...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Bourbon and Rye Day Friday: Jefferson's Ocean Bourbon, batch 19

There's a whole story behind Jefferson's Ocean bourbon, but it doesn't matter. It's a non-age statement, non-distiller producer, diluted whiskey. The rest is a diversion. It's there to put you off the scent, to hypnotize you into paying irresponsibly for non-age statement, non-distiller producer, diluted whiskey. If you want the marketing tale then google "Jefferson's ocean". Even Fox News has a page on it.

Since it's whiskey, what matters is quality. That's what I'm going to try to suss out of my sample provided to me by The Recent Sku, MGPhD.

And that's it for the intro. I had an angrier one queued up, but it ain't worth it.

Brand: Jefferson's Ocean
Ownership: Castle Brands, Inc.
Distillery: Since they dropped "Kentucky" off the label, who knows where the bourbon is from. Many Great Possibilities.
Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: due to the lack of age statement, it should be at least 4 years old
Mashbill: I'm going to go out on a limb and say it has corn, rye and barley in it
Maturation: in charred white oak barrels coopered in Billy Ocean's backyard
Batch: 19
Alcohol by Volume: 45%

The nose runs thick with vanilla, cinnamon and wheat bread. Very floral, but it's not roses, nor jasmine (helpful!). A hint of dried apricots in the back. Mild green herbal notes (between oregano and chives). With 30+ minutes of air, it opens up into orange blossoms and Ferrero Rocher. Its palate starts off mildly, with some heat, green pepper, and a little bit of sweetness. After a few minutes it picks up rye-like spice and, ooh, lots of cherry sweetness. A bitter bite keeps it from going overboard (as it were). It expands with more air. More vanilla, more hot spirit, but also some limes and oranges. Bitter dandelion stems. Again, not much going in the finish at first. But then the cherry sweets arrive. Brown sugar. Orange candy. A slight bitter oak note.

That was much better than I had expected. The nose is cuddly, the palate never offends, the finish is a sweetie. The bitterness is necessary to balance things out. As can be corroborated by Sku and MAO (who, I've just learned, stole my Billy Ocean joke), this batch of Jefferson's Thing is perfectly bourbon bourbon. I'd be happy to pay $25-$30 for it. I don't know what the current batch number is but one can find Jefferson's Ocean for $65ish if one is lucky. Otherwise a number of retailers are selling batches for $150 BECAUSE POLLS SHOW THAT 100% OF GODS BLESS AMERICAN RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM. Keep up the good work everyone.

Availability -
this batch and others can be found at many US specialty retailers

Pricing - $65-$150 (because if it's that expensive it has to be amazing)
Rating - 83