Oh, hey, it’s National Bourbon Day. Is that a real thing? We don’t really care. At GQ HQ, every day is bourbon day, so today we graciously welcome the rest of the country into our sweet, oaky preoccupation.
Let’s get you a drink, shall we?
#1: WIDOW JANE
Our favorite bourbon made from water extracted directly from a limestone mine in upstate New York (trust us, it makes a difference).
Nat Sherman Cigars, Widow Jane Whiskey, Cacao Prieto Chocolate, and Pop-Up Chefs at Botanica
Come celebrate a unique pairing of Nat Sherman in association with Widow Jane Whiskey and Cacao Prieto Chocolate at Botanica this August.
BOTANICA SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:
POP-UP CHEF JC FRAJMUND
Saturday, August 10
2:00 – Midnight
Chef and Entrepreneur Jean Claude Frajmund is originally from Brazil and specializes in the techniques and flavors of France, Spain and Italy. Jean Claude’s mediterranean inspired small plates, or “Pintxos” will feature Basque favorites that feature his connection with the cuisine due to his family ties to the region and the time he spent living in Europe before studying culinary arts at ICE in NYC. The menu will be as follows:
Crisp Egg Yolks with Salmon Roe - Deep friend egg yolks topped with salmon roe.
Tomates Crevettes - Poached shrimp and bernaise sauce inside small tomatoes.
Crispy Pork Belly - Pork belly with watermelon and spicy vinaigrette.
Jamon and Smoked Idiazabal Cheese with Olives
Strawberry Gazpacho - Strawberry, tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper.
CIGAR, WHISKEY, & CHOCOLATE PAIRINGS
Tuesday, August 13 and Wednesday, August 21
7:00 – 8:30pm, $50 per person. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
This unique pairing will feature six VERY rare, many unavailable at retail Widow Jane Whiskies with two Nat Sherman Cigars and Cacao Prieto Chocolates. Widow Jane Distillery’s heirloom, non-GMO grain whiskies will showcase a flight of Wapsie Valley Corn Bourbon, Wapsie Chocolate Bourbon, Bloody Butcher Bourbon, Wapsie Smoked Bourbon, Widow Jane 7-year Straight Bourbon, and Widow Jane 8-year High Rye Straight Bourbon. A Nat Sherman 1930 Rothschild Dominican cigar and Nat Sherman Timeless 452 Nicargua cigar will be tasted along with Cacao Prieto’s single-origin, Dominican, organic, kosher, 72% dark chocolate.
Thursday, August 15 and August 29
7:00 – 11:00pm, $20 per person
WAPSIE VALLEY CORN TORTILLA & WHISKEY NIGHT
Thursday, August 22
7:00 – 9:00pm, $30 per person
Tickets must be purchased in advance. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and number.
This whiskey really focuses on the front of the palate. There is a touch of impact in the “bitter” region of the palate, but the sweet and salty regions of the front are the most impacted. There is a lingering “bittersweet chocolate” finish. Slightly drying to the palate.
A natural progression from the Wapsie. The impact moves back slightly, and also impacts the “bitter” region at the back of the palate and throat. Finish is longer, with the chocolate note clearly more pronounced.
Interesting note on the nose, almost pisco/tequila like. Some dry vegetal notes on the palate: straw, wheat, dried corn/flour, with a cocoa powder note on both the nose and the palate. Impact is quite balanced, even distribution on the palate.
Medium to full in mouth feel. Some initial spice on first puff, white with some white pepper up front. Creamy mouth feel. After the first half inch or so, great notes of cocoa, espresso.
Great example of dialogue with the cigar. You can literally “feel” the movement on the palate as the cigar and whiskey impact different areas. Intersting, the cigar helps stimulate saliva that was slightly stripped by the whiskey
Coming closer together with the cigar- the chocolate note on the palate is clearly shared with the cigar, particularly as the cigar has burned further down
Another great dialogue- the cigar offers all the flavors missing in the whiskey, and the whiskey fills in the blanks of flavor not provided by the cigar. However the body of both balance each other.
Bright vanilla, slightly sweet with a heavy presence right in the middle of the palate and roof of mouth. Slight caramel with delicate bright spice.
Impact moves outwards to the sides of the palate, impacting the salty and acid areas of the palate, as well as the roof of the mouth where the widow jane 7 hit. The lingering finish moves slightly forward toward the front, and there’s an interesting vetiver note on the finish.
Slightly metallic on the nose, smooth and bright, impacting straight down the center of the palate.
Medium to full body. Great bright spice, touch of earth – round impact on palate.
Nice dialoge between the sweet smooth whiskey and thespicy smoke. Both impact cool. The sweetness of the whiskey stands out against the early portion of the cigar.
