Tag Archives: Jefferson’s Presidential Select

Jefferson’s Presidential Select 18 Yr

Jefferson’s Presidential Select 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Batch 28 Bottle No. 1061
47% ABV/ 94 Proof
$80
Available in select U.S. markets

What the Distillery Says:
Jefferson’s Presidential Select is an ultra-rare, ultra-premium bourbon, bottled from the last year in operation of Louisville’s renowned Stitzel-Weller Distillery. This 94-proof, 18 yr old bourbon is a limited offering with a big robust nose and taste balanced with the trademarked Jefferson’s smooth finish.

Nose: Big vanillas with full character, citrus, apple, subtle caramel and assorted nuts
Taste: Balanced and sultry, English toffee, cinnamon, leather
Finish: Long and rounded

What Richard Says:
Nose: More wood, mellow, a little more coy than the 17 yr, less alcohol heat, caramel
Palate: A little hotter, woodier and slightly sweeter than the 17 yr. A little less cinnamon.
Finish: Pepper, oak, very dry. Vanilla comes through at the end. There’s a not so great char flavor that lingers for a while.
Comments: The flavors of the 18 year are more muted and hidden behind more oak than the 17 year. It’s not worse. It’s just different. They only thing I didn’t like was the lingering char on the finish. That would probably put the 18 year below the 17 year on a comparative scale.
Rating: Must Try

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.

Jefferson’s Presidential Select 17 Yr

Jefferson’s Presidential Select 17 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Batch 3 Bottle No. 818
47% ABV/ 94 Proof
$80
Available in select U.S. markets

What the Distillery Says:
Jefferson’s Presidential Select is an ultra-rare, ultra-premium bourbon, bottled from the last year in operation of Louisville’s renowned Stitzel-Weller Distillery. This 94-proof, 17 yr old bourbon is a limited offering with a big robust nose and taste balanced with the trademarked Jefferson’s smooth finish.

Nose: Big vanillas with full character, citrus, apple, subtle caramel and assorted nuts
Taste: Balanced and sultry, English toffee, cinnamon, leather
Finish: Long and rounded

What Richard Says:
Nose: Rich and slightly fruity with a floral sweetness.
Palate: Floral (lavender and rosewater) and slightly astringent. It’s rather woody with a noticeable does of cinnamon on a cherry-type fruit. It kind of reminds me of Big Red chewing gum and Luden’s cough drops.
Finish: Notes of lavender with a big dose of cinnamon and oak. Very dry.
Comments: This is a very nice older wheater. It’s not quite as good as Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year or even the 15 Year from a few years back but it’s close. This is the last of the of old stock from the now closed Stitzel-Weller distillery. It’s really sad to see it go. If you’re a fan wheated bourbon I would put this on your buy list.
Rating: Must Try

Side Note: You’ll notice the bottle reviewed here was from Batch 3. I’ve tried several of the batches from the 17 Year bottlings and personally I don’t get much difference. That’s just me. The 18 Year is also the same stuff but they didn’t start bottling it until a year later. I believe the first 25 or 26 batches were 17 years old and then the 18 Year Old picks up there.

What Matt Says:
Matt has not had a chance to review this whiskey yet.

Whisky On The Hudson ‘09

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you already know that Thursday night was the Whisky Guild’s annual Whisky On The Hudson booze cruise.  You also know that I forgot my ticket and had to wrangle a new one (which makes this the most expensive tasting event I’ve ever attended.  Not the Guild’s fault, but there it is). Despite my ineptitude, Thursday turned out to be a really great night.  I schmoozed with industry insiders, helped turn other attendees on to new things, and most importantly I learned a lot.  I was even surprised a couple of times.

The boat was bigger this year, but the number of presenters was about the same, which made for a more comfortable socializing experience.  The down side was that things looked a little sparse for a while.  I decided to get the lay of the land first and to seek out some friends.  First I headed to a part of the boat where Glenmorangie had set up a little jazz club, where you could taste the whole line (including many Ardbeg’s) and relax a bit.  Of course, there was a mob around the Signet.  Even though I love Glenmorangie, I was on a mission (I grabbed some of the new Ardbeg Supernova on the way out though).  I didn’t want to be sidetracked.  However, I am easily sidetracked.

