Jefferson's Reserve B&B Private Barrel Bourbon
There are a lot of new-fangled whiskeys at the moment, folks experimenting with different casks, grains, and production methods - and some of it is great. That is not Jefferson's Reserve. They are classic Kentucky bourbon, rich, mellow, and full-bodied. Jefferson's began to source, blend, and bottle well before the "Bourbon Boom". Founded in 1997, they built their reputation on their all-Kentucky bourbons, creating relationships with distilleries that nowadays source to only a select few. Since the premium expressions bottled by those distilleries arenhard to come by these days - it's particularly nice to have a Jefferson's single barrel come through. Lush, full of caramel and vanilla, with accents of baking spice and oak. The kind of whiskey that set off bourbon fever for so many, and a welcome palate cleanser amongst all the innovation.
This single barrel edition from them is unique in that the very moniker of "single barrel" means something different here. For most distilleries, a single barrel is just that, an unblended cask, that was filled with unaged distillate and then allowed to age over a period of years before being bottled in it's untouched (or perhaps proofed down) character, unblended. But being a brand whose whole Raison D'Etre is blending, Jefferson's does it slightly differently. Their proprietary blend of whiskies are aged in barrels after blending, where they are either further batched, or now, occasionally bottled as "single barrels" at an elevated 50% abv, as is the case here.
The profile of this barrel, no. 411, is classic sweet, rich, desserty Jefferson's. Aged for their typical 8 years, it opens with a nose of peaches, vanilla, pecan, stewed plums, and caramel. The palate is just as rich as you'd expect, with buttercream, caramel, yellow cake, and a touch of cinnamon and clove. As it develops, notes of black pepper and a hint of old oak tannin appear, balancing the sweet notes with a bit of sharp spice. For classic Kentucky bourbon, this is it.