Jefferson’s Straight Rye Whiskey is the newest addition to the Jefferson’s portfolio, which also includes three small batch bourbons. Released in August 2011, Jefferson’s Rye is a 10-year old 100% North American rye. Though the bottle doesn’t specify, the rye is purportedly from Canada. Given its age, origin and similar flavor profile, one has to wonder if the rye whiskey source is the same as WhistlePig, another 100% Canadian rye.
Jefferson’s founder and master blender Trey Zoeller combed through many barrels of aged rye whiskeys before settling on the right components for Jefferson’s Rye. Let’s see how he did.
On the nose, Jefferson’s Rye is full of sugar and spice. In this case, brown sugar and cinnamon, plus hints of caramel and nutmeg. Drink up to find toasty grains, honey and creamy vanilla, all wrapped up in a cocoon of cooling mint. The whiskey finishes smoothly with hints of toffee and pepper.
Overall, it really is quite similar to WhistlePig, but at a more affordable price point. Both are whiskeys worth knowing, but we’ll give the nod to Jefferson’s for affordability.
An interesting note – Jefferson’s presumably comes from rye whiskey stocks that are primarily used in small quantities for blending into Canadian whiskeys. It’s great to see brands like Jefferson’s and WhistlePig featuring these barrels as straight ryes.
– 47% Alcohol by Volume