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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-Year Bourbon

By Eric Ducote

Good morning everyone, and happy GAMEDAY to you all!  This afternoon the Fighting Tigers of LSU are taking on the hated Florida Gators, so I figured that called for stepping up my whiskey game a bit.  I've had this bottle of Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-year for quite some time, as it officially released on April 1, 2013.  Unfortunately I'm getting down to the very end, so I had to make sure I gave it the full wakey whiskey honors before my bottle is dry.  

Jefferson's Presidential Select (named after Thomas Jefferson) is produced by Jefferson's Bourbon, which is owned by Castle Brands along with a few names you might recognize in the Irish Whiskey world like Knappogue Castle and Clontarf.  The first two editions of Presidential Select were the 17-year and the 18-year, but they were made from a wheated whiskey that was distilled at Stitzel-Weller of Pappy Van Winkle fame.  The Presidential Select 17-Year actually won the whiskeys of the world tournament that Jay and I hosted (along with James Lawson and Jeremy Spikes) back when we were producing the Raise A Glass radio show, and the 18-Year offering has been featured on Bite and Booze before in a Whiskey Wednesday post.  This 21-Year offering was not distilled by Stitzel-Weller though, and it has no wheat in the grain bill, so the flavor profile is definitely expected to be different.  

Jefferson's Presidential Select 21-Year Bourbon

The pour is dark as a 21-Year bourbon should be, the barrels selected for this batch ranged from 21 to 24 years old, and that's a lot of time for that liquor to soak in and out of the wood and absorb that char and the flavors.  The nose is strong with oak notes, again to be expected from a 21-Year bourbon, but there are also notes of leather and a hint of citrus.  Mostly though, the oak and associated char flavors stand out.  The taste is smooth, the oakiness is still bold, and vanilla comes through as well, the citrus is still there in a very small amount creating a well rounded profile.  

The finish is smooth as well, with minimal alcohol burn and a still dominant flavor of oak.  There's a subtle cinnamon spice throughout, perhaps some rye went into the grain bill in place of the wheat?  i don't think this is quite as impressive as the 17 and 18-Year batches, but it's still a magnificent bourbon.  

With that said, Cheers!  And Geaux Tigers!