Who says the best Bourbon has to be made in the South? Widow Jane based in Brooklyn, New York, are doing a pretty fine job themselves.
Widow Jane seems like a strange name for a distillery but it is a bit more complex than simple branding. The distillery was founded by Daniel Preston, an entrepreneur who also owns cacao farm in the Dominican Republic and a farm in upstate New York where he sources corn for his Bourbon.
Together with Vince Oleson, Head Distiller at Widow Jane, Preston created a distillery in Red Hook, Brooklyn, that focuses on terrior and only uses the finest ingredients. In fact that’s where the name comes from. Widow Jane refers to a limestone mine in Rosendale.
The mine was originally owned by A. J. Snyder, whose wife was well known within the Rosendale community for her kindness. This is the same mine that Widow Jane source their water from, attributing the quality of their Bourbon to the quality of the mineral rich water found here.
Tasting notes for the Widow Jane 10 Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottle cost: £69.95
The Bourbon itself, which currently is sourced from a third party supplier, is intriguing and won a double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013.
They like to be specific at Widow Jane, and each bottle it labelled with barrel number, bottle number and the date it was bottled. This adds a nice touch that goes along with the brands’ hyper-local ingredients sourcing.
It opens with a nose full of vanilla and chocolate. It is rich and complex, with a lot going on. The vanilla is warming and has a hint of smoke running through it. this goes well with a toasted oak flavour that comes about on the palate.
The chocolate becomes sweeter on the tongue, with other sugary notes coming out too. Caramel, treacle and pastries are all present.
There is a hint of spice and a slightly herbal note, with some medicinal qualities peaking through. This is complemented with hazelnuts and pecan pie, making for a well-rounded and very sweet body.
The finish is soft, with lots of oak wood and vanilla, and a little hint of burnt orange.
This is a fascinating Whiskey, with a lot going on and a wonderfully bright flavour profile. Whatever you think of terrior, these guys are definitely following the right path when it comes to sourcing their ingredients.