Monday, March 7, 2016

Jefferson's Ocean Batch 19

One of the signs of the coming bourbon apocalypse is when the first edition of Jefferson's Ocean Aged Bourbon sold for $1,000 at auction. With 20+ releases under their belts, I believe the market is a bit less bullish on this no age statement sourced bourbon. I would also note that while some earlier bottles were labeled as "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey," the one I'm sampling today simply states that it is "Straight Bourbon Whiskey," and we all know what taking Kentucky off the label implies...that it's a Mighty Good Product.

Jefferson's Ocean, Batch 19, 45% abv ($65)

The nose has peanuts and butterscotch. The palate is nicely spicy, a tad salty (from all that ocean air obviously) and the finish has honey and rye spice.

This is actually quite a bit better than the first edition that people went nuts for. It's got some nice spicy notes and some complexity.  I wouldn't pay $65 for it, but it's decent bourbon.


Anonymous said...

Are you sure it is "Batch 19?" I just started seeing Batch #7 pop up in my area, the last couple of months.

sku said...

It's Batch 19 and it's from last year. If you search on-line, you'll find recent reviews for Batches 20 and 21.

Sam Komlenic said...

My cynical side says this is nothing more than a gimmick which can't possibly replicate what whiskey would have experienced on a ship a century ago. Ships than were relatively small and much more at the mercy of the sea, pitching and rolling continually during a voyage.

Now they're behemoths that hardly move, except forward, during their time at sea. BFD.

There was a Maryland rye distiller back in the day named Outerbridge Horsey (yes, really, and his descendants still carry that name!)who distilled Old Horsey rye. He had no warehouses, but instead placed his filled barrels on ships at the port of Baltimore, sailed them around the Horn to San Francisco, then loaded them onto branded boxcars for the return ride home, the cars acting as billboards for his brand.

Bottled and sold with no hyperbole regarding the unique maturation process. That was real ocean-aging, and railroad too!

sku said...

That's a great story Sam. Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Sku. It appears I confused the Batch and Voyage designations. I saw a review online for Batch 20 that was designated as part of the Ocean Voyage 2.

I have just started seeing Ocean Voyage 7 appear in my locals, but have not paid attention to Batch #'s, before. The Voyage #'s are displayed on the neck of the bottles.

tanstaafl2 said...

I know that you (and others) have expressed a relatively low opinion for the original Jefferson's Ocean experiment but I still feel it was an interesting (and worthwhile) experiment. It wasn't done the way I would have chosen to do it. I would have put a few barrels of the same whiskey that was originally placed on the small boat for four years and have them matched to barrels that spent the same amount of time in a typical rick house for aging and then sold the two in a package of two 375 ml bottles (a bit like the much lambasted Woodford Masters Collection ryes a few years ago). And of course that first batch was aged on a small vessel with more similarity to ships of old than a behemoth cargo ship used in more recent gimmicky pedestrian batches that have followed.

Unlike others seemed to think I did not expect it to be superb bourbon but I wanted to know if it made a better 4 year old whiskey. Tasting it next to other 4 year old bourbons convinced me that it did. So the very high cost of that original batch did not deter me. I paid it because I wanted to taste the experiment for myself, not because I expected it to be the next Hirsch gold foil. We also seem to have somewhat different palates as I did not perceive the "banana" characteristics that you noted in the original nor did it seem particularly flat in the palate.

But I long ago accepted I was going to be in the minority. Fortunately that is not uncommon and doesn't particularly bother me!