Jefferson's Reserve Very Old Straight Bourbon Whisky
"Very Small Batch"(45.1% alc, 90.2 Proof) Batch #176, Bottle #0992
Bottled by McLain & Kyle / Castle Brands, this Jefferson's Reserve is indeed a "very small batch" bourbon, coming from a blend of only a dozen or so barrels. From their website:
"We make our bourbon in small batches, ridiculously small batches. This enables us to showcase the different flavors that result from the wood in each barrel, as in the case of single barrel bourbons. We maintain the consistency that is found in small batch bottling. It’s like making dinner for 8 friends rather than a group of 80 people."
Color: Amber / Bronze
Nose: Subtle, very light alcohol smell. Strong nutty essence with a touch of honey. Very woody odor, but not of overpowering charred oak, more of fresh cut wood.
Taste: Strong vanilla with hints of cherries. Soft on front of tongue with a bit more oak on the back end. Flavors are intensified with a few drops of water.
Finish: The oak really lingers on the palate, but it is quite pleasant. Clean with some spice notes, but not overwhelming.
Verdict: This is a fine bourbon. A solid offering that comes at the higher end of 'mid-priced' whiskies. It is easy to drink and has a redeeming quality that would draw me back to drink again. The Jefferson's Reserve is certainly a step above your everyday bourbon, but falls just short of the 'elite' tier. It is one that I would recommend confidently to someone looking for a solid whiskey that isn't going to blow you away, but instead gently stake it's claim as a bottle that should be added to any collection.