Bourbon Jefferson's Ocean

Published on February 2nd, 2015 | by

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Jefferson’s Ocean 3

Discovery

I first heard of Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon when I was out with my father-in-law shopping. Before you are quick to judge me for shopping with him you should know we were shopping for booze, bourbon to be specific. You see, my wife’s family loves the holidays and the ladies always go out Black Friday shopping. I’ve been drawn out into the expeditions before and my only contribution was ensuring that we stopped for coffee and donuts. Thankfully a local liquor store in Nashville where her family is from started a Black Friday Sale focusing on exclusive high end bourbons that are hard to find.

Jefferson's Ocean

The flyer for the sale did not reveal much about what specifically would be in supply but either way we were all in. We arrived at 6:30am for the 8:00am sale, assuming that there weren’t too many people that would show up in the cold November weather, to wait in line outside of a liquor store to make a booze purchase. Laughable, right?! We were about the 50th people in line and apparently the first warriors arrived at 3pm the day before. Felt like an amateur except we had found a way to circumvent the one bottle rule. You see, where the holiday gathering truly proved effective was the extra personnel around the house who would buy booze for a $20 bill from us.

Jefferson's Ocean Bottle

Once we were close to the register we were able to determine what was left/available. Still a great selection. I heard someone mention Jefferson’s Ocean and proceeded to google the mystery bourbon. By the time I had arrived at the counter, it had sold out though. Luckily, Siz and some of his contacts came through and he was able to procure a bottle for tasting. Thanks to the good ole folks at Grand Cru Wine & Spirits in Nashville!

History

As you might imagine, the fact that I missed out on the bourbon altogether only caused me to desire a drink more. Jefferson’s Bourbon is a non-distilling bourbon producing company. Which is a fancy way of saying they don’t distill the bourbon themselves. Jefferson’s has made their bones in the industry with their blends, bottling of rare barrel stocks, and unique aging processes. Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea was, as you can tell by the name, partially aged at sea. These barrels are aged up to 8 years on solid ground, then loaded on a ship and sailed around the world for another 5-10 months of aging.

Jefferson’s Ocean is taken on a journey that takes it to all sorts of port of calls. You can even check out Jefferson’s website and look at a map of where your bourbon has traveled. We reviewed the Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea III.

Jefferson's Ocean Voyage 3

An Explorer’s Search for New Territory

I’ve spent some time reading many blogs and comments regarding Jefferson’s Ocean and there appears to be some controversy regarding people’s thoughts and feelings over this bourbon. However you feel about this bourbon you have to at least grant that this process of aging is innovative. Reading the backstory for this bourbon makes me think about Christopher Columbus and his burning desire to find new land. Jefferson’s was pretty bold putting quality bourbon on a ship and sending it to sea. I find it admirable.

Like a parent trying to bring their child to full maturity, Jefferson’s sent the bourbon to aging boarding school. The booze would leave Savannah, Georgia and return a mature aged, well-seasoned, cultured bourbon after the voyage. Pretty darn cool.

Aroma

The long anticipated day to taste Jefferson’s Ocean a couple weeks back. I had built up so much anticipation that I was like a kid at Christmas waiting to unwrap a present. After uncorking the bottle, I took a quick smell and poured a dram into my snifter. The most prominent scent was plum which was pleasant. The aging at sea caused me to try to find the same smell I sensed on the beach in Jamaica but fortunately this did not smell like jerk chicken and sunscreen. Vanilla and oak were also prevalent.

Jefferson's Ocean 3

Taste

Jefferson’s Ocean was very light on the palate. I don’t know if aging bourbon at sea causes it to have beach drinking characteristics but I could certainly see myself relaxing on the beach and enjoying a chilled glass of this. Rolling the bourbon around the palate brought out clove and grapefruit. There was a very pleasant citrus zest theme. I like to cook and I use a zester from time to time for meals or to make cocktails. Very cool flavor. Took a bit to identify what it was but that made it even more exciting. I also picked up plum and hints of grape while swirling in my mouth.

Finish

The finish was very pleasant. Light, thin and a bit minty was kind of surprising for a well-aged bourbon. I typically go for the heat in my chest, warmth option but I was not opposed to Jefferson’s Ocean sensation.

1492 Discovery Cocktail

As a tribute to the endeavor of Jefferson’s Ocean to find new ways to bring innovation to the bourbon industry we would like to call this cocktail The 1492 Discovery. The date choice should be obvious since that’s when Christopher Columbus discovered America. You might be thinking that it’s ridiculous to make a cocktail with this stuff but the high end cocktail industry would politely disagree with you. We also feel that this cocktail brings quality ingredients to mix with Jefferson’s Ocean that complement the bourbon very well.

Jefferson's Ocean 3

Overall: 9/10

I really enjoyed every part of my interaction with Jefferson’s Ocean. From the Black Friday Booze Shopping to finally tasting. I would recommend this bourbon to anyone. It’s pricey but you get what you pay for most of the time in life. If you can find a bottle give it a try and see what you think. We’d love to hear your thoughts.


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