Jefferson’s Presidential Select, 18 Years Old
Aroma: Sweet, lots of corn, caramel, some fruit (raisins), vanilla.
Taste: Your lips will tingle, but it’s not a burn – more like a glow. This bourbon is complex and smooth, sweet and very buttery, with hints of brown sugar, rather reminiscent of a fine Cuban rum. You won’t pick up many wood notes, which is surprising for an 18-year-old bourbon. Lots of legs in the glass and a very nice long finish. Don’t put this on ice; it needs to be warm.
Verdict: This is an excellent bourbon. It won over even my husband, who is a fan of neither wheated nor overaged bourbons. It is amazingly good. And it is as good as gone: This year’s 18-year-old is from the last of the barrels at Stitzel-Weller Distillery, originally owned by Julian “Pappy” Van Winkle. My local liquor store recently held a lottery for its limited Pappy allotment, and a lot of people went home empty-handed – leaving this gem on the shelf. There are still bottles out there (about $90 for 750ml), but they won’t last for long. (I made sure to secure a second one before posting this review!) If you can find one, I highly recommend it.