What do the Brooklyn Bridge, Erie Canal, and Widow Jane Lucky Thirteen have in common? They all started with source material from the legendary limestone mines of Rosendale, New York. In the case of the high-rye Lucky Thirteen, this aged 13-year blend of straight bourbons is proofed with limestone mineral water from Widow Jane Mine, a remnant cement mine that once gave rise to iconic public works projects. This “hard-yet-sweet” mineral water is a signature ingredient and fingerprint expression of Lucky Thirteen’s character.
Initially released as a private single-barrel program at a variety of proofs, Lucky Thirteen has recently joined Widow Jane’s core offerings available exclusively at 93 proof. Aged in small batches for 13 years in American oak barrels hand-picked by Widow Jane President and Head Distiller, Lisa Wicker, only a tad more than a handful of barrels of Lucky Thirteen will be available at a time.
Widow Jane Lucky Thirteen is a well-balanced whiskey with a pleasurable nose brightened by a spicy, bittersweet palate. Official tasting notes suggests “caramel corn,” and to me this calls to mind a box of Cracker Jacks with those roasted peanuts with the skin still on. For those unfamiliar with this particular form of nostalgia, each box of Cracker Jacks promised a small surprise inside. Perhaps because of the price point, I keep returning to Lucky Thirteen in search of that little something extra. And although I don’t quite find it, what is there is undoubtedly enjoyable.
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