Nose: Sweet Corn, Rye Spice, Cherries, Apples, Pepper, Vanilla, Caramel, Smoky Oak, and a hint of Brine
Taste: Sweet Buttered Corn, Tobacco, Cinnamon Spice, Pepper, Vanilla, Oak, and a touch of Islay
Finish: Long, Smooth, Sweet heat, with a bit of burn. Lingering Oak
I really loves Jefferson’s. It is quickly becoming my go to bourbon. I was at Albert G’s BBQ in Tulsa, Oklahoma when I was blinded by a copper colored light. When my eyes finally focused, what appears before me? Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at Sea Bourbon. Now I must admit, it wasn’t in my original flight, but it should have been. Shannon the bar manager at Albert G’s gets a lot of the credit here, he talked me in to trying it, not that it took much arm twisting. The history behind Jefferson’s is really quite interesting.
Jefferson’s doesn’t actually distill anything. That’s right, they don’t make one drop of whiskey. They source it from other distilleries and then through aging, mixing and other magic, that only Trey Zoeller knows about, they continue to release small batch Bourbons that are snapped up almost as fast as they are shelved. This particular bourbon is aged on land for 7-8 years before being loaded onto a ship. It then travels to 40+ ports, on 5 continents, crossing the equator 4 times. While at sea it is in continuous motion, sloshing back and forth for 10-12 months. When it finally returns it is bottled at 90 proof and put on the shelves for us to enjoy.
This particular glass has a light chestnut appearance that is a bit darker than other Bourbons, but not overly. The aroma coming from the glass pound your senses and leave you rattled. There so much complexity that it takes a minute to come down from the high. The first thing I registered was the sweet corn and rye spice. These are predominant and bold. The fruit, vanilla, caramel , and smoky oak are in no way understated, they just take a background role. Lastly we have a slight twinge of salty brine. It reminded me of taking the water taxi from Cozumel to the mainland. This was more of a hint than anything.
The first sip was the morning dew from angels…oh wait that’s Scotch. Scotch is my mistress, and like any mistress, she is expensive. So to compare this bourbon to scotch is saying something. Not really in the taste, but more in the overall experience. Although, there is almost a bit of the Islay in that fleeting saltwater note, but I digress. The fluid is almost viscous on the tongue, filling your mouth with its’ presence. It dances…no it glides over the tongue tantalizing and teasing. The flavor profile of this bourbon is just as complex as the nose. It starts out sweet tobacco and fruity, but morphs into a peppery oak with a few other shifts in between to keep you guessing. The last being that ever elusive fresh saltwater spray.
The finish has that sweet bite that I love in Bourbon. Just enough to let you know it is there but not enough to stop the swallow. It’s a lingering finish with a nice burn and smokey oak that just seems to stay with you. It is one of the best finishes I have had yet. Tied with another Bottle of Jefferson’s, The Groth Cask Finish. I Think this was slightly better than the Groth Cask, but I’d really need a bottle of each to be sure!
Here’s the deal on this one, you’ll hate it. Just buy every bottle you see and send them to me. We must get this off the shelves before unsuspecting buyers are tempted…I mean tainted. Who am I kidding, this stuff is awesome. Buy a bottle if you can find one. If you see two send the second one to me! I made the mistake of going in to a liquor store to browse and happened to see this on the shelf. Unfortunately it wasn’t one of my local stores and I couldn’t convince the guy behind the counter to hold it for a week until payday. By the time I got back it was gone. From now on I will always have $80 squirreled away in my wallet just in case I come across Jefferson’s in the wild again.
I welcome your thoughts and opinions. Review suggestions are welcome.
Until Next Time,