Whiskey Review: Widow Jane 7 Year Old Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Widow Jane 7 Year Old Bourbon

Widow Jane 7 Year Old BourbonEditor’s Note: We’ve just launched sign ups for our upcoming The Whiskey Wash newsletterClick here to join our list and stay informed!

Portland, where the Whiskey Wash (and our reviewers) live and drink has several official “sister cities,” which include Bologna, Italy; Sapporo, Japan; and Guadalajara, Mexico. That’s wonderful, but I’m pretty sure the city wearing the other half of our best friend heart necklace is Brooklyn. We may be 3,000 miles apart, but we’re likely BFFs with ever so much in hipstery tandem.

Widow Jane products aren’t new to our site: We checked out the Widow Jane’s Red Hook, Brooklyn, distillery last autumn and have previously written about their use of non-GMO heirloom corn and chocolate malt in select bottlings of theirs. Widow Jane whiskey is distilled in Kentucky, then shipped to New York for bottling, where it is cut with water from their namesake Widow Jane mine in Rosendale. According to the Widow Jane’s website, Rosendale Limestone possesses an even higher ratio of beneficial minerals than that found in Kentucky.

The company offers several different spirits along with their Widow Jane 7 year old bourbon that we’re reviewing (and which won double gold in the 2013 San Francisco Spirit awards): They include an 8-year straight bourbon, a rye, a high-rye bourbon, a single expression bourbon, and several varieties of rum.

So…Does this migratory mash stand the test?

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: Its color resembles mead, and is slightly orange, like a once-washed coffee stain on a white t-shirt.

Nose: Fresh paper, art supplies, a picture frame shop. Bookstores! They still exist. For where else could you get that wonderful aroma of putting your nose into a brand-new, intact-spined hardback book? Perhaps this whiskey could substitute in a Kindle pinch.

Palate: Mossy, a little earthy, followed by a hint of seawater or unflavored salt-water taffy. Quite smooth, which is welcome at 45.5% (90 proof). In the finish there’s subtle pepper, with an overlay of lemon, as if it’s already had a twist added to it.


The Widow Jane 7-year isn’t a standout in any particular way—but that’s one of its attributes. Sometimes it’s totally fine to not be a superlative. It’s pleasant, though not meek; friendly, but not boring. This is a solid choice, though not inexpensive at around $60-70 a bottle (craft! artisanal! Portland and Brooklyn vernacular!). Widow Jane 7-year is well-made and tasty, if not ohmigod.



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