Whiskey. A spirit so precious, men have gathered across this great land and built wood-and-steel fortresses capable of producing the finest samples of this golden drop. Tennessee. Kentucky. And yes, the Big Apple itself, New York. A scrappy, prideful bunch, those New Yorkers. They’ve been in the distilling game since 1664—and that’s a mighty long time to be defending yer turf.
They’ve learned a thing or two about distilling along the way. It’s just what happens when yer cuttin’ yer teeth around some of the toughest Whiskey barons around. Sure, some of the gangs have their differences. But if there’s one thing they all agree upon it’s this: it’s all about the craft. And of course, being a New Yorker.
1664. That was the year distilling came to the state. The spirit was Rum (or some say applejack—no one can quite pin it down), and Staten Island was producing it by the bottle. By 1825, New York had more than thousand small distilleries. Count ‘em: 1, 2, 3… ah, just go ask Bill the Butcher. He’ll tell ya. What’s crazy about that is that after Prohibition came into law, the brewing and distilling industry came to a screeching halt. You were lucky if you could find a proper bathtub Gin ‘round those parts.
Fast forward to 2002: the New York state legislature passes the farm distillery license. That’s what really ushers in great New York Whiskey Rush—spirit lovers of all stripes began legally experimenting with their own concoctions. Kind of like enterprising gangs in Five Points, back in the day. Some are smoking their corn, rye, wheat and barley over applewood. And some have used the state’s natural limestone to filter their water, even boasting that it has a higher ratio of beneficial minerals than that found in Kentucky. Then again some have made their Bourbon in New York 100%. Them’s fighting words right there.
Now, the time has come to join our New York brethren and partake in some of their hard-earned drop. All for one, and one for all...Whiskey!
1) Even though it’s called a farm distillery license, you don't have to be a farmer to set up a still. As long as the bulk of your ingredients come from in-state (in this case, New York), craft liquor licenses are practically free. Sadly, the Whiskey is not.
2) Widow Jane is a New Yorker through and through—they use the same limestone that created the foundation of New York, the pure waters from Widow Jane mine and set up shop in Brooklyn. The New York cred is strong with this one.
3) Ever look at a bowl of oatmeal and think “mmm...Whiskey?” Yeah, us neither. But the crew at Sunshine Reserve was inspired by the small, but mighty oat. It’s the primary grain in their Whiskey and gives it a nice floral softness.
4) In preparing for his role as “Bill the Butcher” in Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York,” Daniel Day-Lewis got into character by taking lessons from a master butcher who was flown in from London... and by listening to a ton of Eminem while on set.
5) Speaking of Prohibition, booze wasn’t the only thing banned in New York City. In 1978, the city put the kibosh on the game of pinball, often engaging in raids or busts when they had a hot lead.
6) What’s better than the smell of applewood bacon in the morning? Easy—it’s applewood smoked Whiskey. Coincidentally, Iron Smoke Distillery smokes their grains over applewood before its milled and mashed. Truly the breakfast of champions.
7) In the 1850s, women in New York City made more than $2 million a year in liquor sales—close to the $3 million they were making for sex.
The Flavor Spiral™ is a quick, clear and visually-appealing way to look at the drink's flavor DNA.
It's tasting notes reinvented. The Flavor Spiral™ is a unique and revolutionary way of describing flavors. It was developed by Flaviar tasting panel, industry experts, and You, our dear Flaviar community member.
Your favourite drinks like never before. It could easily be an art form, but that's a conversation for another day.
Whisky or Whiskey? The spelling differs geographically. In Scotland, Japan, and some other parts of the world, distilleries usually spell it Whisky; in Ireland and the USA, they spell it Whiskey.
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Ratings & Reviews
Member Reviews and Ratings of Whiskey Gangs Of New York
Sort of a bourbon n00b. All three were smooth and very drinkable. Widow Jane was the clear winner and worth a full bottle purchase. Got the orange on the nose and agree with previous reviews that say the 10 years did it some good. Iron Smoke was a bit disappointing, with pleasant aroma, but thin and perhaps too young. Coppersea was maybe the most disappointing, because it has a very sweet, caramel aroma, but was very thin and had an off-flavor to it. Rounded up for Widow Jane, which I'd give an 8, and the other two a 4 each.
good mix of whiskey's worth trying...
Widow Jane and Iron Smoke were definitely worth a full bottle purchase. Copper Sea was not the most desirable. It left an unfavorable aftertaste.
