Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon: A Review

An In-Depth Look at Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon – Davidson County Single Barrel Pick

Jefferson’s Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon – Hickory Tree Series Barrel Pick is a special bottle that was gifted to me on my 45th birthday. Presented in a beautifully etched Rickhouse Ramblings logo decanter, this bourbon exudes a rich auburn color. When poured into a glass, it takes on a chestnut hue.

Company Background: Kentucky Artisan Distillery

Kentucky Artisan Distillery, located in Crestwood, Kentucky, was founded in 2012 by Steve Thompson (passed away September 6, 2021), Chris Miller, and Mike Loring. Before starting Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Mr. Thompson served as President of Brown-Forman Distilleries from 1987 to 1995. The distillery operates in a 15,000 square foot former ice cream plant and is Kentucky’s first contract distiller. Kentucky Artisan Distillery proudly produces Jefferson’s Bourbon, Whiskey Row Bourbon, and Billy Goat Strut North American Whiskey.

Jefferson’s Bourbon Legacy

Jefferson’s Bourbon, established in 1997 by father and son duo Chet and Trey Zoeller, is known for its expertise in blending rather than distilling. The Zoeller family has a long-standing connection to whiskey, dating back to 1799. In 2015, Jefferson’s Bourbon acquired Kentucky Artisan Distillery, and in 2022, the parent company Pernod Ricard invested $250 million to build a dedicated distillery for Jefferson’s Bourbon.

Tasting Notes: An Exquisite Experience


When first discovering the aromas of Jefferson’s Reserve Single Barrel – Hickory Tree Series, you’ll be greeted by enticing scents of cinnamon, fresh pipe tobacco, sweet dark brown sugar, and a subtle floral note. As you breathe in the whiskey from a Glencairn glass, the air is filled with the fragrance of black tea. Further exploration reveals hints of honey, fresh hay, caramel, and spearmint.


Jefferson’s Reserve offers a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, caressing the tongue with flavors of freshly brewed tea and sweet warm walnuts drizzled with molasses sauce. The oak presence is delicate and toasted, rather than charred. The journey continues with notes of sweet vanilla and butterscotch, rounding out the pour.


The finish of this bourbon whiskey is of medium length, leaving a slight cinder tingle on the tongue and throat. As the journey wraps up, the notes of peaches and pears emerge, immersed in thick, sweet syrup. These fruity elements are complemented by toasted brown sugar and a touch of bitter oak barrel char, akin to a delightful fall dessert.

Our Rating: A True Gem

We rate this Jefferson’s Reserve Single Barrel Hickory Tree Series Barrel Pick a strong 4.0 out of 5.0 Rickhouses – it’s a bottle worth savoring.

Final Thoughts: A Balanced Symphony

The Single Barrel Hickory Tree Series Barrel Pick from Jefferson’s Reserve is an exceptional pour that embodies balance and complexity. The nose leads to a symphony of flavors on the palate, culminating in a rush of sweetness and spice in the finish. We can’t help but applaud Eric and his team for delivering yet another quality barrel pick. If you’re lucky enough to find this bourbon at your local ABC Store, don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience its remarkable qualities.

Jefferson's Reserve
Photo: Review: Jefferson’s Reserve – Davidson County Single Barrel

Jefferson's Reserve
Photo: Review: Jefferson’s Reserve – Davidson County Single Barrel

Jefferson's Reserve
Photo: Review: Jefferson’s Reserve – Davidson County Single Barrel

Jefferson's Reserve
Photo: Review: Jefferson’s Reserve – Davidson County Single Barrel

Photos are property of Rickhouse Ramblings LLC.

Experience the exquisite flavors of Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon – Ambassadeur Hotel