Jefferson's Ocean 2nd Voyage
Bourbon gets its Sea Legs
23rd Jan 2015
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Tasting Notes by newreverie
Some time in early 2013 a ship was loaded with 66 precious barrels of bourbon. The ship set out to sea for 6 months to a year. The barrels saw much of the world on their voyage, reaching 5 continents and crossing the equator 4 times. On their return to US shores the barrels were unloaded, their contents bottled, and the 2nd voyage of Jefferson’s Ocean was complete. Jefferson's has a reputation for bringing forward fine bourbons, but they do not distill their own juice, so the source of this bourbon is unknown. I have heard that the bourbon was 7-8 years old, prior to its time at sea. The story of Jefferson’s Ocean harkens back to the days in which bourbon traveled down the Mississippi river and up the east coast of the United States to reach its market. The trip caused additional movement in the barrels and imparted extra aging over a shorter span of time. After having tried it, I’m a believer.
Nose: I love the nose on this bourbon. I’ve been through half of my bottle and each time before sipping I find myself spending several minutes taking in the scent. Bourbon sweet, vanilla, wood, barrel char, light cinnamon and spice, caramel, and sour cherry fruit.
Taste: This is a great bourbon. The flavor is wood and spice up front, fading to sweet and sour notes. There is a slight burn, but it is a good one. There is no harshness to this bourbon. If it is only 7-8 years old, I’d never know. It has the depth and wood flavors of something twice its age. It is so good I want not just another sip, but another pour into my Glencairn, and another pour after that. It will be a struggle to keep this bottle around.
Finish: Again remarkable, but I wish it lasted longer. The finish is caramel, wood, and spice. After a few minutes a salty breeze blows over the ocean of caramel while a wood boat bobs on the waves. I savor those minutes between sips, alternately taking in the nose and savoring the flavors, willing them to stay for as long as possible. They fade eventually and I take another sip.
Balance: Wonderful. The bourbon incorporates everything I want it to. Nothing feels left out or out of place. My only complaint is that I’d like to see a future edition at higher proof.
Final Remarks: Jefferson's Ocean is a very special bourbon. When I had first heard about the journey required to bring this bourbon to my shelf, I assumed that it was done as a gimmick, but I was wrong. The first edition comprised only 250 bottles. Thankfully the second edition bumped those numbers up to 13,500. The third edition is available now, with more bottles than ever, I’ve tasted it and it is good, but I do not find it nearly as enjoyable as the 2nd. My hope is that the 4th edition will feature some barrel proof bottles.
Jefferson's Ocean 2nd Voyage