Jefferson’s Bourbon is a Louisville, Kentucky-based brand of bourbon whiskey, which is distilled, blended, and bottled in the United States by Pernod-Ricard. The brand was first released in 1997.
Jefferson’s Bourbon was launched by Trey Zoeller, a native Kentuckian, and his father Chet Zoeller a bourbon historian. The company was called McClain & Kyne after Zoeller’s past relatives, including an 8th generation grandmother arrested in 1799 for moonshining. McClain and Zyne was purchased by Castle Brands in 2005. In June 2015, Castle Brands announced a 20% purchase of Copperhead Distillery Company, which owns and operates Kentucky Artisan Distillery. The brand began with Jefferson’s Reserved and then expanded with the addition of Jefferson’s Presidential Select, and Jefferson’s Small Batch.
Jefferson’s has used experimental blending and aging techniques, such as aging bourbon at sea. When Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at Sea bourbon came on the scene in 2021, the idea seemed novel at the very lease. Trey Zoeller aged three barrels of Jefferson’s bourbon on the ocean for four years while the crew traveled the Pacific Oceans tagging sharks for research. Following the success of the initial release, Jefferson’s grew the Ocean product line by shipping hundreds of barrels around the world. Jefferson’s states that the barrel crosses the equator at least four times and visits over 30 ports on a voyage.
In 2021, Jefferson’s released Jefferson’s Rye Cognac Finish Whiskey consisting of an aged rye whisky finished for 9 to 19 months in used French Cognac casks.