Advent: Day 21 – Jefferson’s Reserve

Advent Review Whisky

2.5 stars

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.

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