Jefferson’s Bourbon releases Jefferson’s Tropics Aged in Humidity, a limited-edition Kentucky bourbon whiskey that’s finished for 18 months in Singapore’s hot and humid climate.

If you were born or have ever lived in Singapore, the Lion City’s tropical climate isn’t exactly a selling point. It’s almost always blazing hot all year round, punctuated often by heavy tropical thunderstorms. And the humidity! Singapore’s high humidity can mean you are dripping in perspiration bare minutes after stepping out in the open.

But where some get hot and bothered, others find opportunity. Trey Zoeller, founder of artisanal Kentucky bourbon distillery Jefferson’s, is among the latter. After the runaway success of his envelope-pushing Ocean Aged at Sea series – a limited-edition bourbon whiskey created by having bourbon barrels carried on an ocean voyage constantly rocked by waves – Zoeller wanted to further explore how different climates affected the maturation process. He was keen to find out, in particular, how bourbon would age in hot and humid climates.

The location Zoeller decided on to experiment in? Singapore.

Trey and Chet Zoeller of Jefferson's Bourbon in Singapore
Jefferson’s Bourbon cofounders Trey and Chet Zoeller of in Singapore.

So he sent nine containers – with a combined capacity of 720 barrels of fully-matured Kentucky straight bourbon – on a journey set for Singapore the other end of the world via ship in July 2019. The containers carrying those barrels of bourbon arrived and were transferred to an open warehouse in an industrial park where they sat exposed in Singapore’s punishing heat and humidity for 18 months. Those containers finally made their way back to Kentucky in March 2023.

And now, the first Jefferson’s Tropics Aged in Humidity edition finally released.

“After taking barrels to many different locations, it was evident that the hot and humid climates had such a positive impact on the bourbon. So when homing in on a location to age our first Jefferson’s Tropics Aged in Humidity release, we knew we needed to be near the equator, where the heat and humidity would be year-round and intense,” mused Trey Zoeller, founder of Jefferson’s Bourbon.

“Singapore – one of my bucket list travel destinations – was absolutely perfect for this experiment,” Zoeller declared.

Jefferson's Tropics Aged in Humidity - lifestyle
Born and raised in Kentucky, with a little side trip to Singapore.

He said that the extreme heat in Singapore would effectively slow cook the sugars in the wood, resulting in a bourbon that would be intensely caramelised and steeped with flavour. And it was, a bourbon that – according to Jefferson’s Bouron – “boasts aromatic baking spices on the nose, notes of bing cherry, toffee, and sea salt, and a long, textured, full-bodied finish”.

“The result is a remarkable bourbon, one that further reinforces my belief that terroir for whiskey comes from the environment that the bourbon matures in rather than the ground from which the grains are grown. The Jefferson’s Tropics Aged in Humidity series embodies the result of this with its richness and complexity – we can’t wait for you to experience it firsthand,” Zoeller added.

Jefferson’s Tropics Aged in Humidity is fully matured and bottled at 52% ABV. This allocated limited edition special release is currently only available in the United States starting September 2023 in fine spirits retailers and restaurants/bars across the country at a recommended selling price of US$99.99 (750ml). No release date for Singapore has yet been set.

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