Widow Jane 7 Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey

By: Fork & Stave

Batch 121, Bottle 3

Proof: 91 Proof (45.5% ABV)

Rating: 4 Barrels (4 out of 5)

Widow Jane’s single barrel 7 year bourbon is made from a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley.  To get their name out on the market quickly, Cacao Prieto chose to buy bourbon for the Widow Jane brand that met their specifications from a company in the Midwest.  The unfiltered bourbon starts it’s life in a Kentucky distillery, it’s aged for a minimum of 7 years, and shipped to New York to be brought to proof and bottled.  The water used to bring this whiskey to proof has a very interesting back story.  “Our water that we use for cutting the bourbon & rye to strength and also to make our own whiskies, is from our mine in Rosendale, NY” notes a spokesman for Widow Jane.  The water from this mine is filtered through limestone and is rich in minerals, giving the Widow Jane spirit it’s unique mouth feel.  The stone that was excavated from the Widow Jane mine was used to build the Brooklyn Bridge and the base for the Statue of Liberty.  This bourbon is non-chill filtered.

As of this review, Widow Jane is in the process of growing their own 100% organic non-GMO corn for their in-house distilling operation.

Tasting Notes: After letting it breathe for 10 minutes, I tasted this bourbon neat.

Nose: The first sampling delivers notes of toffee, oak, spiced fruit and cinnamon.

First Sip: Sweet vanilla and cherry flavors followed by some citrus and oak notes.  It actually took me several sips to determine everything that I was tasting and I’m still not sure I listed everything.

From Mike Dirksen at Widow Jane:

“One of the more unusual aspects of this bourbon is the pepper note on the front end due to a higher than average rye content. That extra rye brings a greater complexity to the spirit, no doubt helping with it’s overall market appeal.”

Mouth Feel:  As one familiar with the mineral rich limestone waters of Kentucky might expect, the Widow Jane mine limestone water gives the whiskey a velvety feel.

Finish: You get one more burst of that spice and citrus as well as some tannic astringency as the whiskey exits the party along with an accompanying burn.

Summary: Widow Jane 7 year is a solid offering from Cacao Prieto.  It’s full of flavor and offers a unique taste profile.  The only detractors for me were the finish and the price.  The spice laden and hot finish to this whiskey is a little bit more than I’m looking for in a 7 year bourbon.  Perhaps enjoying it on the rocks would be all that is needed to tame some of that burn.  At a price north of $50 for a bottle, I thought the ride could have been more smooth.  I will be interested to try some of their in-house distilled and aged whiskeys as those become available.  You can find Widow Jane for sale on Urban Daddy, Drink Up NY, and Astor Wines.

For more information on Widow Jane, follow Widow Jane (Widow_Jane) on Instagram.