Evan Williams 1783 Review

Evan Williams 1783 Review

Evan Williams 1783 is Heaven Hill’s “small batch” release that’s meant to elevate itself above the regular Evan Williams Black Label. According to Heaven Hill’s web site the “Evan Williams 1783 is a small batch extra aged line extension of Evan Williams Black Label that is named after the year in which Evan Williams first established his distillery”. Take the origin story with a grain of salt.q

Evan Williams 1783 Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Heaven Hill
Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley
Cask: new charred oak
Age: NAS
ABV: 43%

Price: $15

Evan Williams 1783 Review

EYE
Leather

NOSE
Remarkably fruity with notes of honey, cornmeal, caramel syrup, dried dark fruit, artificial sweetener and peanuts. The peanut isn’t incredibly strong, but definitely noticeable.

PALATE
Watery character with mild notes of caramel, imitation vanilla, grits, citric acid, sugar, peanut butter taffy, wood and mint. It’s an odd tasting whiskey for sure.

FINISH
Short and layered with notes of citric acid, cornmeal, vanilla, peanut butter taffy and wood.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Off balanced, weak thin body and a watery feel. Not a fan of the experience that accompanies the notes.

OVERALL
Evan Williams 1783 is a let down for me. Because it’s the same whiskey it’s easy to see the similarities between this, the Evan Williams Black Label and the Evan Williams Bonded, but I like the EWBL and Bonded more, much more. Tasting them all side-by-side they’re both noticeably richer, tastier whiskeys – especially the bonded – with comparatively deeper characters.

The Evan Williams 1783 is too weak and peanutty for my tastes and with it being “extra aged” I would expect it to taste closer to the Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintages, but instead it comes across more like a water down version of the black label. It’s possible I got an off batch of this “small batch” offering, but at the moment I’m thinking I’d rather save $3 and pick up the EWBL or spend $3 more and pick up the excellent EWB instead. Either one is a better value in my mind.

SCORE: 78/100

Evan Williams 1783 Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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32 Responses to Evan Williams 1783 Review

  1. I ended up with a bottle of this when my favorite local store was out of the BiB. It costs a little more and I absolutely hated it. The small batch was just so dilute and lacked any redeeming character for me. I honestly was surprised that Heaven Hill would put it out when they have so many better offerings at a lower price, even within the Evan Williams line.

  2. Yeah, this one kind of veers wildly from place to place. Upfront it’s a bit hot with alcohol, the middle is smoother, but the ending is kind of weak. Overall it’s not a bad whiskey–just one I prefer to mix. It made a pretty decent Old-Fashioned and I’d like to see how it does in a Manhattan.

    Overall, this is something I feel no particular shame nor pride in having in my cabinet.

    • I agree. This one was all over the place. I have described a couple bourbons as tasting like a recipe with all the ingredients added without regard to the measurements. This is one of those. Everything is there, just not in proper proportion. With this being $3 more than the EW BIB, I don’t see another bottle finding its way into my cabinet.

  3. This is a mixing bourbon in my view. When I have it I use Ginger Ale and it balances out quite well almost like a Makers Mark with a slightly sweeter tone. I agree that the mid range on the palate is flat the overall experience isn’t all that offensive when you want a cheap drink at your home bar instead of tapping your Makers, Wild Turkey, Bowman’s, etc.

  4. Thanks for the review. I won’t need to try this stuff. The EW BiB is quite tasty and has the obvious age statement “Bonded”. The EW SB is typically a bit above 9 years in its age statement, and is tasty, but nothing sensational. Consequently, the 1783 is not on the “try” list.

    Virgin Bourbon at 50.5% and marked 7 years is ok with a bit of water. Its first cousin, Old Ezra 50.5% and marked 7 years is about the same, perhaps a bit smoother. All Heaven Hill sourced, but with Age Statement. And, to date, there is the bonded 10yr. Henry McKenna SB, which is always a bourbon “experience”.

    Now that Elijah Craig has dropped the age statement, and having no special distinguishing characteristic other than that “12 years”, we can safely move on to other NAS products, without regret, namely, WT 101.

    Thanks again for saving me a few bucks!

  5. I just picked up a bottle to use in mixers & food recipes, because I found the EW black label okay but not complex enough when I want a cheap sip. While the 1783 doesn’t rise to the level of Makers Mark, I find it more interesting to sip neat than the black label.

    I must’ve got a good batch, because for the additional $3 I felt the 1783 was worth it.

  6. I usually agree with your reviews, but I tried some yesterday and thought it was pretty decent. I thought it had a good cinnamon-spicy taste and a nice long finish. I’m wondering if there isn’t a lot of inconsistency between batches. That’s not a good thing, even for an inexpensive bourbon.

    • Hey Robert, it’s entirely possible. You’re not the only one whose told me that. I’m wondering if I try another batch if it would be quite a bit different, but to your point that’s not exactly what you want either. Something that’s hit or miss on batches would be hard to be a die-hard fan of.

  7. I just tried this for the first time and found it more sip-able than black EW.
    It has less petroleum aroma compared to black label.
    I got wood, vanilla, butter and corn notes. There is this other aroma that I couldn’t figure, something very similar to cola. Did you get that too?

