The Widow Jane Distillery was founded as a non-distiller producer in 2012 and is located in the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Named after the Widow Jane (Rosendale) Mines in upstate New York, the Distillery prides itself on using only pure limestone water from the mines to proof down and blend all of its spirits. In only a few short years, the Distillery experienced tremendous success, has started distilling its own whiskey, and has expanded its spirit portfolio to include 10, 12 and 14-year bourbons as well as numerous finished whiskeys.
The 12-year bourbon is only available as a private barrel selection. This particular bottle was selected by the fine folks at the Mansion in Melbourne, Florida.
The mash bill for this bourbon has not been disclosed but the distillery has stated that it is made from a high-rye mash. The juice in the bottle was sourced from Indiana (MGP) and aged for 12 years. It is non-chill filtered and has been proofed down with Widow Jane limestone water to 99 proof (49.5% abv). This bottle typically retails for roughly $80.
Appearance – burnished copper. Thick and slow legs coated the glass.
Nose – the nose on this whiskey is wonderful! Crisp, bright fruit (think pear and citrus) welcome you initially along with a pleasant dose of alcohol. The fruit notes quickly give way to thick caramel, some toasted oak, and a soft bouquet of baking spice. With time the nose softens and the baking spice and oak really shine.
Palate – on the palate, the sweet pear note and caramel lead the way, but this whiskey takes a big turn as a pronounced smoky oak note really takes over. This was a pleasant surprise to say the least! The smoky oak ushers in a sharp, peppery spice that develops on the back of the tongue.
Finish – the finish is long and spicy, with more burn than I would expect from a sub-100 proof whiskey. That peppery spice lingers for some time, along with plenty of dark caramel, some char, and a dry herbal note that finishes out the sip.
Overall – This was definitely a fun pour for me! The nose was just wonderful and full of unique flavors that progressed nicely with time. I was also pleasantly surprised by the sweet-to-smoky transition on the palate that culminated in a dry, spicy finish that lingered for some time. Overall, I thought this single barrel whiskey really delivered! I guess my only concern with this bottle, like so many new releases, is the price point. I’ve seen these selections at a few stores in the $100-$120 price tag and that is just beyond my comfort level. Fortunately, I found this bottle for the MSRP, but even then to me $80 is still a lot for a bottle of whiskey (maybe I’m just still stuck in the good ol’ days).
If you see one of these single barrel selections for a good price, I highly recommend you give it a try. As always, let me know what you think of this dram. Cheers!