By Randall H. Borkus
Widow Jane Distillery is the specialty distillery out of Red Book, Brooklyn, owned by chocolate-makers Cacao Prieto. Cacao Prieto, in turn, was founded by Daniel Prieto Preston, an inventor and aerospace engineer, whose family heritage goes back 100 years of farming organic cacao in the Dominican Republic. Their spirit expressions are largely not distilled at their distillery, but are sourced whiskey from other distilleries in Kentucky and maybe Indiana.
This particular expression takes their in-house Rye new make and ages it in Bourbon barrels from their 7 year old expression, but with new oak and applewood staves added.
I did a little research relative to the benefits of using alternative woods—such as apple wood, plum wood, cherry wood and pecan wood—to flavor spirits and create a myriad of flavor alternatives, using the wood oils to impart desirable essences and colors that common white oak lacks.
My bottle is from batch 5 bottle 1789 at 45.5% ABV. The juice looks cloudy and reminds me of fresh squeezed apple juice. I also notice a residue in the bottom of the bottle that adds to the cloudiness when agitated. The mouth feel is mildly hot and the flavor profile is a lot of fun as my taste buds are treated to citrus, pineapple, apple and a touch of cinnamon.
The whiskey finish holds hints of a grassy, earthy, floral meadow. I can distinctly pick out flavors influenced by the Applewood and oak staves as the combination creates a flavor ballet of complex richness on my inner cheeks. The rye whiskey finishes with notes of fruity sweetness, baked apples as well as hints of pineapple, burnt sugar, toasted coconut and jam preserves. The finish is just exquisite, and I think part of that might be down to the touted Widow Jane mineral mine water.
I found bottles really available online from $46 – 54 a 50ml bottle.