  8. Josh Peters really doesn’t know anything about whiskey. He’s a poser. A self-styled critic. However, The Whiskey Jug presents him as some sort of authority. The most important thing about the enjoyment of whiskey is how it rests on your palette, not on how it greets the tastebuds of one particular individual, even though he may hold himself out to be some sort of authority. I don’t suggest that tasters have nothing to contribute. But I would suggest a critic of the type such as Ralfy–very knowledgeable of tradition and the distilleries’ history.

    • Blah blah blah. All you trolls sound the same. On one hand you call me a poser while on the other saying that “The most important thing about the enjoyment of whiskey is how it rests on your palette” which is the EXACT same thing I say all the time. Then right after that you say go check out Ralfy… because why? He’s talked about whisky longer? Because he’s Scottish? He’s “very knowledgeable of tradition and the distilleries’ history”? Well how does knowing about history change someone’s palate? I’m not saying Ralfy isn’t knowledgeable, he’s great, but I guarantee he and I have read most of the same books on whisky and I guarantee I know FAR more about bourbon than he does. I also guarantee he knows more about Scotch than I do. But that’s the great thing about whiskey. You can keep learning about whisky until the day you die and you still won’t know it all.

      Your argument is asinine because knowing history doesn’t change your palate, nor does it change the fact that I’ve tasted well over 1,400 whisk(e)ys and have an opinion informed by years of experience drinking everything from utter swill to some of the best stuff ever bottled over the last 100 years. You’re just another uninformed ignorant troll who has a mouth bigger than his brain.

      Cheers.

      • Ha ha – well done, Josh! As I sip a 1783 for the first time, bought for that most excellent reason: “it was on sale”. But then I only bought it on sale because the shop was out of the Evan Bonded that was also on sale. I think I’ll save this one for my whiskey-sodas, which I love, but I hate to use really good whiskey in them. (Because I’m cheap.)

  9. Is it possible to mix some Evan Williams Black label with the 1783 to put some more flavour to it? mix it and store it in another bottle and let it marry for a week or two. I’ve had the 1783 recently, i too find it weaker than than the black label though much smoother kid of silky mouth feel but lesser flavour and the peanut butter and vanilla icing is prominent in mine.

  10. Everyone has an opinion. some will mingle some will clash so don sweat the reviews. if You are interested in a certain whiskey, buy it, try it, if you like buy again if you don’t then leave it After trying many you will find the one you like and enjoy. I smoke cigars and tried many and I learned by trying what I liked, paid a lot for some that were rated high but was not my taste and I respect that. So I you like whiskey trying as many you willing to pay for and find the one you like.

  11. Update to my comment above: I’m still enjoying the 1783, have continued to get consistently good bottles. I enjoy it neat but when I feel like a bourbon on the rocks this is what I pick. (My favorite bourbon is 4 Roses Single Barrel – but that’s too good to water down in my opinion!)

    Anyway, for me, the 1783 is a great deal. On my palate it has way more complexity than other bourbons in its price range. It also doesn’t have an artificial tasting sweetness that I’ve tasted in bourbons costing twice as much.

    I hope they keep this one going and don’t mess with the recipe.

  12. Most of these “experts” will tell you this is garbage. The average cost of this whiskey is $17.99. It is easily as good as any Jack Daniels whiskey you’ll taste and I have nothing against Jack Daniels whiskey. There’s a lot of internet experts out there. For the price you will not beat this stuff. Especially with Jack Daniels and I’m a Jack fan…or you can go high brow and pay $1000 for a bottle of whatever.

    • Or you could just pay $4 more to get some Wild Turkey 101 which is significantly better. You could also leave a snarky comment that ends with a wild bit of hyperbole that assumes if someone isn’t going to buy a mediocre $18 bourbon then they only buy $1,000 whiskey. You could also do that. Me, I’d rather just go get the Wild Turkey.

  13. I’m not sure why everyone thinks the EW Black is so good. It has a nasty aftertaste that ruins the experience for me. The 1783 is definitely better, not great but better than the EW Black. The EW White label BOB is just an amazing bourbon and an incredible value. It seems that everyone’s palate is a little bit different. Let’s respect that and have a civil discourse. Thanks Josh I always enjoy reading your reviews.

    • Cheers Richard and totally agree about everyone’s palate being different. I don’t get a nasty aftertaste on the EW Black and definitely like it more than the 1783. Though if you’re the other way around there’s nothing wrong with that! And thanks man!

  14. Hey Josh,
    I just happened to be meandering through Total Wine looking for something, anything, so I didn’t go home empty handed. I saw this for $14.99, so I picked it up and thought I would see what it had to offer, for shits & giggles. Well, it is a tasty sip, I must say. Not as good as the BIB, but much better than I expected. Very sipable neat.
    The nose is a bit sweet to me, presenting some vanilla, maybe cotton candy and some nuttiness.
    Taste had a good bite up front with some custard, fruit, and oakiness that followed at the end. Overall, I was quite surprised at how good it was, and how much of a bargain it was!
    I really like EW BIB, but this is worth keeping on the shelf.
    Now, on to the Single Barrel. They had a 2009 batch there today.
    Cheers, man!

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