Jefferson's Bourbon

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Jefferson's Bourbon
Jefferson's Small Batch Bourbon.jpg
Jefferson's Small Batch Bourbon
Typebourbon, rye
ManufacturerCastle Brands
DistributorCastle Brands
Country of originUnited States
Region of originKentucky
Alcohol by volume40%
VariantsJefferson's Small Batch, Jefferson's Reserve, Jefferson's Presidential, Jefferson's Ocean, Jefferson's Collaboration, Jefferson's Rye

Jefferson's Bourbon is a Louisville, Kentucky-based brand of bourbon whiskey which is blended and bottled in the US and Canada by Castle Brands. The brand was first released in 1997.

Jefferson's has used experimental blending and aging techniques, such as aging bourbon at sea, where wave action can affect the product's development. It also produces a rye whiskey. Jefferson's works in four step process for making bourbon which is: Distill, age, cut to proof and bottle putting more time and focus into the maturation process.

The Jefferson's brand was initially applied exclusively to bourbon distilled by other companies. Jefferson's acquired Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood, Kentucky. 25% percent of barrels warehoused for aging in 2017 were produced at Kentucky Artisan Distillery. The other 75% are produced by independent distilleries.[citation needed]


Jefferson's Bourbon was launched in 1997 by Trey Zoeller, a native Kentuckian, and his father Chet, a bourbon historian. He founded a company called McClain & Kyne after Zoeller's past relatives, including an 8th generation grandmother arrested in 1799 for moonshining.[citation needed] McClain & Kyne was purchased by Castle Brands around 2005. Asked about the name, Zoeller reportedly said, "I had no marketing budget. I simply wanted a recognizable face associated with history and tradition."[1]

In June 2015, Castle Brands announced a 20% purchase of Copperhead Distillery Company, which owns and operates Kentucky Artisan Distillery.

The brand began with Jefferson's Reserve, then expanded with the addition of Jefferson's Presidential Select, and Jefferson's Small Batch. Jefferson's now produces several varieties of bourbon and rye, including some limited edition offerings.


In addition to conventional bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys, the label also produces some other noteworthy products.

Jefferson's Ocean (45% ABV) was initially an experimental bottling before being made a standard offering. Barrels of bourbon aged 6–7[2] years are loaded onto ships, which then sail around the world for six months, a process that Jefferson's claims develops the bourbon more quickly through the motion of the waves[3]

Jefferson's Collaboration (41% ABV) was blended in collaboration with Edward Lee, the chef of restaurant in Louisville, to pair well with food.[4]


Jefferson's Small Batch Bourbon and Jefferson's Reserve received a 92 and 94 respectively from the Beverage Tasting Institute in 2012.[5] Jefferson's Rye received a 92 from Wine Enthusiast in 2012.[6]

Food critic Morgan Murphy said "The dark amber of this bourbon makes it look like woodpile water, but the sweet caramel taste has a very restrained oak flavor."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mitenbuler, Reid (May 12, 2015). Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey. Viking. ISBN 978-0670016839.
  2. ^ "Jefferson's Ocean Aged At Sea". Breaking Bourbon. April 2015.
  3. ^ ""I'm on a Boat!" Says Jefferson's Ocean Bourbon". Food & Wine. Justine Sterling. 31 March 2015..
  4. ^ "Jefferson's Chef Collaboration: Whiskey Designed With Chef Edward Lee". Serious Eats. Andrew Strenio. 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Jefferson's Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky". Tastings. 2012.
  6. ^ "Jefferson's Straight Rye Whiskey". Wine Enthusiast. Kara Newman.
  7. ^ Murphy, Morgan; Editors of Southern Living magazine (2014). Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Foods. Oxmoor House. ISBN 978-0848743161.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External links[edit]