Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jefferson's Presidential Select - 18 Years Old

Jefferson's Presidential Select - 18 Years Old - Batch #18, bottle #572 - 94 proof - McLain & Kyne "Distillers" - $70
McLain & Kyne do not distill this whiskey, they bottle barrels of whiskey that they have purchased.  As the label states - "Distilled from wheat in the spring of 1991 - Aged in Stitzel-Weller Barrels" - This is where the mystery sets in for us.  Was it merely aged in old SW barrels, or is this the last of the whiskey distilled by SW (which ceased operations in 1992)???  Is every drop of juice from S-W, or just some of it?  This Stitzel-Weller mystery does not mean shit to most people, but to bourbon fanatics such as myself it means a whole hell of a lot.  Imagine one of  the greatest brewers of beer on the planet suddenly closing up shop and the frenzy to purchase and drink the last bottles/kegs that would follow.  Imagine the producer of some of  the best wine in the world deciding to stop growing grapes and the craziness to get that last bottle that would ensue.  That is the same type of mystique that surrounds the Stizel-Weller distillery.  Why SW would be considered to have made some of  the best bourbon ever distilled on this is the same reason that Stone Brewing, Samuel Adams etc. may be considered some of  the best beer ever brewed on this planet - because it just fuckin' tastes unique and better than most or many of the others.  Does the legend and difficulty in obtaining a sip of SW whiskey have anything to do with it?  Probably.

If you find this SW thing intriguing (maybe you don't at this point - I'm not much of a writer) check out this time line of the history or this condensed version of SW info from Jason Pyle.

Okay, enough B.S.

Smells like a floral, perfume-y (in a good way) awesomeness of impending flavor.

Taste -  An explosion of wood (it's been sitting in charred oak for 18 years after all), corn, smoke and cinnamon spice.  A perfect leathery, vanilla balance of yumminess.

Score - 97/100

Get a bottle if you can.  The 2 on my shelf set me back $70 each, but the 5 bottles at my local BevMo are going for $100.  It's not going to get any cheaper or easier to find.  You can get a sip or two for free if you know where to find me.