Jefferson’s Chef’s Collab

Jefferson’s Chef’s Collaboration

Blend of Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys

92 Proof

Batch 2, Bottle #1499

At this point I’ve seen three different batches of this collaboration between Jefferson’s Master Blender (remember, Jefferson’s is not a distillery) Trey Zoeller and renowned chef, Edward Lee, best known for his cookbook Smoke & Pickles and his restaurant in Louisville, 610 Magnolia.  This is Batch 2, the only one I’ve tried.  I’m not sure if they are going for this exact flavor profile for every Batch, or if they are going to change it up, we will just have to see what happens.

On the nose, I get more bourbon than rye.  It’s a light nose, pleasant, fruit forward with vanilla and stewed peaches, hint of bran muffin.  Cool.  Much more rye notes come through on the palate, though they don’t come in until halfway through.  First I get classic bourbon notes of vanilla and caramel, then it moves on to some really nice spice, mint, lemon, and white pepper.  Not very much oak at all, I don’t know the age of the bourbon or the rye in here, but they must be fairly young, though one source said that some of the bourbon used in the batch was 14 years old.  Who knows.  Either way, the oak is there but really lets the other flavors shine though more.  I love the 92 proof bottling.  Lately I’ve been preferring 100+ proof whiskey, but this one just makes perfect sense at 92.  More body than I expected, feels good going down with a medium-length, spicy finish.  All very balanced, very pleasant.

I’ve been watching The Mind of a Chef for the first time lately (actually Edward Lee was on the last episode I watched which inspired me to pull this bottle off my shelf and review it) and it’s made me think a lot about flavors and how they are created, brought out, maintained, etc.  It makes sense that blending whiskey should be done by a chef.  Master Blenders and Master Distillers are really chefs themselves–whiskey chefs.  They take the ingredients and make a product that people consume–except they put it in a bottle instead of on a plate!  I’m surprised there aren’t more chefs getting into whiskey blending and distilling, and (prediction alert) I’m gonna go ahead and say we will see this trend start to grow in the next few years.  Anyway, respect to all chefs and distillers, and a big cheers tonight to Edward Lee and Trey Zoeller for their Chef’s Collaboration release.

Rating: 8.8 / 10

Bought on a top secret whiskey run at a secret store in Greenville, SC for $49.99.  It was a big secret.

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