Jefferson's Very Small Batch Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USA
Tasted November 1, 2019
Jefferson’s brand was created by father and son duo, Chet and Trey Zoeller. Trey returned to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky after college and supposedly purchased bourbon from different distilleries in Kentucky, releasing it under the label in 1997. His father Chet Zoeller is a bourbon historian and actually wrote a fascinating book on the subject that was published in 2009. The brand is owned by McLain & Kyne which in turn is owned by Castle Brands. Kentucky Artisan Distillery (KAD), which specializes in contract distilling, proclaims to be the official “home” of Jefferson’s and mention they distill 1,800 barrels for the brand as well as handle aging, blending, and bottling for them. KAD was started in 2012 with Jefferson’s coming onboard officially in 2015. Based on the numbers, KAD is definitely not the sole source of bourbon found in Jefferson’s. This was first tasted about 6 months ago with some friends and everyone found an overpowering flavor of fresh sawdust on the nose, palate, and finish. The attached label proclaimed that it was aged in barrels with #1 char level, which is the lowest char level. Coming back to this almost 6 months later, the flavors have changed dramatically. On the nose there is familiar bourbon profile of vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. The palate starts with charred oak and then changes to vanilla, honey, and mixed berry jam. On the finish the vanilla flavor lingers with wheat toast, and cinnamon brown sugar. This may not be a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow but at $27 it's still quite a decent pour for the price. If you also get hit with an overwhelming fresh sawdust note upon opening the bottle, I would recommend to let it sit for a bit on a shelf without tightly sealing it and then coming back to it after a few months.