Back to Jefferson’s, which fills me with trepidation after being fairly unimpressed with their standard bourbon.
Still, I was impressed with their Presidential Select a few years ago so this could go either way!
Jefferson’s Reserve is marketed is the “bigger brother” to their standard bourbon, bottled at a slightly higher 45.1% ABV and with a vague suggestion in the description that there’s some older bourbon lurking inside.
The nose is surprisingly alcohol-heavy; certainly more than you might expect at such a modest ABV. Once that dissipates a little there is some candy sugar and light vanilla fudge but no great depth. Water doesn’t really seem to change anything.
In the mouth it’s initially sweet and quite clean, with hints of peppermint appearing before a slightly harsh and over-powered oaky tannin kicks in. Happily it doesn’t linger too long, and the finish returns to a sweet and almost gentle spirit.
Watered, a lot of that clean sweet character is lost; the harshness is reigned in but so is the freshness, leaving you with a fairly bland, slightly sweet bourbon.
It’s a fairly average bourbon; there are some rough edges that water takes away, but there isn’t really anything to catch the imagination – 2.5 stars.
Many thanks to Master of Malt for providing their excellent Bourbon Advent Calendar this year.