Nice shift in impact against the “constant” of the cigar. These two make great companions but the whiskey really allows the cigar’s bright spice (cinnamon) note to stand out.
Again, the “feeling” of a shift in impact is quite noticeable. The whiskey’s “straight line” is more evident against the cigar, but they share the “bright spiciness” that allows for a true sense of balance in order to complete the pairing experience with a clear conclusion.
Around the World in Six Rums
1. Cacao Prieto Rums
Daniel Prieto Preston, an aerospace engineer who comes from a family of sugar cane and cacao farmers in the Dominican Republic, launched Cacao Prieto in 2010, setting up a chocolate factory and distillery in Brooklyn, New York. He blends his white rum (made from organic evaporated cane juice and fermented with wine yeasts) with organic cacao beans and barrel-ages it to create the most exquisitely robust expression of chocolate I’ve ever enjoyed. Called Don Rafael Cacao Rum, it’s redolent of roasted coffee, tobacco and cacao, as intense as drinking dark chocolate. While the Don Rafael has no sugar, the Don Esteban Cacao Liqueur does– just enough to take the edge off cacao’s natural bitterness, but not so much that it gets cloying. These are exceptional rums, especially if you enjoy dark chocolate.
Cacao Prieto and Widow Jane are proud to present a Double Gold, Two Silvers, and Bronze medal in this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
POSTED BY VIRGINIA K. SMITH ON MON, JUN 3, 2013 AT 9:30 AM
When it comes to things that seem, in theory, far too good to be true, most people would assume “combination chocolate and whiskey factory” to be one of them. In Red Hook, Cacao Prieto is not only delightfully defying expectations, but also turning out some of the very best products in every category it touches.
Chocolate is a trade that founder Daniel Prieto Preston comes by honestly. So honestly, in fact, that the company’s organic cocoa beans and sugar cane are actually sourced from farmland in the Dominican Republic that Preston’s family has tended for over a century. Preston has also fully thrown his background as an engineer into the process, inventing a number of efficient, sleek chocolate-making machines that the company now sells as a side business.
“The ideas could spark from a recipe dated from the 1800s, or in investigating the collection of botanicals from our apothecary,” the company’s Art Director Michele Gabrielle Clark says of the constantly evolving process. “We’re very interested in using rare herbs and plants, and we love stretching our imaginations.”
Thus far, this has led the company to a few unexpected outcomes, perhaps most notably its hugely popular Widow Jane whiskey. Initially it was just making cacao-based rum and liqueurs; it branched into the whiskey business on a whim last fall. The company now has an individualized distillation process and one of the most beloved whiskeys in Brooklyn. It’s also led to a few brilliant crossovers, including a Widow Jane Bourbon Caramel-filled bon bon bar.
Having established itself as a part of Red Hook’s tight-knit small business community (thanks in no small part, we’d guess, to the on-site tours), it would seem that however circuitous the route, Preston and Cacao Prieto have ended up exactly where they’re meant to be.
Photos By David Loaiza
Cacao Prieto; 218 Conover Street
For those who were there, Friday Night’s Widow Jane Whiskey Launch Party was no joke. Crowds of people wrapped around the block to enjoy first tastings of Widow Jane Whiskey, Suckling Pig and Home pickled BBQ and Pork Sliders, Bourbon Ice Cream, Artisan Popcorn, Cacao Prieto Chocolate, DJ Miho Hatori, and knee knocking live Bluegrass.
Thank-you all for joining us and for the amazing artisans who contributed to the celebration. We can’t wait for the next event and hope to see everyone again soon!
It’s not too late to RSVP! http://widowjane.eventbrite.com/
“Manhattan by Sail” will highlight a different distillery each week – join us on Tues Oct 2 and Thurs Oct 4 aboard the Clipper City in New York Harbor. The cocktails will feature Cacao Prieto spirits.
Please note: this party was last year’s 2012 launch. Please join us on Friday, October 24th for a Widow Jane Vincent Launch Party, a motorcycle, cigar, and whiskey launch for a very special presentation by Restoration Werks.
Widow Jane Whiskey is imbued with both the strength of the past and the forward looking energy of the world’s most magnificent and maddening metropolis.
New York’s most iconic structures were built using the limestone from this mine, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty.
As great whiskey makers throughout the world from Kentucky to Scotland have long known, it takes sweet water from tough rock to make great whiskey. And, that’s what Widow Jane Whiskey is all about.
Our 5 year old Widow Jane Bourbon was a smash hit, selling out immediately!
Our tasting notes:
This 7 year offering is aged to perfection. It drinks like a 20 year + bourbon with its deep cherry notes and light tannic finish
Aroma: Butter, Cream, Toffee
Front: Cherry Wood, Olive Oil
Finish: Burnt Orange and Spice
After Glow: Light tannic fuzz
Unfiltered for the deepest color and flavor.