When a bottle gets up into the $200 price range you really expect it to be something really special. There was a serious dearth of reviews on this bottle before I picked it up yesterday. My local only got three bottles and I was allocated one. So I went ahead and pulled the trigger. I am a cask strength fan, and this is only 94 proof. I usually am disappointed when a producer waters down really great aged whiskey, but there are exceptions, Van Winkle being a prime example. So, for this bottle to be worth the money, it needs to hit that level of excellence.
Beautiful amber color. Rye spice and sweet honey balanced on the nose. Velvety oily mouthfeel. Slight corn sweetness on the palate but with baking spice on the tip of the tongue and wonderful oak spice on the sides of your tongue. Smooth; you can really hold this bourbon in your mouth for a while and pick up all these really great flavors. After taste reminds me of Four Roses’ Al Young so maybe that is where Jefferson’s sourced this bourbon. I think this is better than the Al Young; the second newly charred oak cask really added something to this bourbon. But it’s not an oak spice monster either (which are my favorites by the way); this is a subtle elegant bourbon.
This bourbon is exceptional. As it should be.