Widow Jane The Vaults 14 Year 2022 Review

“The Vaults” Series

This is the 4th release of The Vaults series which is a blend of Widow Jane’s “oldest and rarest” whiskeys, and it is therefore always a small-batch limited production. The 2022 batch was only 2,000 cases or 12,000 bottles. Let’s grab a pour and “work” on this Widow Jane The Vaults 14 Year 2022 review!

Each expression of The Vaults is a blend of hand-picked straight bourbons from Indiana and Tennessee. Additionally, each release has explored rebarreling the whiskey in unique finishing oak barrels from various regions and unusually long periods of air seasoning of the barrel staves. The Vaults 2022 is finished in Missouri Ozark white oak casks that had been air-seasoned for 3 years. According to the Widow Jane Distillery, the tight-grained Missouri oak brings hints of vanilla, smoke, and spice.

Series: The Vault – 4th annual release
Classification: Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 14 years (blend of 14 to 19 year bourbons)
Proof: 99
Proof Designation: na
Non-Chill Filtered? Yes
Mash bill: Undisclosed
Distillery: Widow Jane
Company: Widow Jane
Distilled/Aging Location: Red Hook neighborhood, Brooklyn, New York
Release Date: October 2022
Batch Size: batch size is 20 cases or 12,000 bottles
Batch No.: 2
Master Distiller: Lisa Wicker
MSRP: $249
Aftermarket: $299+
Availability: Low/Rare

Widow Jane The Vaults 14 Year 2022 review
Widow Jane The Vaults 14 Year 2022 Review

My tasting reviews are unique in that I include the notes of several well-known whiskey critics. The hope is that this format will help me and others to explore and expand their tasting experience. After you have taken your own tasting notes, read the reviews and see if there is a flavor note that others discerned that now you can detect as well.

Appearance

Nice long legs appear after a sip in a Glencairn.

Nose

Rich vanilla, toasted oak, rich caramel, leather, dark cherry, chocolate, perhaps peanuts.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

The Barrel Tap: Broken in Leather, Seasoned Oak Campfire.

Whiskey Reviewer: Hints of bold toasted vanilla, burnt sugary fruits, a hint of Citrus limon oil and minerals.

The Whiskey Wash: Tart cherry, vanilla, and baking spice make up the first impressions. The nose then deepens in complexity to show off root beer and light leather.

Palate

Dark caramel, leather, toasted oak, dark chocolate, bourbon-soaked vanilla bean, maple syrup, nutmeg, orange zest, dark cherry, tobacco, peanuts or nuts. Complex dark flavors, nice balance of sweet/dry/mild spice.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

The Barrel Tap: Sweet Tobacco, Vanilla, Sarsaparilla.

Whiskey Reviewer: The front palate opens with a spicy dryness leading to sweet vanilla powdered oven-baked cherries, roasted nuts and dry burnt oak mist.  The mid-palate continues dry and spicy bursting with mineral-infused overcooked sweet fruits and over ripe Bananas.

The Whiskey Wash: Vanilla and root beer carry through to the palate which are joined by brown sugar and lemon. The mouthfeel is smooth, velvety, and luxurious.

Finish

Moderately long, dark caramel, blackberries, leather, vanilla bean.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

The Barrel Tap: Unsweetened Cinnamon, Cocoa Powder.

Whiskey Reviewer: The finish was warm and inviting with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar, wood spices folding into a dry oak buttery sweetness.
Summary: I thoroughly enjoyed this bourbon whiskey.  It is rich and full-bodied with loads of flavors and mature oak.

The Whiskey Wash: Lingering vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa powder play on the tongue in the finish, accompanied by grippy tannins.

The Burn

5 out of 5. This means that the burn from the alcohol is a good deal lower (10% to 20%) than what I would expect it to be. I would guess this to be around 86 – 90 proof, not 99 proof.

Tasting Summary

This is a very enjoyable pour with complex, well balanced dark flavors throughout the experience from nose to finish. Every flavor could be prefaced with “dark notes of …”, which highlights the well-chosen 14 – 19 year aged bourbons selected for the Widow Jane The Vaults 14 year.

Notes and History

Widow Jane Distillery draws its name and inspiration from the historic limestone Rosendale Mines located about 100 miles north of the distillery. These mines were historically significant as they provided the natural limestone cement used in iconic New York City landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, and the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty.

The mines in Rosendale, which were once bustling centers of cement production, now serve as reserves of limestone-filtered water. Widow Jane Distillery utilizes this unique water source to cut their non-chill filtered whiskey to proof, adding the bold and rich character of New York to each pour. As Widow Jane states, “This water is our fingerprint and signature ingredient in all Widow Jane whiskeys.”

My Tasting Notes

Widow Jane The Vaults Batch 4 tasting notes

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