Widow Jane was brilliant, Iron smoke reminded me a bit of Balcones baby blue corn bourbon, Coppersea was a bit too sweet for my liking
Fantastic simply fantastic.. somewhat complex great on the lips.. highly recommend
Smokey and amazing
Widow Jane is the standout in this group, with Iron Smoke coming in a close second.
All were pretty good, but the Widow Jane was excellent!
Interesting variety, lots of flavor. Fun tasting!
Good bourbons. Fun to try.
If you like Carmel and butterscotch you would like this box. They were overpowering to me and my palate. The widow Jane was ok. Lots of orange up front. I did like the spice on all three but couldn’t get past the Carmel.
Irom smoke was 5 stars, Widow Jane was 6 stars, and Coppersea was 4 stars. So overal a 5 star for this box........Iron smoke was grain foward, young not aged enough in barrel's, but light and not harsh. Widow Jane was good, nice easy sipper, definitely 10yr helps. Coppersea wasn't for me, didn't like the young peach, pepper taste.
Fun box, enjoyed the tasting. The flavors were a little bland and one smelled a little “off.” Can’t wait for my next set.
These were fantastic...cant pick a favorite but would definitely order full bottles of any or all!
Fun and all good flavors!
Yes. The names, the flavor profiles. It’s all true. Definitely revisiting all three.
Not very good, 1 bland, 1 of putting smell, and 1 with an odd peach taste.
First box and loved it!
A very good collection.
Widow Jane is the clear winner as expected: Spicy, candied cherry, sweet cinnamon. But I did enjoy the Iron smoke as well: Vanilla, leather, oak bitterness on finish... The taste reminded me of horse tack. Copper Sea had a prominent sweet honey note and dustiness to it, certainly needs time.
Not my favorite set. The Iron Smoke was fine though a bit smokey. The Widow Jane was too sweet and the Coppersea tasted too much like Scotch for me. It was fun to try them all though.
Iron Smoke and Coppersea were great. Widow Jane was adequate but not quite to my taste. Took these samples along with the Remus on a pheasant hunting trip with a few friends who share a taste for bourbon! Was a great way to end one of our successful days.
Very good set. B, C then A for me. I think I might buy me some widow jane, it's a very good, smooth, easy sippin whisky.
Great set. Widow Jane really steals the show but the Iron Smoke is a nice treat. When copper sea is a little more mature and doesn’t taste like a start-up bourbon batch it will be a 10 star tasting set.
Iron smoke by far my favorite and would
order again. Widow Jane id pass on. Copper sea is so/so.
Coppersea was the only disapointment
Way too soocey for my taste...
Great, bold flavors. I love a good caramel and leather flavor and these speak to me.
I LOVED Copper Sea, best of the bunch. Im now ordering a whole bottle.
Only truly enjoyed the iron smoke. Copper sea was the worst of them.
Best tasting box yet
These whiskeys are delicious. They all have different enjoyable profiles.
The Iron Smoke was absolutely delicious. A smooth smokiness finished off sweetly with a little bite was great!
The Widow Jane might have been my favorite of the three. A nice citrus note on the nose was a pleasant welcome to the spiced yet sweet silky smooth flavor profile!
The Coppersea has a lot of promise and it was very good. I just think I hyped it up in my head too much and it didn’t live up to my own expectations. However, still very good!
I love the widow jane sample. The other's were distinctly different, and while enjoyable, probably not something I would buy. However, trying samples so distinct, with the flavor profile cards, is very helpful. For me, seeing the flavor profile helped me distinguish the flavors I might not have been able to identify. Can't wait for the next sampling.
Sweet and easy
Widow Jane was enjoyable, a respectable bourbon. Iron Smoke is dusty and thin, not bad, but nothing I'd ever want to try again. The Coppersea was legitimately awful. I had to remove it from the room as even the nose was overwhelming and interfering with my ability to focus on the other two.
Only one I really liked was the iron smoke and was very smooth
Tasting was more like a scotch than bourbon. And a bit too smokey for my taste buds.
Iron Smoke Applewood was incredible!
Everything was too god damn good!
Battle of NYC, trying something outside of Kentucky, will now pick up those bottles
The Whiskey Gangs of New York is well put together. Each dram has a distinct taste, aroma, and I would recommend it to anyone stepping into the world of whiskey.
Widow Jane was my favorite of the 3. Iron Smoke was number 2. I was not a fan of Coppersea. I am fairly new to tasting so, I am sure I am still figuring out my pallet. This was my first shot at this. I really like the process. Looking forward to my next tasting.
