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Old 10-01-2010, 05:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Puerto Rico/NYC
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New No. 14, Jefferson's Presidential Select 17 Year. . . .

The tastings have been over for weeks. I had bottles No. 792 and 797 from Batch 8. Thanks to being on the e-mail list for Shopper's Vineyard, I was able to catch an incredible deal on this whiskey. I was attracted by the information that it is supposedly whiskey from the old Stitzel-Weller Distillery, which is impossible, but supposedly it was.

There are myriad flavors in this bourbon. It seems as though every bourbon with the name Jefferson on it is offered at 94 proof, and that's just fine with me. As some of you may remember, Stitzel-Weller specialized in wheated bourbon, rather than having rye as the second most prominent grain. This is often said to result in a softer flavor profile, but when aged for many years gives off pure candy with every sip.

The Jefferson's Presidential Select 17 year wheated bourbon was a winner right out of the box. The only flaw, and it was a rather slight one, is that it is a light bodied whiskey. Those of you familiar with the applicable terms of light, medium and full as applied to cigars, can use the same thought process here. This causes the finish to sometimes fall flat, but that is also dependent on one's own palate, body chemistry that day, moment, etc.

It would be impossible to name every single flavor I encountered in my seven, eight or nine tastings, but here's a few. Clover and alfalfa honeys, perhaps a touch of wildflower as well, apricots, mandarin oranges, figs, dates, spicy oak, and the entire list is even bigger. Trying to do these tastings during and after being ill was also difficult, but eventually I realized I had a handle on it, and where to place it. It was an excruciatingly difficult placement, because for every five or so whiskeys on my list, there is very little separating the placements. I don't really have a points system, but I do know when a level separates from another. I can look at my Top 25 list and group them together.

The Jefferson's Presidential Select went head up against Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, Lot B and Four Roses Single Barrel. I finally placed it above both at No. 14. It was not quite good enough to compete with the bombastic Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2006, which was strikingly memorable, and a full bodied delight with every sip. But the extreme complexity of it edged out a perennial old favorite in the Van Winkle 12. So, with a new No. 14, sadly, an old friend, and a VERY, VERY good, a GREAT bourbon, drops out of the Top 25, but not, never, ever, out of memory. That would be the ORIGINAL Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve 101 proof. You can't get that anymore.

On to the Top 25 list thread, to change it. The MSRP on this bourbon is $89.99, and no one charges any different. Dependent on taxes or shipping charges, most of you will pay $94-98. I paid $69.33 as a "walk-out price" for each bottle I had shipped to me. On a side note, before closing this thread, my old tips on internet shopping apply once again. After the panic of a few years ago, when shipping charges exploded and became three to five times what they had been, internet shopping went out the window. It's back in a big way, and companies have reverted to exactly the same old shipping charts they followed before the "gas crisis."
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