In 2008, while aboard the ship of fellow Kentucky native and OCEARCH founder Chris Fischer, Jeffersons Master Blender Trey Zoeller got a wild idea. As he and Chris watched the whiskey swirl in their glasses, compelled by the constant rock of the waves, they pondered: what might happen to a barrel of bourbon if it were aged at sea? Soon thereafter, five barrels of straight bourbon whiskey were loaded aboard the MV OCEARCH, and sent on a three-year voyage around the globe. The rest, as they say, is history. The constant movement of the ocean and extreme temperature fluctuations as the OCEARCH traversed the globe completely transformed the whiskey. The result is a hyper-aged, thick, dark bourbon with incredible depth and complexity. The constant agitation and changing climate imparted a sweet, caramelized flavor reminiscent of dark rum, while the salty ocean air and sea spray gave the bourbon the savory, briny character of an Islay Scotch whiskey. Since this discovery, Trey has sent hundreds of barrels around the world, with each voyage seeing (on average) over 25 ports, 5 continents, and 3 equator crossings. This is the best traveled bourbon on earth.
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Founded in 1997, Jefferson's is the brainchild of Trey Zoeller and his father Chet, a famed bourbon historian. They were continuing a family tradition that goes back to Trey's 8th generation grandmother who was arrested in 1799 for the "production and sales of spirituous liquors." To personify the brand, they chose Thomas Jefferson--known for his curiosity and experimental spirit. This is a mindset to which Trey has dedicated himself, pushing the boundaries of the definition of bourbon. Upholding tradition, yet always discovering new possibilities.