Review: Jefferson’s Presidential Select 17 Year Old Bourbon

jeffersons presidential select 17 yearProduced in the final years of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, this high-end bourbon rounds out the Jefferson’s line of Kentucky whiskeys, though supplies will be limited, to say the least. Plus, it’s Jefferson’s Presidential Select, which means it was selected personally by Thomas Jefferson. Right?

This is a big bourbon, fragrant with roasted nut character, wood, vanilla, and cinnamon. Aged 17 long years, these flavors have melded well and coalesced into a deep and complicated spirit, with raisin, sherry, and chocolate notes coming across on the finish. At 94 proof, it decidedly benefits from a touch of water to open things up, though.

Curiously, this is a wheated bourbon — wheat is used as a secondary grain alongside corn instead of rye. The difference is interesting — and positive: There’s no spicy character here, and Jefferson’s 17 is better integrated and silkier than you’d expect, with nice balance. Very much worth seeking out, and not as expensive as you might figure.

A / $90 /

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3 Responses

  1. TheGentleman September 17, 2009 / 9:01 am

    I recently picked a bottle of this up and was very pleasently surprised by its quality. Definitely on par with a similar wheated bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle 20 yr. I compared it side by side to the Pappy 15 year and found the Jefferson’s offered more complex flavors. This is a real gem.

  2. Wayne Garcia October 12, 2009 / 7:01 am

    Before …my liquor of choice was Glen Livet 18 yr old. I am a convert….Jefferson’s Presidental Select 17 is a treat to be sought out.

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