I’m a fan of Irish whiskey and have slowly been adding those I enjoy to my library. When this bottle arrived, I was cautiously excited. The presentation is wonderful, with a beautiful expensive looking label on the front and a backstory that made me curious as to what the quality would be inside the bottle. After all, there’s only a handful of working distilleries in Ireland, and Pugilist Spirits is not one of them. This was obviously an upstart.
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With a Straight Kentucky Bourbon label and a 16 year age statement, the latest release from Jefferson’s is sourced from one of Kentucky’s bigger, established distilleries. The first Presidential release in several years, this is an 11-year bourbon aged in #3 charred barrels then dumped for a second barreling, again in #3 charred barrels, to mature for another five years.
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This is not as egregious a marketing scam as Diageo’s Whoop & Holler but it’s in the same over-priced and under-performing class. I asked Steve Nally, the Master Distiller at Bardstown Bourbon Company, if they considered and/or tasted a lower proof point for this whiskey and his response was that “no, cask strength is really popular so we just bottled it at cask strength.” The bottle and packaging is immaculate and the hang tag has a great Henry Ford quote printed on it. It’s just all sizzle and no steak.