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.” His curious and experimental mindset has allowed him to push the boundaries of the definition of bourbon. Upholding tradition, yet always discovering new possibilities.
In 2012, Jefferson’s Bourbon founder and master blender Trey Zoeller partnered with OCEARCH founder, Chris Fischer. OCEARCH, a globally recognized nonprofit dedicated to the study and tracking of keystone marine species such as great white sharks and tiger sharks, to test out a theory.
Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at Sea – A boat is a singularly uncommon place to age bourbon, but inspiration struck Trey on the deck of his friend Chris Fischer’s research ship. While watching Jefferson’s Reserve bourbon rock gently in its bottle, they wondered what would happen to bourbon aged on the bow of a ship. The caramelizing of the sugars in the barrel combined with the constant motion of the ship resulted in a dark bourbon with a briny, savory taste aged beyond its years.
The Kentucky Artisan Distillery is the official home of Jefferson’s Bourbon. Distilling, blending, bottling of special offerings is done here. The KAD is where innovative ideas like the Barrel Aged Manhattan, Wine Finishes, Wood Experiments and Rum Finish have all become realities.
Every tour is a behind-the-scenes look at a real working distillery.