September 28, 2023

Bourbon aged at sea

Steve Palec

Of my 7,548 annoying habits, the one my spouse consistently mentions is my tendency to brighten.

I might need simply embellished once more. However I like my tales to be entertaining, and I don’t assume it’s that troublesome. She, nevertheless, will right me each time. One operating joke between us includes what number of cruises I’ve taken. I can’t keep in mind precisely, so as a substitute of claiming 5 – 6, I declare that I’ve been on lots of.

As a lot enjoyable as I’ve had on all of them, they pale compared to what happens when Jefferson’s Ocean Aged at Sea bourbon is created.

Whereas all bourbon has to age in a brand-new charred oak barrel, the place the preliminary liquid interacts with the wooden, think about what the movement of the ocean does to that interplay. On the danger of sounding like an affordable romance novel, simply consider that fixed pulsating churn, shifting backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards and backwards and forwards.

So how did this concept come about? In 2008, Chris Fischer, founding father of OCEARCH, a corporation devoted to advancing the science of the life historical past of white sharks and different giants of the ocean, together with Jefferson’s founder and grasp blender, Trey Zoeller. have been on a ship watching their whiskey swirl of their glasses.

Very like the time my former roommate John and I had the concept no person would ever hire the upstairs unit of the duplex we lived in if we acted like raving lunatics each time the owner tried to point out it, these two mates thought collectively, “What if we aged bourbon at sea?”

Not solely would the movement influence the method, however so would the acute and variable climate circumstances, they surmised.

Fischer grew up in landlocked Louisville however someway turned a world-renowned explorer, researcher, and shark advocate whose work with OCEARCH has had a serious influence on sustaining ecosystems.

His collaborator Zoeller can also be a disruptor. As an alternative of changing into a distiller of bourbon, which takes money and time (numerous it), he elected to experiment by mixing whiskeys and began Jefferson’s Bourbon in 1997. The model has a strong flagship bourbon and a few nice blends with wines.

As an apart, his Jefferson’s Wooden Experiments are available in small bottles that I discover a excellent measurement for sneaking into occasions in my swimsuit coat pocket.

Steve Palec and Gary Ellerson

The Jefferson’s Ocean bourbons turned out to be not solely distinctive however darn good. Every bourbon-carrying voyage crosses the equator twice and, on common, passes 5 continents, 25 ports and probably a dozen locations you can get off and get your hair braided. I embellished solely that final level.

I’ve to credit score former Wisconsin Badger, former Inexperienced Bay Packer and my constant bourbon consuming buddy, Gary Ellerson, with first introducing me to the story of Oceans.

Now we have shared plenty of bourbons over time, however as you’ll be aware from this photograph, I nonetheless wouldn’t open my bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for him or anyone.

Oceans was one of many first bottles I sought out so as to add to my assortment, and I’ve gone by means of plenty of them since. Every voyage is numbered, and there may be even a hyperlink by means of which you’ll be able to observe the ship’s logs. (

I believe it’s a nice bourbon. and whereas it’s a bit costly–similar to cruise strains in all probability need to drop their costs throughout sure occasions of the yr to entice new passengers–it does go on sale sometimes.

Steve Palec is chief advertising officer of Wauwatosa-based business actual property growth agency Irgens. ‘The Good Life: Steve Palec on Bourbon’ way of life function seems repeatedly at