This weekend saw the start of the100th NFL season and, as a huge American Football fan, I thought I should join the celebrations and recommend a few bourbons.

Bourbon is a corn based spirit, aged in charred new oak and made in America. Although there are huge ties to Kentucky, it can in fact be made anywhere in the USA. The origins are actually based in Maryland and Pennsylvania where struggling grain farmers decided to supplement their income by making and trading a fairly rough and ready spirit. A subsequent hike in taxes sent them south to Kentucky where the spirit became more refined by the use of corn and the introduction of oak. Nowadays, bourbon must comprise of 51% to 80% corn, with the rest of the mashbill being supplemented by wheat, rye or barley. A higher rye content makes drier, more peppery styles such as Bulleit, while an excess of wheat results in more elegant spirits such as Makers Mark.

You don’t just have to be a Tennessee Titans fan to drink a glass of whiskey whilst watching the game. Chicago Bears fans could sip a Koval over ice. If you like the Vikings, you should seek out a Fence Jumper Bourbon from the Rockfilter Distillery in Minnesota. Even if you follow the Patriots, your drink of choice would be a large Triple Eight from Nantucket, New England. There once was a Bourbon from Nantucket…

Here are a few to try this weekend. And these ones should be easier to find than Patriots fans.

American Eagle 12 year old Tennessee Bourbon Whiskey 43% (Inverarity One to One, £56.99). This is an exceptional whiskey, with a classic mashbill of corn, rye and malted barley. On the nose, it’s very fresh with lots of attractive citrus notes. On the palate, the citrus follows through along with cinnamon, raisins and vanilla.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon 47% (Waitrose, £39.99). Elijah Craig was a baptist minister whom many consider to be the father of the bourbon industry. His innovative use of charred oak was certainly pivotal in increasing the popularity of the spirit. The Small Batch replaces the previously available and incredibly popular 12 year old, bottles of which can now rarely be found outside of auctions. It smells and tastes like home made apple pie with a dusting of cinnamon and a touch of honey.

Bulleit Kentucky Straight Bourbon 45% (Royal Mile Whiskies, £26.95). This my ‘house pour’ and I tend to have a large measure in a tumbler with a massive ice cube to chill without overly diluting the spirit. They also do a Rye version which is drier and spicier as well as being delicious.

Bourbon whiskey has survived temperance, prohibition and war and is currently enjoying a surge in popularity in Scotland. Iowa rock band Slipknot have teamed up the Cedar Ridge Distillery (also in Iowa) to create the Slipknot No 9 Whiskey which is currently only available in the USA. I’m certainly hoping it will have made it’s way here before the band play Glasgow in January 2020.