Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Review

Spoiler Alert – I decided to write this review because I was craving a sip of Blanton’s bourbon, but I didn’t have an open bottle.  As a general rule I only open a new bottle once I finish one of my open bottles.  I had about 1.5 ounces left of Jefferson’s, noticed I hadn’t reviewed it yet, and needed to clear some space on the bar shelf…so here it goes.

This is a bottle my sister got me for Christmas 2 years ago.  I had never had it previously, and I’ve been nursing this bottle for a while. Jefferson’s seems to sell for quite a premium here in Manitoba (i’m not sure why).  The bottle retails for $97.00 Canadian at the Manitoba Liquor Mart.

Jefferson’s Reserve

Date Reviewed: April 07, 2020

Atmosphere: In a Glencairn glass, neat at home during the covid 19 pandemic

Distillery: McLain & Kyne

Mash:  Unknown

Age: No Age Statement

Type: Bourbon

ABV%: 45.1%

Price I Paid: Zero – but it retails for $97.00 Canadian

Appearance:  Classic Amber colour, but more watered down than most.

Nose:  I found this bourbon to be extremely muted. It lacks the typical sweet vanilla/brown sugar scents that most are accustomed to with a bourbon.  The only thing that stands out is some oak/wood but even that is pretty tame.  After a few swirls, some VERY subtle hints of cherry cola come out, but again very faint.  This might be the least expressive nose of a bourbon on any bottle I’ve had over $20.

Palate:  The taste follows the nose.  The oak from the barrels is the dominant flavour profile.  It is very smooth, with no burn, but leaves a lot to be desired.  The second sip is a little better, some sweeter notes slightly poke through, but it’s not enough to capture my interest.

Finish: The smooth finish is definitely the best part of this bourbon.  No heat, no burn, just a nice easy finish.

Conclusions:  It’s a tame, easy to drink bourbon, but it lacks any real depth.  If this was a $40 bourbon, I’d say keep a bottle for the finish alone – but at almost $100 it’s a hard pass for me.  When you can get Bookers or Blanton’s for the same price it’s a no brainer.  That said I’ve heard some of the other Jefferson’s expressions are real good (Oceans for example) which I will definitely try.

Overall Score:  73/100



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