegger White Grain Spirit ** Evan Williams 8 Year Old


Moonshine is a drink most commonly associated with prohibition USA, although with the increasing popularity of craft distilleries in America, many new versions have recently gone on sale. On today's Bourbon Whisky update we have a UK version - Bootlegger White Grain Spirit. We also have an excellent wheat recipe W L Weller 7 Year Old plus two new Evan Williams bourbon whiskies. One is the 2002 vintage single barrel while the other is an unusual (and uncommon) 8 Year Old. Finally, we have three new rare and collectible bourbon whiskies, two from the 1970s and one from the 1980s. They are a Four Roses 6 Year Old, an Imperial Hiram Walker and a bottle of Beam's 8 Star.



New products

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2011 ** Old Mr Boston Rocking Chair Whiskey ** Old Potrero 18th Century Whiskey ** Very Old Barton ** Wild Turkey 101 Proof Bottled 1970s ** Wild Turkey 81 Proof ** Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit


Wild Turkey is one of our favourite bourbon whiskies so it is with pleasure that we include two great new Wild Turkey bourbons in the update for this week. Wild Turkey 81 Proof is a bourbon whisky that is becoming a household name, while Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit is one of the best single barrel bourbon whiskies available. This week we also have an old collectible bottle of Wild Turkey, plus some other collector's items. There is also the wonderful Very Old Barton (from Sazerac) and a craft bourbon whisky from Old Potrero.




A Brief History


The Early Days

Bourbon is a whisky made in the USA, primarily in the southern part of the country. The state synonymous with bourbon production is Kentucky. The vast majority of bourbon produced today is made at distilleries in Kentucky.

Today bourbon is also a recognised product category with a clear legal definition but that was not always the case. It is hard to pinpoint the exact moment in time when bourbon was first produced and sold. Its development was evolutionary rather than a single moment of creation.

There are many stories about the origin of bourbon, but most are just that - stories. What we do know is that people were distilling whisky in the USA as long ago as the 18th century. They were settlers who had arrived in the then new USA from places like Scotland, Ireland and Germany. They brought with them the knowledge of how to distil whisky.


New products

Jim Beam Devil's Cut ** Makers Mark Rock the Vote Red, White and Blue Wax 100cl ** Old Charter 10 Year Old ** Old Charter 8 Year Old ** Old Crow Bottled 1980s ** Old Crow Traveler Fifth Bottled 1970s ** Old Crow Traveler Fifth Bottled 1980s


The update this week includes fantastic offerings from Old Charter, the devil, politics and collector's bottlings from Old Crow. We have an 8 year old and a 10 year from Old Charter, both of which represent fantastic value for money. The devil is in the form of Jim Beam Devil's Cut (you have heard of Angel's Share, now learn about the devil's cut). The politics is from Maker's Mark and the latest from its Rock the Vote series. Finally, there are three collector's bottles from Old Crow. Enjoy.



US Whisky MapUS Whiskey Map


We came across this really interesting US Whisky Map on the web recently showing the locations of all the whisky distilleries in the US.

The whisky market in the US, as here in the UK, changes all the time as distilleries are bought, are sold, close down, and open up. This is particularly the case over the past two to three years with the increase in the amount of craft distillers. So understandably this is a little bit out of date. Mostly it is accurate and, regardless, it is informative.

Most of the distilleries are centered in Tennessee - the home of Jack Daniel's - and Kentucky - the only state in the US where bourbon can legally be made. The north east of the country also has several distilleries, as does the west coast.



New products

Jack Daniel's 1907 ** Jack Daniel's Holiday Select 2011 ** Jack Daniel's Scenes from Lynchburg 2011 ** Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Ducks Unlimited ** Jack Daniel's 1981 Gold Medal ** Jeremiah Weed Blended Bourbon ** Jesse James Bourbon


We have added seven new bourbons and whiskies to Bourbon Whisky today. We have five new bottles from Jack Daniel's, all special collector's items. Plus we have new brands Jeremiah Weed and Jesse James.



New products

Buffalo Trace 45% ** Buffalo Trace Experimental Oat Bourbon Whiskey ** Buffalo Trace Experimental Rice Bourbon Whiskey ** Charter 101 ** Copper Fox Rye ** Evan Williams Single Barrel ** George Dickel No.8


We have added seven new bourbons and whiskies to Bourbon Whisky today. They range from a craft rye spirit that cannot legally be called a whisky, to the award-winning Evan Williams Single Barrel, released annually by Heaven Hill.




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