Jefferson’s is back with a vengeance to end the year of 2013. They’ve released 4 new whiskeys and two more on the way. They have a new blend of bourbon and rye called Chef’s Collaboration which is closest in comparison to Wild Turkey Forgiven (see previous review). A new Presidential Select Bourbon at 25 Years, which is excellent but my favorite is the 21 Year released earlier in the year (see previous review). Nevertheless, the entire Presidential series has produced some of the best bourbons in the last 5 years. As part of this end of the year blitz, they have released not one, but two Presidential Select Ryes for the first time. The 21 Year is more on the sweet side with a lot of molasses, vanilla and light maple and baking spice and balanced finish. When we did a barrel tasting for Jefferson’s Reserve in early December (the first cases of which will be arriving early 2014), their representative announced they are looking to purchase their own distillery. They are currently looking at two old distilleries that have been closed for years. It is indeed great news that Jefferson’s of which I am a big fan and supporter of will finally have a home base where people can visit and chat with their master blender Trey Zoeller and pick his brain about the processes and selection of the whiskeys they use to make their excellent whiskeys and where they hopefully will be making their own. And lastly, The Jefferson’s Ocean which was aged on a ship traveling through all 5 oceans of the world and a 30 Yr Presidential Select Bourbon are coming to Untitled early next year.
My favorite of the 4 new releases is the 25 Yr Presidential Select Rye. Although not as exquisite as the supremacy of the Whistle Pig Boss Hog, the 25 Year Presidential has one of my favorite features of whiskeys spending 20 plus years in a barrel and that is the taste as if a warehouse exploded in your mouth. You get that dustiness and oak right off in the nose as well as light vanilla and those trademark Jefferson pepper notes. The taste starts of with caramel and toffee with very light maple syrup. These sweeter notes are only at the beginning, the length in the barrel subdued them quite a bit than in the 17 and 21 year Presidentials. Then, the rye takes over in force blending the pepper and great baking spice notes, primarily clove, allspice and light cinnamon. These spice notes build into the mid-palate where the warehouse takes over with the dustiness and big time oak you experienced in the nose. That mid-palate combo of spice and warehouse is really fantastic. The finish is mostly oak with the dust and spice fading and fairly lengthy. All these new Presidentials as always are limited editions and we will have 6 bottles of each at Untitled, so come in and dive into these whiskeys that bring a great end to a year I consider the finest in terms of a massive amount of top notch limiteds across the board.