The Widow Jane Distillery is in Brooklyn, New York. The Master Distiller there is Lisa Roper Wicker. I consider her one of the most talented distillers I know. She has an excellent palate and creates unique whiskeys simply by marrying together diverse barrels of whiskey in such a manner that the sum is so much greater than the individual parts. I have two of her latest products to review today.
The first is Decadence. This is 10-year-old Bourbon finished in maple syrup barrels. I am not normally a fan of flavored Bourbons and maple syrup barrels have the possibility of moving from a finishing barrel to simply a maple syrup flavored whiskey. Widow Jane has done a very good job of making sure that this does not happen. This whiskey has a definite maple syrup note to the whiskey, but it does not dominate the flavor. The second bottle is You’ll Never Walk Alone – a special bottling of 10-year-old Bourbon with 100% of the profits going to help Hospitality Relief Programs. In this day of Covid 19 and the shutdown of most bars and restaurants to prevent the spread of the disease, this type of charity bottle is becoming more common as more and more distilleries are releasing bottles to support the workers in the hospitality industry. These two whiskeys are excellent and once again shows me just how talented Lisa Wicker is as a Master Distiller and a Master Blender.
Widow Jane Decadence Batch 2, Bottle 3121
Age: No Age Statement (10-year-old Bourbon before finishing in maple syrup barrels)
Nose: Maple syrup, caramel and a little oak. Not a complex nose and dominated by the maple syrup.
Taste: Maple syrup, apples, ginger and cinnamon spice and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry will make the maple syrup take a backseat to the ripe apple and spices. Tasted with a pecan and the taste becomes a maple pecan roll candy with just a hint of spice and oak.
Finish: Maple syrup and spices with some drying oak wood. The dried cranberry gives the finish a drier, oak forward finish. There are still some maple syrup and spice notes, but they move to the background. The pecan makes the finish very dry with pecan and oak dominating the spice and maple syrup.
I would pair this whiskey with my pipe and an aromatic tobacco blend like my Kremer’s Black Royal. The chocolate and fruit notes of the smoke would pair well with the maple syrup and spices of the whiskey better than any cigar.
Widow Jane You’ll Never Walk Alone
Age: 10 Years Old
Nose: Crème Brule’, apples, fine leather and oak.
Taste: Caramel, apples, baking spices – ginger, cinnamon and cardamom with some sweet oak and tobacco. Tasted with a dried cranberry will reduce the spices and bring out notes of milk chocolate and caramel. Tasted with a pecan brings out the fruity ripe apple or pear with more baking spices, cardamom in particularly over the ginger and cinnamon.
Finish: Long and dry with oak, tobacco and baking spices. The dried cranberry makes the finish sweeter with a note of chocolate, oak and a hint of ginger spice. The pecan makes the finish very spicy with cardamom and oak.
I would pair this Bourbon with a Oliva Serie V Maduro with its vanilla and spice smoke. I think it would pair well with the spices in this Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller