I came across Jeffers Creek whiskey after I saw it on sale at Gary’s Wine and Marketplace on Route 23 in NJ for $20. I had stayed away from it the last time I visited because it looked clearly like a cheap knockoff of Old Weller Antique wheat whiskey, but I noticed it had a Gary’s “recommendation” this time around so I figured I’d give it a shot.
So let’s get on to the review.
- Spirit Type: Bourbon
- Proof: 80
- Bottled by: King’s Mark Company (Louisville, KY)
Well let’s start with the obvious: the bottle design is an exact ripoff of Old Weller wheat whiskey. The typeface, label design, shape of the bottle, and even how the top label is centered are all exactly the same. I wouldn’t be incredibly surprised by this if Jeffers Creek was owned by the same company, but nope: different companies (Weller is Buffalo Trace). Wish I could tell you what the rational here is, but I can’t — if you can, please do drop in the comments (UPDATE: Thanks Mark for the heads up – this whiskey is indeed produced by the same company as Weller as identified by the UPC code!).
The color of the whiskey itself is a yellow tinged amber. When I pour the first drops and move it around in my glass, I’m surprised at how the liquid clings to the walls — syrupy, similar to something like a Makers.
Lots going on in the nose, but the first thing you notice is the burn that stings if you breath in a little too deeply. Hiding behind the intense fumes is oak and caramel.
Much like the nose, the first thing you’re likely to get with Jeffers Creek is a bit of gasoline. Behind it there are some pleasant notes of caramel, oak, and corn. After that, we get into more trouble when we get to the…
Long, sweet, and more than a little burn.
This is no Weller. But this also isn’t an awful whiskey. Sure for $20, I’d easily take an Evan Williams 1783 instead. But this isn’t some watered-down distillery backwash either. If you’re feeling conflicted about buying it, toss a coin, or save yourself the $$ and bump your price-range up by $20 the next time you shop for a bottle.