GSN Review: Jefferson’s Reserve Old Rum Cask Finish

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Jefferson’s Bourbon is proud to introduce the newest expression to its portfolio: Jefferson’s Reserve Old Rum Cask Finish. Debuting nationwide this autumn, it features Jefferson’s Reserve bourbon aged and fully matured in Kentucky prior to being finished in barrels that once held Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum.

Founder of Jefferson’s Bourbon, Trey Zoeller, started the aging process by procuring Kentucky straight bourbon that was originally aged for eight years in Kentucky. In December 2014, this bourbon went into old Gosling’s Rum barrels, which previously housed the Family Reserve Old Rum, named the Rum of The Year by The Caribbean Journal in 2012. The barrels themselves have a compelling history — they held bourbon for four years, then held Gosling’s for 16 years, then were sent back to Trey for this experiment, in which he rested the eight-year old, straight Kentucky whiskey. The bourbon aged for an additional 15 months in these barrels before bottling.

“A couple of years ago, I was with Malcolm Gosling and tried his Old Gosling’s Family Reserve and thought it was fantastic,” says Zoeller. “Not being a rum drinker, I poured a little Jefferson’s Reserve and topped it off with the Gosling’s Old Rum and loved it.  I immediately asked Malcolm if I could get a hold of his Old Family Reserve Rum cask.” 

This is not the brand’s first collaborative project. Zoeller has worked with nationally renowned Chef Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY to create a special Chef’s Collaboration bourbon meant to pair especially well with Lee’s spicy Korean food. He’s barrel-aged a Manhattan and sold the finished experiment as a premium bottled cocktail nationwide in collaboration with Esquire magazine, and, most recently, he’s collaborated with James Beard Award-winning Chef John Besh in an experiment to float barrels of bourbon along the waterways from Louisville to New York City to determine the difference in maturation and taste from shipping methods of the past and today.

Zoeller put the brand on the map by daring to go where most other producers would not. He has sent bourbon barrels on global ship voyages – crossing several continents and climate zones in the process – and he has aged bourbon in wine barrels to see how it would affect its finish. In keeping with this brand ethos, Jefferson’s Reserve Old Rum Finish tests the boundaries of the traditional whiskey category while still keeping the core aging process steeped in tradition.

“Sometimes you act on a hunch and it turns out as you expected it to,” adds Zoeller.

Jefferson’s Reserve Old Rum Cask Finish  (90.2 proof)
Visual: Deep gold.
Nose: Interesting rum forward nose that lends a patina to the corn distillate base.  Intriguing and evocative.  It conjures up images of 18th century saloons.
Taste: Incredibly smooth and mild in character considering the high-proof.  You’d swear this was more along the lines of 70 proof.  After a second taste, more wood and darker notes of molasses come through, with still plenty of the signature bright high corn base setting the tone.  The rum character actually fades away after a few minutes making you wonder where it could have possibly gone.
Finish: Medium long with a masculine, woody finish.  Cowboy stuff.
Overall: A very well done whiskey that has a layer of intrigue.  I’d definitely invest in a bottle for special occasions on a brisk autumn eve.
GSN Rating: A

For more information go to: Jefferson’s Bourbon

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