JEFFERSON’S OCEAN VOYAGE
The cargo ship that would carry OCEAN Voyage 23 half way
around the world, arrived in Savannah, Georgia where barrels of Jefferson’s
Bourbon joined its manifest.
Securely stowed, Voyage 23 left port at high noon under
clear skies, warm spring temperatures and slight seas in route to the Panama
Canal. The shipping lane was unusually empty and traffic in the canal was very
light allowing Voyage 23 to make the passage in six hours and enter the Pacific
Ocean days ahead of schedule. Adjusting speed to a slower pace, Voyage 23
dropped below the Equator and while technically it was now winter, the seas
remained unusually warm and slight all the way to Tahiti. The vastness of the
ocean becomes clear in long crossings of open water. No other ships in sight,
no sound other than the whistle of the breeze and hum of the engines and no
significant weather disturbances other than well beyond the horizon. As quiet
as the sea can be at times, it is never at rest. Waves gently lap against one
distant shore while crashing against another.
Such was the journey of OCEAN Voyage 23, quiet and
reflective, interrupted only by days of in-port noise and activity. Every
voyage is unique and unpredictable. Jefferson’s OCEAN Voyage 23 is a reflection
of its travel where it was allowed to rest and take on the solitude of the sea
and the character of the barrels that cradled the bourbon. Enjoy the remarkably
smooth, buttery and smokey taste of OCEAN Voyage 23 and reflect upon its
transforming time at sea.
Inspired by the original Jeffersons Ocean, which was
new-filled bourbon barrels, the Jeffersons Ocean: Aged at Sea takes older
bourbon barrels and brings it around the world. Stopping in 5 different continents
and crossing the equator 4 times, this bourbon truly is a world beater. A boat
is a singularly uncommon place to age bourbon, but inspiration struck Trey on
the deck of his friend Chris Fischers research ship. While watching Jeffersons
Reserve bourbon rock gently in its bottle, they wondered what would happen to
bourbon aged on the bow of a ship. The caramelizing of the sugars in the barrel
combined with the constant motion of the ship resulted in a dark bourbon with a
briny, savory taste aged beyond its years. The first batch of Jeffersons Ocean
was bottled in 2012. Distilled in Kentucky and aged for four years on the deck
of a research vessel in the tropics, its dark, complex flavor rivaled whiskeys
several times its age and it quickly sold out.
What began as a fun experiment has resulted in a more
scientific approach to the maturation process of bourbon. When whiskey was
first distilled in Kentucky, it received unintentional extra age from traveling
on rivers and seas en route to market. This was not just due to the lengthy
trips but also the movement of the ship which forced the liquid in the whiskey
barrels to be in constant motion coming in contact with the wood more often.
At Jefferson's we wanted to tip our hat to this tradition by aging bourbon out
at sea. This process has added salty, caramel elements that round out the
bourbon’s profile to create an American treasure that has been cultured as it
traveled the globe.
Ocean - Voyage 23 - Jefferson's Bourbon (jeffersonsbourbon.com)