Remember when you were little and Mom or Dad would hand you a conch shell? They would say put it up to ear and you can hear the ocean. You would and you would be amazed at how you could hear the ocean. How could the shell could do that and take you back to the sea?
Trey Zoeller, Master Blender at Jefferson’s Bourbon, is good friends with Chris Fischer of OCEARCH, a nonprofit that researches great white sharks and other marine species. Chris has been featured on National Geographic Channel’s “Shark Men.” What happens when a Bourbon Man and a Shark Man get together? They came up with the idea of aging the bourbon, in its barrels, on board the 126 foot OCEARCH research vessel.
In 2012, Jefferson’s released the first Jefferson’s Ocean, aged 4 years at sea. There were only 200 bottles the first year. They are now on their 4th release of Ocean. They seem to be perfecting the process and its getting bigger and better every year. You can even track the voyage of their ocean aged bourbon on their website.
Anyone who has toured the Bourbon Trail has heard all the stories about the warehouses and how aging the barrels hot in the summer and cold in the winter pulls the bourbon into and out of the oak. The French have aged Cognac by the sea. Why not bourbon?
Well, open a bottle of Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon and they will take you back to the sea as well. I know what you are thinking. Just like me when I first read about Jefferson’s and I said, “No way.” Well, I am here to say “WAY.” You can taste the ocean, honest, you can taste the ocean. Aging at sea is allowing that breathing barrel to bring in the salty air, and the taste profile it brings with it.
The first whiff you get of the bourbon is soft, at first mellow, but with a full flavor profile of caramel and cinnamon, and a strong finish. It is like a very good wine or cognac as it gets to the middle of your palate.
I highly recommend you try a bottle and relax by the sea without even leaving the house. Turn on House Hunters International, or the Travel Channel and watch the sea as you sip it. Or better yet take a bottle on that next vacation to the bay, beach, coast, ocean, or shore depending upon which coast you inhabit.
Age: 4 years+
Color: Dark Amber
Aroma: Caramel, Cinnamon, raisins
Taste: Salted Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla
Price: $84.99 Total Wine