Has anyone tried this stuff?
- The Professor Mar 13, 2014 12:36 PM
This article appeared ine th NY Daily News (and perhaps elsewhere). As the article acknowledges, this sounds like a gimmick...but the skeptical panel's review is surprising.
here's a link to the article:
Jefferson's Ocean. It's most certainly a gimmick. I had some from the first batch. It was fine but unexceptional.
It's a known fact that agitation and heat lead to more flavor extraction and oxidation in the barrel.
Many barreled spirits and barreled fortified wines like madeira improve drastically from a long sea voyage.
But "soaking up the salt air" ... Yeah, right.
Kelt does the same for its Tour du Monde cognac. It's a pretty good cognac for its price - not sure if the ocean voyage has any real effect.
A couple of observations and random thoughts . . .
To the best of my knowledge, Linie Aquavit is the original "let's-take-it-on-an-ocean-voyage" *distillate.* Sometime in the 1880s, a shipment of Linie aquavit went from Norway to Australia and back in sherry oak casks -- and it *definitely* tasted different after the ocean voyage. Now, it is shipped down-and-back on purpose.
I can't say what Jefferson (and Kelt) does, but there is more to in than just "sloshing around" in the North Sea or the Bay of Biscay.
The earliest "let's-take-it-on-an-ocean-voyage" alcohol, however, was Madeira in the 1700s. Now, Madeira wines are moved into a room where the temperature gets elevated to simulate the rise and fall of the temperature of the wine in the hold of a wooden sailing ship as it crosses the ocean.
In the mid-1800s, during the British Raj, a regiment in the British Army contracted with a producer of Sherry to supply the Officer's Mess with what would be known as Cream Sherry today. When the regiment returned to England, the officers complained the company had switched the wine in violation of their contract. Long story short, it was the exact same wine, but was transformed by the rocking motions and temperature variations as the wooden ships sailed from Spain around Africa and up to India (crossing the Equator twice in the process).
This topic reminded me of this article, which has a lot of interesting information on spirits aging http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/a...
I was particularly intrigued by this mention of rum made in Medford, MA:
Such an approach may actually have had historic precedent: 19th-century rum from Medford, Massachusetts, was famed for its quality, with one writer explaining, “It never left the bonded warehouse on Riverside Avenue until it had passed a severe test and was shipped across the Atlantic and back again, in wood, to age it."