Branch on Fire: Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old

This was my free bottle I got for signing up for Flaviar through a friend. And well…


Jefferson’s whiskey’s are made by father and son Chet and Trey Zoeller, only they don’t make whiskey. They source and blend it. They made their name with the Oceans whiskey, which is literally aged on the ocean in barrels, increasing agitation.

Jefferson’s Reserve is one of their more readily available and affordable flagship whiskeys. It features multiple blends, but all aged at least eight years and up to 18, while also still considered small batch as well (8-1 barrels of 4 different whiskeys). The blended ages is designed to give it more complexity than the VSB.


Bottled at 90.2 proof, this one has less burn than most 90 proofers with this age. The mostly comes from the butterscotch-like sweetness. The oak char on the backend is more tobacco than any kind of smoke. Admittedly, I’ve been drinking scotch peat monsters of late, so just about any bourbon is going to be sweet to me right now. The sweetness reminds you of baking some buttery toffee cookies or some kind of pastry.

I have had the VSB in the past and prefer this one. I’ve also had one taste of the Ocean, and for the price I’d still go with this one. The Ocean is a fun concept, but at $30 more it doesn’t add enough more.

This isn’t a whiskey you go out of your way to find, but it is a really good, balanced one to keep around regularly.

Rating: 91.

Whiskey Ratings

92: Jefferson’s Reserve Very Old.
90: High West Campfire
83: Buchanan’s Deluxe 12

Gin Ratings

88: Dogfish Head Compelling Gin


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