The new Jefferson’s Reserve Groth Reserve Cask Finish is said to have first been aged in new American oak for six years. From there it was finished in Groth Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for a further nine months. Groth is a well-respected winery out of California’s Napa Valley, and its cabernet in particular is considered an awesome wine in its grape varietal category.
A burnt caramel hue in the glass, the whiskey appears warm from the get go. With slight ethanol quickly dissipating on the nose, spice and a distinct burnt marshmallow scent follow. Warm caramelized oak and a fresh, almost wood-chippy impression marry together the nose. After opening up, the whiskey smells perfumed, with a natural sugar essence–reminiscent of palm sugar or dark maple syrup.
On the palate, the dram is full-bodied and chewy. Fresh whole grain bread, a buckwheat style nuttiness underlying. These aspects combine to make Jefferson’s want for a Dutch stroop waffle accompaniment to mimic the near-burnt sugar and breadiness that characterize it. Altogether an entirely substantial, yet light dram.
The finish displays reserved oak, and again light maple as on the nose. A sentimental whiskey, to be sure. The Dutch cookie craving from the palate transforms in this finish to a full blown craving to vacation to the Canadian tundra to take in sugar-tapping season and drink glass after glass of Jefferson’s by a wood fire.