The Jefferson’s navy continues to increase, as the label that had previously taken its bourbons out to sea for nautical aging has done the same for its rye. To create the Jefferson’s Ocean Aged At Sea Rye expression, barrels of fully mature rye whiskey—aged in a blend of 75% char-three barrels and 25% toasted barrels—were put out to sea on ships traveling from port to port.
Perhaps this owes to the power of association, but I detected a certain wet-oak quality to the nose, like tree bark the day after a heavy rainfall. Below these weighty top notes were aromas of candied ginger and brown sugar.
Jefferson’s Ocean Aged At Sea Rye proved initially mellow on the tongue, with a dark fruit and floral character typified by candied ginger, apples, peaches, and plums. The middle is joined by tobacco and leather, until the back brings us wet figs, spice, and cinnamon heat, setting up a long, dry conclusion with a distinct sprinkling of sea salt and a whiff of salted caramel at the very end.
While again admitting that my palate could have been affected by the spirit’s nautical background, I detected an interesting “soaked” quality to many of the scents and flavors I experienced. Also, its sea salt element seemed to better present itself with each sip, sitting neatly above the spirit’s dark fruits and oak.
— 48% ABV