Jefferson’s Bourbon, a Louisville-based small-batch producer, is best-known for blending and the products that come out of that experimentation. The brand’s slogan, after all, is “Alchemy is everything,” which should give you a hint at the mindset right from the get-go. Jefferson’s newest experiment is once again exploring the wood involved in the bourbon-making process: a custom barrel to finish the Kentucky whiskey.
The latest release, Twin Oak Custom Barrel, is the result of a six-year project in collaboration with Independent Stave Company of Lebanon, Missouri. The Jefferson’s barrel is made from grooved staves that increase the surface area of the barrel, allowing for more bourbon to come in contact with the oak. In addition, the barrel is toasted for a specific time at a specific temperature before being flash charred. Ten-year-old Kentucky whiskey is then put into the barrel for four months to finish, imparting mocha flavors on top of the other characteristics that normally come from a bourbon barrel.
“We are really excited to collaborate with Independent Stave Company for this innovative new bourbon,” Trey Zoeller, CEO and founder of Jefferson’s Bourbon, said in a statement. “By increasing the surface area of the barrel, we’ve been able to impart so much more of the barrel’s flavor into our whiskey, creating a unique taste unlike many of our previous Jefferson’s products.”
As anyone who has had Jefferson’s in the past knows, this is not the first time the company has played around the finish. Over the years, Jefferson’s has released not only what might be considered standard bourbons such as the Presidential Select or Reserve selections, but also a bourbon collab with chef Edward Lee and others finished in a variety of ways (Cabernet, Groth cask, et cetera).
Perhaps most famous of the Jefferson releases is Jefferson’s Ocean, which is a bourbon that spends years sailing the high seas, becoming the whiskey equivalent of Captain Jack Sparrow before being bottled and sold (one of the latest Jefferson’s Ocean releases, Voyage 15, was a wheated bourbon — the first in the line).
Jefferson’s Twin Oak Custom Barrel will be available for around $80 in select retailers nationwide.
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