Sunday, January 17, 2021

Widow Jane Aged 10 Years Blend of Straight Bourbons

- $35 (375 ml)
- 91 Proof
- 10 Years
- Batch #233
- Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana

Lately I feel like I've been buying nothing but limited releases and store picks. I'm not complaining at all about that. It's great to have access to the whiskey I've been buying. But, I also feel like it's an impediment to actually trying new things. While I can't pass up a Russel's Reserve or Buffalo Trace store pick, and for good reason, I also don't then end up trying that new bottle I'm seeing on the shelf. I try to be more conscious of that, but at the same time, I'm not working with limitless resources here.

Luckily, though, occasionally my wife will randomly buy me new whiskeys, and because she wants to get me something I haven't had before, she often grabs something I likely wouldn't have gone for. In this instance, she grabbed a 2-pack of 375 ml bottles from Widow Jane, which included a rye whiskey aged in oak and apple wood, and this 10 year blended bourbon.  I've previously had the 10-year straight bourbon, but that was four years ago, and a much different whiskey than this one.

The nose was that of a very traditional bourbon, with aromas of oak and cinnamon and a sweet toffee note. It smelled like it had some age on it, as not only did I get a bit of oak but I also got a bit of a smoky char note to it. I even got a bit of chocolate that really seemed to complement everything else going on. Given the sources for this blend -- Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee -- I guess I really shouldn't have expected anything strange to come from this bottle.

When I took my first sip, I immediately noticed cinnamon and dark chocolate. The spice from the cinnamon, along with a touch of sweetness, hit the tip of my tongue immediately followed by the light bitterness of dark chocolate. 

Once I got past that spicy cinnamon and bitter dark chocolate, though, I got a lot of oak and vanilla. It wasn't over-oaked or overly bitter. In fact, that note seemed to carry forward that same dark chocolate bitterness. And it was all balanced by a rich vanilla note, like vanilla bean.

Other notes were noticeable here and there. At times I got a distinct peanut flavor, and even some dark notes from time to time. When paired with the sweetness from the vanilla and chocolate notes, it was almost like a toned down port wine note that I was getting.

All in all, this was rich and sweet and tasty. At $70 for a full sized bottle and only 91 proof, I don't know that I'm necessarily reaching for it. But, it was nonetheless a very good whiskey and I found that this little bottle just didn't stand a chance. It was gone within a week of opening.

Grade: B

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