I thought the Widow Jane would be my favorite out of this group, it was very good. However the Coppersea blew the others away.
I'm not the biggest fan of the smokey tastes. I don;t think my palette is refined enough to taste the finer notes. Still, I enjoyed the experience.
Iron Smoke had a flavor profile similar to a scotch, but overall fairly smooth. The Widow Jane is very strong to the nose and pretty strong to taste...wasn’t a big fan. The Coppersea was very smooth and had a lot of sweeter notes. Great drinking whiskey.
I liked all three. The Iron Smoke had a distinct smoky flavor reminiscent of a scotch while still maintaining the bourbon flavor. The Widow Jane smelled like paint thinner but was shockingly smooth on the tongue despite the smell. Finally, the Coppersea had a slight vanilla taste. All of them were very drinkable. I think that if I were order a bottle, it would be the Widow Jane (despite the sharp smell)
I tasted plastic - like play doh - it tastes like the smell of melted beads
It is a very good selection of New York Whiskies!
Copper, Middle, Iron. My buddy who tried these as well. Went Middle, Copper, Iron. It was an ok sample overall.
Iron smoke and widow Jane were solid with complex enjoyable f li favors. The coppersea was not so good especially from a nose perspective. All and all was definitely worth it to try and enjoyed the first 2.
Fun pack to try. Agree that Widow Jane was the best.
Just okay at best. Each whiskey was subpar. If you’re looking for a tasting box, I’d hold off on this one unless you are out of options.
Widow Jane is the hands down best of the three, smooth and a pleasant taste. Iron Smoke is not bad, has a mild flavor that grows on you. The Coppersea has an almost unpleasant nose and a charred/ashy taste. Not a bad sample box for those who enjoy Smokey whiskey’s.
Like Christmas morning, but not Christmas. Widow Jane is the bees knees and the sample packs are great. Glad I tried this pack.
Definitely worth the time to try. Definitely good. Going to buy a couple bottles.
Was not an huge fan. I am sure they are great for others but not for me.
Fun tasting, Widow Jane was the better of the 3.
Nothing here was worth a purchase. Coppersea in particular, no thanks.
Yuck! Sorry but all them tasted like gasoline to me. My husband didn’t like any of them either. I gave them a two because I was able to get them down mixed with Diet Coke but still left an after tase .
Iron Smoke and Widow Jane were solid! 2/3
Very smooth. Easy.
Widow Jane was ok. The other 2 were horrible.
Loved Widow Jane. Not the other two.
Coppersea had too much of a metallic taste. Iron smoke tasted very much like boiled peanuts. Widow Jane? I could sip on her a bit. Overall not a big fan of this group but still worth the try.
Loved iron smoke. Widow Jane was a close contender, but really didn’t care for the Coppersea.
Overall not a huge fan of this batch. Iron Smoke is far too Smokey and Copper has an odd aftertaste. Widow is pleasant to sip.
Widow Jane, hands down, was the best of the 3. I enjoyed iron smoke next filled by copper sea. The copper sea’s peach flavor was off putting for me and I did not enjoy it at all, but the widow Jane more than made up for it!
The widow Jane was delicious
Widow Jane was my favorite of this sampler, followed by Coppersea. Iron Smoke was not to my liking and frankly Widow Jane was not even as good as my go to. Angel Envy and Four Roses.
Coppersea was great flavor and smooth, Iron Smoke is nice but a little strong on the smoky while Widow Jane was too charred and over powering.
Great combinations of flavors and aromas.
Did not get what i was looking for, too sweet for me
My first tasting box.
Loved the presentation.
The Coppersea and Widow Janes were very good. The Iron Smoke was a little too different.
Solid box overall and a cool theme of NY micro distilleries, and a good value considering these are pours from full size bottles that run roughly $50, $70 and $70 retail respectively. The best overall is clearly the widow Jane 10 year, but the artisanal nature of copper sea is really cool too. The apple wood smoked will not be for everyone but it’s a good fall tasting bourbon. All are good, the widow Jane is great.
Loved Widow Jane and Coppersea <3
Not impressed with this sampler. Would not buy one of these
Ugh. Only one was delish. Iron smoke.
Harsh, bold, finish was decent
Really enjoyed all the different flavors.
First tasting and definitely found them well paired - good mix of sweetness with the Widow Jane and spice with the Coppersea.
Loved this tasting box- I purchased the big bottles of all three!