Jefferson's Ocean Aged Bourbon Floats To Shore Again - The Whiskey Wash

Jefferson’s Ocean Aged Bourbon Floats To Shore Again

By Nino Marchetti / March 7, 2014

OCEAN bottle shotJefferson’s Bourbon has been busy, busy of late. Besides recently unveiling some 25- and 30-year old bourbons, it has also begun bringing to market a second batch of its rather unique ocean-aged whiskey. Known in general as Jefferson’s Ocean, this updated offering, Ocean II, will have more bottles available for purchase then the first release did at just 250.

Jefferson’s Ocean II is said to be made up of seven and eight year old bourbon, resting in more than 62 barrels, that were sent out on a container ship that went all around the globe and stopped at over 40 ports of call. An experiment to see how ocean aging might impact bourbon, Jefferson’s founder Trey Zoeller’s idea was “inspired by watching a bottle of bourbon rock back and forth while sitting on the bow of a ship.”

Zoeller, said Jefferson’s, believed this movement “could be replicated inside barrels that would enhance the aging process. The constant rocking of the ocean, fluctuation in temperature and saline-rich air help mature the whiskey faster and add depth to the bourbon. The resulting bourbon has a dark brown hue with big flavors, specifically caramel. The result is a thick, dark bourbon that showcases complex flavors reminiscent of other spirits; the almost black color and caramel flavors resemble a dark rum as the sugars within the barrels caramelized; the briny, savory taste from the barrels breathing the sea air is reminiscent of Islay Scotch; but at its core, it’s a true bourbon.”

Bottled at 90 proof and costing nearly $70 a bottle, Ocean II is available in limited numbers nationwide. The previous release mostly sold out rather quickly given the novelty of the idea and the small number of bottles available.