Widow Jane Paradigm Rye

Widow Jane Paradigm Rye Review

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

  • Spirit: Blend of straight rye whiskeys
  • Owned By: Heaven Hill
  • Distilled By: Widow Jane, a KY distillery (likely Heaven Hill), and an IN distillery (likely MGP)
  • Aged: 4+ years
  • Proof: 93 proof, 46.5%
  • Mashbill: Undisclosed. 51%+ Rye
  • Price: $45-50

Founded in 2012 out of Brooklyn, NY by Daniel Preston, Widow Jane has changed hands a couple of times. The brand was purchased by Samson & Surrey which was then purchased by Heaven Hill.Widow Jane is named after a limestone mine in Rosendale, NY. Their water source is from around the Widow Jane mine that constantly flows through limestone in the upstate NY mountains.

Paradigm Rye is a blend of their own rye whiskey with a straight rye from Indiana (likely MGP) and a straight rye from Kentucky (likely Heaven Hill or a distillery owned by Heaven Hill).

Widow Jane Paradigm Rye is unable to be labeled a ‘straight rye’ because the blend contains whiskey from different states. However, there are no additives and all ingredients used are GMO-Free. Read the full story of Widow Jane at Great Drams.

Tasting Notes

Widow Jane Whiskey

Nose: Lemon citrus, bright flowers make for a fresh, lovely nose. Brown sugar and oak come in towards the back end adding a rich sweetness. Some darker fruits show up after 10 minutes.

Palate: vanilla, cinnamon, and apple with the brown sugar and oak at the end. Medium to high viscosity.

Finish: Oak and vanilla are most prominent with a touch of citrus and mint sitting underneath it. A medium to long finish. A pleasant finish with just a touch of pepper sitting on the tongue afterwards.

Is It Good?

Widow Jane Paradigm Rye is a phenomenal rye whiskey. It drinks closer to a bourbon or high-rye bourbon in my opinion. It’s got a more rounded mouthfeel and more viscous than I usually attribute to rye whiskey. There’s no sharpness to the flavors and it’s exactly the type of profile I’m looking for.

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The nose starts with squeezed lemon and flowers. It’s fresh, though, as the flowers aren’t earthy or vegetal. Brown sugar, maybe a little burnt brown sugar, is one of my favorite notes and it appears on both the nose and palate. The citrus notes with brown sugar and cinnamon are reminiscent of apple pie. Of course the pepper and 93 proof let you know it’s actually whiskey you’re having.

The finish is pleasant. It’s not wildly complex, but it sticks around and leaves a slight sizzle on your tongue without being harsh. 93 proof seems like a great number for this whiskey with plenty of room to go up if they ever wanted to explore cask strength options.

If this sounds like something you’d like, you should also check out Chattanooga Whiskey 111. They also have a 91 proof version if that’s more your style.

Where To Buy?

Paradigm Rye is one of Widow Jane’s first national releases, and the first that’s included in-house distilled whiskey. It rolled out in the Summer of 2023, so look for it at your local liquor store. If not available there, Total Wine is my go to as they usually have the best prices available.


Widow Jane produces many of their own whiskeys, but Paradigm Rye marries its own rye with rye from Kentucky and Indiana. I love MGP rye whiskey, but there is certainly something more to this than just your typical MGP bottling. Perhaps it’s the Kentucky Rye, but I have a feeling its the stuff those guys at Widow Jane are cooking up out in Brooklyn.

You can’t go wrong with a bottle of Paradigm Rye for $40-50, and I’m excited to try some of their own whiskey all by itself.

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