In addressing the challenge of producing a Kentucky bourbon whiskey in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood, Cacao Prieto distillery looked to the Widow Jane Mine in Rosendale, NY. Heavy in minerals and naturally filtered through limestone, the water makes an uncanny pair with the aged spirit. The mine also provided a bit of legacy for the fledgling distillery, as it is notable for supplying stone in the construction of the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
The move to produce whiskey was a clear departure for Cacao Prieto, which began as a bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer and producer of cacao liqueur and rum. Don Prieto Preston founded the company and has used his family's plantation in the Dominican Republic to source the chocolate exploits. The same level of care and attention has been translated to the bourbon business, and the Widow Jane Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey stands out as a new contender in the whiskey market.
Initially releasing a five-year whiskey that is available from DrinkUpNY and Astor Wines, Cacao Prieto recently unveiled the seven-year version of Widow Jane, which we were able to sample. Incredibly smooth with deep notes of cherry, the reserve whiskey belies its age and drinks like a much more mature spirit—especially when served over an ice ball. The seven-year reserve is available direct from Cacao Prieto through an online form.
Image by James Thorne