I found a boat map to help look for the William Grant & Sons tables.  I know I will find Dr. Whisky there.  On my way, I get turned around and end up talking Rick Wasmund of Copper Fox Distillery in Virginia.  Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky (hmm, he leaves out the ‘e’ even though it is an American Single Malt) is a pot stilled whisky that uses barley malted over apple and cherry wood.  I tried it last year and was not impressed, but a trusted source said that they have improved the product, so I was willing to give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised.  You can taste the influence of the fruit woods, but it does not come off as overly fruity.  It’s bold, round and balanced.  To sweeten the deal, Rick was also pouring an aged rye (containing both rye and his proprietary malted barley) and white dog* of both whiskies.  I’ve tried a lot of white dog in the past couple of months (it seems to be the it whisk(e)y these days).  I have to say, these were my favorites.  The malting process really smoothes out the rough edges commonly associated with white whisky.  The most interesting thing Rick has to offer is a box set that contains two bottles of the white whisky and a miniature charred oak barrel.  You can age your own whisky!  He had a second fill barrel there with five month old whisky.  It was different from the bottled stuff.  The wood was really bold.  This is a must have for any whisky nerd (like myself).  Here’s the rub.  Wasmund’s is only available in the D.C. area right now.  They are working on getting New York distribution, but the rest of the country is still without fruit wood malted single malt.

Once again, I was off to find Dr. Whisky.  He’s always good for a laugh and some quality information.  In route, I caught a glimpse of a Jefferson’s Reserve bottle.  “I wonder if they brought the Presidential Select,” I think to myself.  It’s not on the table.  I ask and they deliver.  Trey Zoeller, V.P. of Bourbon Operations for Castle Brands, comes over and we start talking about this whisky from the now defunct Stitzel-Weller distillery.  This is one of Malt Advocate’s “Must Buy” bourbons (but you already knew that).  It’s every thing John Hansell says it is (we’ll have a formal review someday).  As Trey and I reminisce about dead distilleries (we agree that the Hirsch <Michter’s> 16yo is superior to the 20yo), he tells me that he has another batch of this Stitzel-Weller bourbon that he plans to release next year as Jefferson’s Presidential Select 18yo.  I can’t wait.

Finally, I make it back to the Balvenie table where I find a bearded(!) Dr. Whisky pouring the entire Balvenie line.  We have a chat and I try the new 17yo (Madeira cask).  This is a good one folks.  I was a little disappointed with the Rum cask 17yo from last year.  The palate did not deliver on what the nose promised.  The Madeira 17yo is just the opposite.  The nose is a little weak and uninteresting, but it really delivers on flavor.  Later, I came back and tried the 21yo.  A very fine dram indeed.

Much of the remainder of the night was a flurry of schmoozing and tasting (I even ran into Mark Gillespie of WhiskyCast).  I reacquainted myself with the Glenlivet 15yo (aged in virgin charred Limousin oak).  Limousin oak is used in Cognac barrels and is tricky to work with but it makes a damn fine whisky.  The 15yo is the only Glenlivet to use Limousin oak casks.  This specialty oak gives the whisky a richness and boldness that round out and compliment the sharp, fruity qualities common to Glenlivet.  This is smoother and richer than the standard expression.

I had the opportunity to try the PC6 and PC7 (both distilled at Bruichladdich).  These are both good drams with a fair amount of peat.  I prefer the PC6.

Dave Conroy of International Beverage Company, Inc., took me through his whiskies from Mull and Islay.  I don’t remember ever trying Bunnahabhain before and I think I would remember an unpeated Islay.  I liked it at every age.  There is a sweetness and complexity that I associate more with the mainland.  This is very approachable whisky.  Dave also introduced me to Tobermory and Ledaig (both from the Isle of Mull).  Really good stuff, the Ledaig especially is a must try for any peat lovers out there.

Other things that stood out for me that night were the Knappogue Castle 1995 Irish whisky, the Hibiki 12yo Blended Japanese whisky, Deanston 30yo, and Tuthilltown’s New York Whiskey.  However, the topper had to be the tasting lab led by Master Ambassador for Laphroaig, Simon Brooking.  We tasted peated barley, he lit a peat brick on fire, and each dram was accompanied by a song (or a joke) and a toast.  Simon is a real showman.  We tasted Ardmore 30yo (loved it), Laphroaig 10yo, Quarter Cask, 15yo, 18yo, and 25yo.  I really like the Quarter Cask (and the 25yo of course).  The 18yo is a new addition that will be replacing the 15yo.  They are very different whiskies, so if you are a fan of the 15yo, stock up.  Personally, I prefer the 15yo, but I seem to be among the minority in the critics’ circles.  Maybe I’ll have to give it another go in a less overwhelming setting.

So, that was my Whisky on the Hudson experience.  I’m already looking forward to next year.  The Whisky Guild does several of these events around the country each year.  You should check it out.

* “White dog” is a common term for whisky straight from the still (non-matured, no water added).  I’m not sure if Wasmund’s non-matured whisky is unwatered or not, but it is pretty high proof.

Drink well.  Drink responsibly.

-Matt