Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old Bourbon Review

Jefferson’s Reserve is a big, sophisticated bourbon with a lot of flavor up front, a lot of weight mid-palate and a deep, wonderful finish.

  • YEAR: 2011 (933/2400 Bottles | Batch No.88)
  • PROOF: 90.2 (45.1% ABV)


  • NOSE: Butterscotch | Raisins | Vanilla
  • TASTE: Oak | Tobacco| Brown Sugar
  • FINISH: Nice and smooth on the front of the tongue with just a little burn on the back as you swallow. Not to much of a finish in back but there is a nice warm finish across my tongue that was different from other bourbons.
  • Neat, Splash or Rocks: This is a nice and smooth bourbon that can easily be drank neat. However, adding a bit of water really expands this one and makes it better. It’s like the flavor profile got stretched wider but not more intense. So I have to say that adding water is probably the best way to enjoy this bourbon.
  • Share With: People you like and with whom you genuinely want to share a great glass of bourbon. Some might say not to waste it on bourbon newbies but I think it’s a great choice to help introduce them what a more complex and mature bourbon tastes like.
  • Worth The Price: Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old comes in the $50-60 range in most places. I believe that to be a fair price for something that is this smooth and can be easily enjoyed in many ways.
  • Bottle, Bar or Bust: This is a must have bottle at home if you’re looking to upgrade the level of your collection. If you can enjoy what this one brings to the party you are on your way to becoming a true bourbon lover.

If you’ve been drinking bourbon for a while, you’ve probably heard of Jefferson’s. Produced by McLain & Kyne, Jefferon’s takes the concept of a small-batch bourbon to a new level. Their “very small batch” approach marries a mere 8-12 barrels of various age bourbons to produce their bottled bourbons. (Compared to the 200-300 barrels used in traditional small-batch bourbons.)

Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old is one of four whiskeys currently offered by McLain & Kyne. Their other products include Jefferson’s, Jefferson’s Presidential Select and Jefferson’s Straight Rye Whiskey. (Jefferson’s Ocean bourbon is a unique and hard-to-find release – 600 bottles – done as an experiment in extreme condition aging.)

Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old is a truly elegant bourbon that I wouldn’t mind enjoying night after night. It’s at the higher end of mid-priced bourbons but I think that it’s well worth the price. This bourbon holds a special place in my heart since it was one of the first bottles of bourbon that my wife purchased for me several years ago. She had apparently done some research and found that Jefferson’s Presidential Select was a great high-end choice, so she set out to our local liquor store to buy me a bottle. When she got to the store, she learned that they didn’t have it. Instead, they recommended that she buy Jefferson’s Reserve. Luckily for me, she did – along with a few others bourbons since it was cheaper than what she had initially set out to buy me for my birthday. (Talk about a bourbon win!)

When you have a chance, grab yourself a bottle and invite a few friends over. Sit outside and enjoy the night air while you sip on this wonderful bourbon and enjoy some friendly banter. I guarantee it will be a night to remember.


In 1997, when Jefferson’s was first starting out, we found a 15-year-old bourbon that we immediately knew was rich, complex and needed to be brought to market. It was in 2003 that we decided to bring in other bourbons to marry with the original Jefferson’s Reserve. Similar to Jefferson’s, we still use over 50% of that mash bill and add up to 3 more bourbons to create more flavor and complexities. Jefferson’s Reserve is a big, sophisticated bourbon with a lot of flavor up front, a lot of weight mid-palate and a deep, wonderful finish.