Hokus Pokus has two store picks of Jefferson’s right now – an Ocean store pick that has wheated bourbon, and what I am drinking now, a single barrel Jefferson’s Reserve bottled at 100 proof. Given the color, I am thinking this is younger whiskey produced at Kentucky Artisan Distillery, which is owned in part by Jefferson’s. Previously, Jefferson’s was sourced from other distilleries, and I am interested to try their own distillate.
Color is very straw-like; looks more like scotch rather than bourbon. The Very Old moniker on the bottle is possibly misplaced unless they used light char barrels. We know that it is at least four years old because it is labelled as straight without an age statement, but I can’t bet that it is much older than that based on the color. On the swirl, there is a very nice film and thick legs. On the nose are very nice vanilla notes, and baked bread notes with hints of dark fruits, like panettone bread. On the palate though, this bourbon really shines – vanilla, cinnamon toast, mixed berry jam, a faint touch of herbal rye, that turns to candied cherries and cinnamon on the long lingering finish. Very nice medium mouthfeel – not syrupy but definitely solid and oily such that it coats the tongue really well.
At $54, this is a great value for a premium bourbon. While I was worried based on the color that this might taste young and have that craft bitterness, there are no off notes on this bourbon. That last barrel that Gus Olah picked for Hokus Pokus was in 2016, and I had to go back to Facebook to see my notes on it since this was pre-whiskey jar blog. Five years later, Gus still knows what he is doing in picking Jefferson’s barrels, and with store pick barrels now at 100 proof, this one is a get it before it is sold out barrel pick.
Liquid panettone bread. This is really something.