The two are linked in so many ways it is hard to imagine one existing without the other. The founding fathers of this great country crossed the ocean’s more than two-hundred years ago to start a new world, based on the vision of freedom, free expressions of new ideas, yet structured by a founding set of laws that outline the rules of the land for all to follow. (Kind of sounds like the history of American bourbon whiskey if you ask me.) Many of those founding fathers who help construct this great land were also its first distillers. The history of distilling and the use (and enjoyment) of spirits is well documented in virtually every key moment of early America. One of those founders, and an infamously known distiller and innovator of American whiskey was Thomas Jefferson. Known then for both his curiosity and his experimental spirit, in today’s world Thomas Jefferson would be known as an “innovator”. It’s in this spirit of innovation that Trey Zoeller, CEO of Jefferson’s Bourbon, chose the founding father to be the “face” of his brand, and the inspiration behind the Jefferson’s line. Despite pushing the boundaries (and the definition) of Bourbon, Jefferson’s is committed to holding to the traditions and basic rules that make bourbon whiskey America’s spirit of choice.
Jefferson’s Oceans line was born from just this “outside the box” thinking. After enjoying a day on the water with friends (and a few drams of his bourbon), Trey was inspired after watching the spirits in his glass constantly rock back and forth. He began thinking about the effects that this constant motion, along with the unique environmental elements that the Ocean provides would provide. With that, Trey loaded up a couple 30-gallon barrels and his first voyage set sail, and the bourbon world was changed forever. After word of the unique and delicious characteristics that resulted, the first batch of Ocean’s was soon going for over $1,000 on the secondary market. (It was THAT good!)
Now, after nearly a dozen voyages logged, bourbon enthusiast still regularly await the docking of each new batch, as no two voyages have yet to provide the same results. Despite the average voyage crossing the equator on 4 times, visiting 5 continents, the constantly changing weather conditions and temperament of the sea work together to give each voyage its own special flavor.
Blended especially for you by the lord of the sea’s, “Chef Poseidon” himself, the Voyage 9 Single Barrel from Payless is like no other you will have.
Nose: A wave of candied dark cherries jump out of the glass and grabs you right up front. Subtle notes of fig present, followed by a leveling notes of rye grain and spice. There is a butterscotch element that enters and instantly blends with the grain to provide a gram-cracker element, allowing the underlying sweetness and cinnamon spice to lift anchor and inspire you to set sail for a taste.
Taste: Sweetness splashes the lips, with elements of sweetened wood drifting in. There’s a subtle, almost salty-brine dryness and hints of leather that washes over the mid pallet that may remind some of the up-front characteristics that an Islay scotch provides, while others may envision characteristics of an Irish whiskey. Currents of dark fruit, bread, and nutty elements give just a flash memory of a pecan pie, changing to salted-caramel and chocolate, before receding like the tide, leaving spice to sparkle on the tongue like the shell treasures the sea shares on its sandy beaches.
Finish: Caramel and vanilla dock on the pallet, washed in with a smooth medium finish that leaves the tongue feeling as smooth as the early-morning sand after the high tide has come and gone. Hints of that salty-brine remain, reminding you the taste voyage you just experienced was unlike any other. While traditional bourbon flavors are always there, like the relaxation of an ocean cruise can provide, it relaxes you just enough to show you a different side of something you’ve always known and loved.