The latest addition to the Jefferson’s line of “Ridiculously Small Batch” whiskies, Jefferson’s Ocean II: Aged at Sea, while crafted in the Kentucky foothills, owes its, well, spirit to the sea.
Inspired by watching a bottle of bourbon rock back and forth while sitting on the bow of a ship, it occurred to Jefferson’s founder and master blender Troy Zoeller that the constant rocking of the ocean, as well as the fluctuation in temperature and saline-rich air, could help a whiskey to mature faster and take on a greater depth of flavor. Thus the Ocean II, like all great things, was unassumingly born.
In order to create the Ocean II, the innovative minds at Jefferson’s took a blend of seven-to-eight year-old bourbons, loaded them onto ships, and sent the barrels around world. Along their journey, the barrels stopped at over seaside 40 ports, picking up the vibrant personality of their every layover before finally returning home for bottling (at 45% ABV).
“We wanted to continue experimenting with the ocean-aging process,” said Zoeller of the second experiment in the Ocean series. “Allowing the bourbon to age additionally on the ocean, the spirit soaks up the elements of the sea. The result is truly unique and displays characteristics never seen before in bourbons of this age.”
The resulting bourbon has a dark brown hue with a bold flavor profile featuring strong caramel notes. The result is a viscous, dark bourbon that showcases complex flavors reminiscent of other spirits – such as the almost black color and caramelized sugars of a dark rum and the briny, savory taste of an Islay Scotch – but at its core, the Ocean II is still a true Kentucky bourbon
For this release, four of the 66 barrels were aged in collaboration with OCEARCH, a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable fisheries management and ocean education, travelling the globe aboard their 126-foot research vessel. These bottles are set for auction, with all proceeds going to benefit OCEARCH.
Jefferson’s Ocean II, a perfect addition to your superyacht’s spirit stash, is available in limited quantities at fine spirits retailers across the country.