Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon

January 5, 2013

This weeks inaugural bourbon review is for Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon. It is bottled by McLain and Adkyne. Website: Being a “little r” republican, I may be showing just a bit of favoritism given their homage to one of our most recognized founding fathers and 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson.

Batch No. 212
Bottle No. 1529
Proof: 82.3 (43.15%)
North Carolina Price: $28.95 (750ml)
Served: Neat and then on the rocks.

The bottle I purchased was packaged with a special edition glass as pictured. It was quit interesting given its very simple design and single label. It simply says Jefferson’s across the center front while incorporating an image of the former President along the back wall of bottle glass creating this unique, almost 3D view trough the bourbon. A very nice amber appearance with a round spout and ample wooden/crooked top.

Upon opening the bottle, a pleasant oaky aroma filled the nares. The first sip proved equally enjoyable. At this price point, one should expect a very full, rich taste that does not overwhelm the platte. Jefferson’s Very Small Batch did not let me down. My first sip impression was a very smooth feel. It brought flavors of carmel, vanilla, and mild clove with hints of oak. There was a feel of richness and mild spiciness that filled the senses as swirled around. The finish was also pleasing with a hint of pepperiness that felt good all the way down. Adding ice to this bourbon only seemed to enhance the smoothness and soften the finish. The beverage is great for special occasions, but affordable enough to enjoy anytime.

At the 25 to 35 dollar range, I would rate this bourbon (on a 1-5 scale) as a 4.5 for taste and a 4.5 for value. Trey Zoeller and his father Chet have done an outstanding job producing this fine spirit.

2 thoughts on “Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon

  1. As a pure “wet behind the ears” novice to Bourbon, what is the real essence of Bourbon? What characteristics make up a good Bourbon? I guess I’m just wondering what I should be looking for. Basic beginner advice.



    • In 1964, the US congress established standards for corn based whiskey that today distillers use to produce the bourbon whiskeys that we enjoy. As to the essence and characteristic qualities of bourbon, I believe that there are several. Here are a couple. By standard, bourbons must be between 51-79% corn based which is generally mixed with other gains like rye and malted barley. In my opinion thus far, it is the master distillers recipe that delivers the individual essence of each bourbon in combination with the aging process. All bourbon is aged in NEW charred oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years. It appears that many are aged for longer than 4 years. In my opinion, 8 to 10 year aged bourbons seem to generally be superior or higher quality products. Moreover, I just recently leared that the number of years aged printed on the bottle refers to the youngest barrel mixed into that blended batch. Also, the location and temperature in the rick house from what I am learning contribute heavily to the quality of the final product. It is my understanding the a distilled batch of bourbon can have two totally different finished products due to the location of aging in the rick house.

      What I look for when enjoying fine bourbon is a smooth start and a similar to equal finish. I don’t like a harsh bite or overly hot peppery sensation that can sometimes be experienced. I like the almost buttery feel when severed on the rocks after the bourbon has mellowed just a bit. In some cases, you get this smoothness from start to middle to finish in one sip. To me that defines quality and is a sign of a well crafted bourbon. Enjoying a glass bourbon with a pipe of your favorite tobacco while seated next to the outdoor chimenea has all the makings for a relaxing and enjoyable evening.


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