WIDOW JANE BABY JANE BOURBON
- DISTILLER: Widow Jane Distillery
- MASH BILL: 80% Baby Jane Corn | 10% Rye | 10% Malted Barley
- AGE: 1 Year
- YEAR: 2016
- PROOF: 91 (45.5% ABV)
- MSRP: $140.00 for 375 ml bottle
NOSE: Corn | Barley | Mash tank
TASTE: Sweet Corn | Cereal | A hint of maple syrup
FINISH: Not very long but smooth with a hint of caramel. Not much heat at all which surprised me. Very smooth for a one yr old. Lots of sweetness. It doesn’t taste like a mash tank, though. Obviously, it’s young, and it’s very corn forward, but there is a ton of sweetness and not nearly as much alcohol vapor as you’d expect. Very smooth for a bourbon so young.
SHARE WITH: Bourbon nerds that are in the know. People who know what unaged distillate is and what it typically looks and tastes like. This is very impressive for something so young, and it also has a beautiful color to it.
WORTH THE PRICE: $140 for 375 ml bottle. Only 75 bottles were released at the Widow Jane Anniversary Party celebrating their 4th year on October 14, 2016. I am not sure that this is available now in greater distribution or not. If so, it is pricey but would be a great conversation starter for bourbon fans to try something that Widow Jane is touting as Farm to Bottle, 100% Organic, with no genetically modified grains or enzymes. I say Yes.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle for bourbon geeks if you can find it. If for no other reason than to have it to taste side by side in a few years when they finally release the finished product to the public.
OVERALL: This is a one year aged white dog, and you wouldn’t have guessed it. Most white dog I’ve tried has been very alcohol forward with heavy corn notes. While this is a year old, it has some of the corn notes to it (but sweeter), and the color is stunning for a one year aged bourbon. I’m not sure if it’s due to the organic non-GMO heirloom varietals of corn used to make this, but whatever it is, it looks like something that has been aged at least four if not six years. If Widow Jane is giving tasters of this at their distillery, people will be pre-buying barrels 3-5 years out. I could be wrong, but this is by far and away the most impressive 1-year-old bourbon I’ve ever tried. I can’t wait to try this once it’s aged in barrels for a few more years.
NOSE: Buttered Corn | Malt | Fresh Oak
TASTE: Cornmeal | Maple Syrup | Vanilla
FINISH: Brown Spices | Dark Fruit | Oak
SHARE WITH: Share with someone who refuses to drink any bourbon less than four years old. But don’t tell them what you’re serving them. They’ll know it’s young, but I doubt they’ll guess that it’s only one year old.
WORTH THE PRICE: You shouldn’t even have to ask. $140 for a 375ml bottle of this juice is totally off the charts. I can only imagine it was priced at $140 to celebrate the first run and inherent collectible nature of the bourbon for those with a long-term view. Anyone that paid full price did so as an investment in the distillery, not as a purchase of a one-year-old bourbon.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Try this one if you can. It’s going to surprise you – in a good way. I cannot recommend tracking a bottle down to the average bourbon drinker. It’s just too expensive to add to your everyday drinking rotation. But as Brent stated, bourbon geeks will probably want to grab a bottle if they’re able to track one down. It’s definitely one to put on your watch list if nothing else.
OVERALL: Just like Brent I was surprised by Baby Jane. It doesn’t hide its age. There are clear signs of its youth – buttered corn and malt – but there’s also unexpected signs of maturity – maple syrup, brown spices and dark fruits. It’s easily one of the most drinkable young bourbons that I’ve come across. If Widow Jane can maintain the mature flavors and expand upon them during aging, they’re going to have a fascinating bourbon on their hands in a few years. I look forward to revisiting this one in the future. Keep up the good work!
More than four years of careful growing and hand-harvesting to develop our very own hybrid of two non-GMO heirloom varietals of corn. The child of Bloody Butcher and Wapsie Valley corns, Baby Jane was cultivated to reflect specific characteristics we love in whiskey. Round, soft, savory, complex and unlike any bourbon you’ve ever had.
NOSE: White Tea | Red Currant | Kettle Corn
PALATE: Tart Cherry | Cornbread | Gingersnap
FINISH: Rum Raisin | Apricot | Allspice
Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.