Widow Jane The Vaults 2023


Classification: Blend of Straight Bourbons

Company: Heaven Hill

Distillery: Sourced from undisclosed distilleries in Indiana and Tennessee

Release Date: October 2023

Proof: 99

Age: 15 Years (A blend of 15 and 20 year old bourbons per the company press release)

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Color: Honey

MSRP: $249 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Press Release


Musty funk | Hint of spice | Earthy | Light overall


Liquid-oaky base | Funky oak | Slightly tannic | Mineral note | Leather | Velvety mouthfeel


Mix of spices | Seasoned oak | Toasted Marshmallow | Caramel develops on the backend | Long with waves of oak-spice-sweet | Delightful


The 2023 edition of Widow Jane The Vaults starts off slow, but ends with a long, delightful finish.

The Vaults is a limited edition released annually by Widow Jane Distillery. According to the company, “The 2023 edition is a collection of the distillery’s oldest and rarest whiskeys, from Tennessee and Indiana, aged a minimum of 15 years and meticulously blended, only ever in extremely small batches, before being finished for 3 months in air-seasoned casks at Widow Jane’s Red Hook rickhouse. Each release in The Vaults collection is highlighted by bold flavors including those imparted by the specific wood in which it was finished; a different wood every year harvested from various regions and with different amounts of air-seasoning to the staves the casks are raised from. The Vaults 2023’s finishing barrels were made from Chinquapin Oak staves harvested from trees grown on a limestone-rich shelf in Northern Kentucky and air-seasoned for at least 48 months, withstanding the often dramatic shifts in weather conditions typical of the mid-South.” The 2023 release totals 31,200 bottles.  

The Vaults starts off light with an earthy aroma that combines musty funk with a hint of spice. Its high age becomes readily apparent on the sip, which brings a slightly tannic, funky liquid-oaky base that’s accented by leather and a prominent mineral note. It has a nice velvety mouthfeel that becomes more apparent as the sip progresses towards the finish, which is where this whisky really shines. A mix of spices, seasoned oak, toasted marshmallow, and caramel develop into what turns into a long, delightful recession highlighted by waves of oak, spice, and sweet tones brought about by the flavors.

Technically a double-oaked whiskey, the combination of The Vaults’ high age and finishing in secondary Chinquapin Oak barrels, which is a species of oak in the white oak group that’s native to eastern and central North America, makes for a heavy-handed oak flavor profile. On the critical side, The Vaults has a surprisingly light nose and borderlines overdoing the oak on the palate, which lacks the bright fruit notes that can make an older heavy-oak whiskey really stand out. But as spice and sweeter notes develop on the finish, and the oak undertone dissipates, the whiskey really comes into its own, making for one of the more memorable - and delightful - whiskey finishes you’ll experience.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Nick Beiter

January 26, 2024
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