Breaking Bourbon: Douglas Blyde's unique trio of whiskeys

Best bourbons (Best bourbons)
Best bourbons (Best bourbons)

America’s most famous whiskey likely takes its name from New Orleans bar hotspot Bourbon Street, where the country’s whiskey overtook French cognac in cocktails such as the Mint Julep alongside vaudeville acts. By law it must be made from corn and matured in new oak casks, keeping barrel-makers in business. Ninety-five per cent stems from stills in Kentucky, which has its own Bourbon Trail to follow and annual whiskey-drenched festival. Here are three distinct versions to try

TRIPLE DISTILLED

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Distiller’s Select, 1812  

Woodford’s pristine complex has been deemed a National Historic Landmark, in part because it is the USA’s only Bourbon distillery to use the triple-distillation process, contributing to the smoothness of the orange and toffee-scented spirit. Look out for the handsomely packaged Holiday Edition. (£34.60; amathusdrinks.com)

AN ANGLO-AMERICAN ALLIANCE  

Never Say Die Small Batch Bourbon  

Intriguingly, this Bourbon was distilled and matured at Wilderness Trail Distillery in Kentucky, then plonked in cask in a sea container for a six-week voyage to Liverpool. The pitching, rolling and temperature fluctuations result in a juicy, opulent, and deeper expression starring rye and malted barley in addition to corn. (£59.95; thewhiskyexchange.com)

EXTRA OLD EXTRAVAGANCE   

Maker’s Mark Cellar Aged   

Matured in a cool, limestone cellar blasted into a mountain, this special edition by eighth-generation whiskey maker and showman Rob Samuels marries 11 and 12-year-old whiskeys bottled at cask strength — not that a higher strength is a hindrance. The result is sumptuous: darker, with notes of a particularly premium banana Nesquik. (£145; bbr.com)