Whisky Advocate

Review: Jefferson’s Presidential Select, 18 year old

January 27th, 2011

Jefferson’s Presidential Select, 18 year old, Batch #27, 47%, $90

I’ve tasted several batches of this whiskey (made at the old Stitzel-Weller distillery), from the inaugural Batch #1 when it was a 17 year old, to this new release. It’s not surprising that they taste progressively older. My favorite is still the first batch, but this whiskey holds up nicely and shows a similar flavor profile with a bit more wood influence: blackberry jam, nutty toffee, nougat, creamy vanilla, cinnamon, and a touch of polished oak on the finish. Nice texture, too, with good viscosity and grip on the finish.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 93

20 Responses to “Review: Jefferson’s Presidential Select, 18 year old”

  1. Gary says:

    Have really enjoyed the 17 year old. Haven’t picked up an 18 year old. Will have to give it a try.

    • Ryan says:

      Nice having unique wheated bourbon choices outside of the strictly allocated William Larue Weller, and Van Winkle products. Especially considering that not-so-long-ago neither this Stitzel-Weller distilled JPS 18 bottling, nor the recent PHC Cask-Strength Wheated Bourbon (another 93 rating), were even conceivable.

  2. Earl says:

    After visits to several bourbon distilleries last summer, I’m hooked. In researching Stitzell-Weller I see they closed in 1991. Just wondering if I could expect to find this release at my favorite bourbon shop? Really enjoy your tasting notes.

  3. Vince says:

    I love the 17 year old, the price dropped at my liquor store to under $70 so I picked up four bottles. I will give this a try as well!

  4. Mr Manhattan says:

    I’ve had mixed experiences with the 18 yo. I’ve tried two barrels from a local SF bay area retailer (K&L), The first was good but not the stellar product in the regular 17 yo bottle. A lot of wood showing. OK, as long it was your first pour of the evening.

    The second was really odd: kind of cloudy and soft (though bottled @ the same 94 proof as the others). It had a very nice toffee flavor and finish. I was reminded of certain bottles of wine that while “off” because they had a microbial infection of some sort, were attractive nevertheless.



    • Ryan says:

      Mr. M, I assume that by, “cloudy,” you meant its appearance? If so, then it’s worth noting that K&L claimed each of their store-exclusive JPS 18s were unfiltered. Could explain the cloudy (appearance?) you mention.

      And John, I noticed that your JPS 18 sample was from Batch #27. I’m curious if your Batch #27 was related to K&L’s latest JPS 18 Exclusive… which was also Batch #27?

      • John Hansell says:

        I honestly don’t know. David at K&L used to be a regular contributor here. Maybe he is still lurking here and can comment?

        • David D says:

          Still lurking from time to time. Not sure I can help except to confirm that ours is labeled batch 27. It is also the best batch I’ve ever tasted. Night and day from the other barrels we had. It sold out in a week after we realized how amazing it was and put the word out. It parallels the notes from John exactly.

      • Mr Manhattan says:

        Yes, cloudy as in unfiltered. The first bottle was much brighter and clearer in appearance.

  5. Mr Manhattan says:

    John: would you happen to know how much product has been released and/or how widely available this batch will be?


  6. David OG says:

    Jefferson’s is going to clarify exactly what the batch 27 was. I do know that they changed their bottler for this run, so we don’t know exactly what has changed from previous labels. According to the rep, K&L’s bottling is two barrels presumably bottled one after the next. John, can you tell us if your bottle is filtered? All our bottles have that crazy cloudiness from the left over oils, but the standard bottling should be filtered. More details soon…

  7. Mr Claw says:

    Guessing this isn’t going to get over to the UK in any hurry – more’s the pity…

    I have spoken with whisk(e)y retailers over here and they have universally said that getting whisk(e)y out of the US is a nightmare.

    And when we do get anything decent (George Stagg, Thomas Handy, etc) the price is ludicrous!

    That’s a right pain in the anus for those of us who love a good bourbon or rye…

  8. David OG says:

    Final word from Jefferson’s is in this morning. The K&L bottle, as well as other single barrel bottlings of Pres 18 year available throughout the country, were in fact somewhat mislabeled. They should have not been labeled as batch 27 as these bottles are a distinctly different that batch. About 10-12 barrels were sent to various retailers throughout the country on this run. Batch 27 would have been an filtered marriage of several casks where as the single barrel selections were nonfiltered. Anyway, just as with our previous single barrel version, these single barrel version should have had no batch no. at all. Unfortunately, something went wrong in the label machine and so the single barrels are labeled as Batch 27. The only indication that these are different is that outrageous haze and the “bottled exclusively for” on the front of the bottle.

  9. M C says:

    So, can someone clarify for me—I’ve seen a couple of places that this batch 27 is actually the last original run of Pappy and other places I’ve seen that it’s just aged in the Stitzel-Weller barrels. Which is it?

    Thanks in Advance!

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