Get Presidential With Jefferson’s Bourbon
Jefferson’s Bourbon came from founder Trey Zoeller’s family legacy. “Bourbon is in my blood,” says Zoeller. His 8th generation grandmother was arrested for moonshining in 1799. He started Jefferson’s with his dad, bourbon historian Chet Zoeller, in 1997. “Our goal was to make our bourbon in ridiculously small batches, just how bourbon was made prior to prohibition.” They also wanted to build on the science of distillation by blending and manipulating their bourbon during the maturation process.
“Today we have released 12 different expressions of Jefferson’s Bourbon– each is different and each has something that makes it unique,” says Zoeller. “It takes more time, effort, and money to engage in these distinctive processes, however, we feel that the resulting unique taste is worth it for us and our patrons.”
When they were looking for a face to the bourbon, the idea of one of the founding fathers stuck out. “I thought our bourbon was both sophisticated and complex, and no one exemplified that to me better than Thomas Jefferson, an erudite man with diverse interests.” He adds, “Certainly Jefferson’s experimental nature did not hurt his case to be the face of our brand.”
Jefferson’s Bourbon’s goal is to push the boundaries of traditional bourbons sold in the U.S. “We want to experiment with the maturation process by organically influencing the bourbon– inflecting different flavors and finishes in order to produce a distinctive blend.”
Zoeller was born and raised in Kentucky. As he moved out of the state and around the country, he was very frustrated by how difficult it was to get good bourbon outside of the Blue Grass State. “I knew there was a ton of bourbon barrels that were being left in warehouses aging and evaporating off into nothing.” He was able to buy old stocks of bourbon and have bourbon made to his specific recipe. “As I started buying more and more old stocks, I found that blending them together created better flavors and more balance.”
They began incorporating blending into the Jefferson’s products. “Now we distill as well, but the Jefferson’s taste is largely influenced by the work done to the bourbon once it hits the barrels.”
He says that Jefferson’s Bourbon is special because of the extra steps they take. “It’s what we do above and beyond traditional bourbon distillation and aging that really sets us apart from other bourbon brands.” Whether they are putting an eight-year-old bourbon on ships to sail around the world, finishing bourbon in cabernet barrels, or teaming up with chefs to create a pairing whiskey, they are finding ways to mix up the aging process.
“Ridiculously Small Batched” Whiskey
“A ridiculously small batched whiskey can be as small as 8-12 barrels per batch,” says Zoeller. This is the way bourbon was made before prohibition, and how they make theirs.
“As we honor our founding fathers, what better way to toast our founding father’s thank with Jefferson’s Bourbon– it’s American-made, it’s founded upon our national spirit to innovate and revolutionize the status quo, and, like our country, it takes years to mature.”