I recently reviewed Widow Jane Paradigm Rye, and I loved it. It was a blend of Widow Jane’s in-house distilled whiskey with MGP and a KY distillery. I liked it so much that I decided to try Widow Jane 10 Year Bourbon – their standard offering, a blend of bourbons aged 10 years.
- Spirit: Blend of Straight Bourbons, Small Batch
- Owned By: Heaven Hill
- Distilled By: Undisclosed KY, TN, and IN Distilleries (Heaven Hill, Dickel, MGP)
- Aged: 10 Years
- Proof: 91, 45.5% ABV
- Mashbill: Unknown, 51%+ corn
- Price: $70-75
First off, Widow Jane 10 Year cannot be labeled as a straight bourbon, but rather a blend of straight bourbons. Only blended bourbon that uses whiskey that was distilled in a single state can still qualify as a straight bourbon. Widow Jane 10 blends bourbon from three states – KY, IN, and TN – therefore, it’s labeled as a blend of straight bourbons
Second, this is a small batch whiskey. Only 5 barrels are used in a batch, so there will be more variance in flavor and quality from one batch to the next. For reference, my bottle is from batch #3, bottled in 2022.
Third, Widow Jane 10 carries a 10 year age statement. That means that all 5 barrels used to create every batch is aged a minimum of 10 years.
The last thing to note is that none of the whiskey in this bottle was distilled at the Widow Jane Distillery in Brooklyn, NY. Instead, they use water from a limestone mine in Rosendale, NY to cut the whiskey to 91 proof.
Enough talk, let’s pour a dram and find out if this bourbon can match their Paradigm Rye.
Nose: Wet, earthy oak and a bit of ethanol hit first. A little bit of pepper and rye spice show up with some creamy vanilla. Slight citrus undertones, perhaps some lemon zest. After 10 minutes I begin to get a bit of red licorice on the nose.
Palate: A pepper sizzle hits the front of my tongue before vanilla smooths it over. More orange citrus shows up before a whole lot of charred oak comes in. Certainly not a thin mouthfeel, but not quite as viscous as I had hoped.
Finish: Orange and oak with some fresh spearmint. Short to medium in length.
Taste Summary – Is Widow Jane 10 Year Bourbon Good?
Ya know, I like this bourbon. It’s enjoyable, and it’s a pretty easy sipper all while having enough richness and flavor to keep it interesting.
The issue is clearly the price tag, though. This is a good bourbon… I mean, I really don’t have anything negative to say, but for $75 I’m looking elsewhere. If it were a bit thicker and more oily, if I got a little more of something else, anything, this would be really good.
Would I buy a 750ml bottle for $75? Probably not. However, at my local Total Wine, this goes for $64, and a 375ml bottle, like I got, is $36. While it’s not as cost effective, I’m in the business of (and I prefer) trying new whiskeys. So, $36 to try this out? Yeah, I’m happy with my purchase, and I’ll enjoy the rest of the bottle.
While I’m not in love with the 10 Year Bourbon, this is really good news for Widow Jane, and it makes me even more excited to try their fully in-house distilled whiskey next.
I loved their blend of in-house and sourced rye, but I only decently enjoyed their sourced bourbon…. Maybe their in-house whiskey is just that good…? I can’t be for certain, but I can assure you that I’m going to find out.