Jefferson’s Very Small Batch
Jefferson’s Very Small Batch
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Batch No. 288, Bottle No. 0781
The name “Jefferson’s” can be found on a few different releases ranging from $30-200, and here we have the lower-end, standard, “Very Small Batch,” though technically all of their releases are very small batch. I’ve yet to try anything besides their 10 Year Rye, which I raved about in a previous post.
On the Jefferson’s website they fully disclose that they are not a distillery themselves, something that many companies try to convince you of or leave extremely ambiguous. From their site: “We seek out new and aged barrels of bourbon from established distilleries that have perfected their art over hundreds of years. Then we do some old-fashioned experimenting, building balance and adding complexity through different selection, agitation and environmental processes until we find the taste Jefferson’s is known for.” I really appreciate that kind of straight shooting with the consumer. I’ve said it before–I don’t care where you get your juice as long as it tastes great. I don’t care if you are a tenth generation distiller or if you are just some rando who stumbled upon a pot still in a garage somewhere, if you make a great product I will buy it. Jefferson’s does just that.
While not quite as exciting as their 10 Year Rye, the standard Jefferson’s Small Batch here is a solid bourbon. It carries no age statement, but on the Castle Brands website (they own Jefferson’s) it says this is a mix of 8 to 12 year barrels, sounds about right. It smells like a standard rye-forward bourbon–good balance of vanilla, brown sugar, stewed fruit (apricots), citrus, with a tiny “off note” (this doesn’t mean bad to me) of your fingers after playing old guitar strings. It tastes sweet and buttery with a little lemon and caramel. It’s nothing out of this world, just a solid whiskey. It’s pretty light bodied, easy drinking, low proof–basically a super solid session whiskey, though I keep my “session” whiskeys under $25 a bottle usually, so this doesn’t quite qualify. One day I’ll drink baller bottles as my sessions, when my proverbial ship comes in…stocked to the gills full of whiskey.
Rating: 7.8 / 10
Bought in Asheville, NC at an ABC Store for $30
Had a chance to compare this with a Private Barrel / Single Barrel release of the same product from Decatur Package Store. Barrel B-285, Bottle No. 36. The Single Barrel was much more subtle on the rye, with hints of fresh sliced orange and the smell of the acoustic guitar room in a music store (if you have been to one of these you’ll know what I’m talking about)…light oak, not charred, more like fresh cut wood scent. On the palate the rye comes out more, but still less than the small batch…it’s mostly vanilla and oak up front though definitely has a spicy finish.
I’ll have to give these two bottles a tie…there are things I like about both of them, but neither one is a mindblower. Just solid sippin’ bourbon. But I can’t wait to get my hands on some of their more premium stuff one day!