With some great new products in, we decided to a do a quick tasting. We now stock a couple of Jefferson's bourbons, and this morning we put the eponymous whiskies through their paces.
Both were Gold Medal winners at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and both are produced by small batch distiller McLain & Kyne (notable as one of few Americans distilleries to spell whisky in the Scottish style - sans the 'E').
Both are also available as 3cl samples too...
First up, a bourbon aged in barrels with a very light 'Number 1' char. The producers reckon this allows some of the whisky's more subtle qualities to shine through.
Nose: A soft, vanilla-led nose gives way to a balanced array of light spices and floral notes. Hints of blossom develop, with a touch of cedar, oak and quiet barrel char. A good hit of soft fruit (canned nectarines?) with sweet cereals.
Palate: One of the smoothest opening deliveries in the bourbon world. Within its tender grasp there are shades of ripe strawberries, nectarines, custard and allspice.
Finish: Creamy, good length too. Some honey, butter, light oak.
Overall: Very easy-going – it gives Maker's a run for its money as far as beautifully balanced, smooth bourbon goes - despite the fact that Jefferson's isn't even a wheated bourbon.
Click here to try a sample for just £2.75.
Aged a few years more than the standard expression, the Reserve also boasts a slightly higher proof.
Nose: Fruity and creamy. Characterful opening hits of sweet vanilla and a similar tinned fruit nose to the younger version. More spice, hints of sage, salty butter and a little rye this time.
Palate: Well put together, good sweetness, a molasses/rum sort of sweetness though, with a touch of spice, some Manuka honey and a suggestion of cloves. Full-bodied, a few more years on its younger brother have afforded it a little muscle. The oak becomes quite pushy, but a solid core of fruit salad counteracts it slightly.
Finish: Oak, caramel and rye. Very long. Just at the a tail, a bittersweet buttery note appears out of nowhere.
Overall: A more grown-up Jefferson's, much more robust too, the oak is teetering on the brink of over-exertion, but many spirits drinkers like that in a bourbon.
Click here to try a sample for just £3.45.
Sterling stuff! Next time we'll be trying out some tasty rums, including Gosling's and Ron Barceló.
- The Chaps at Master of Malt -