The standard issue Evan Williams Bourbon comes with a black label and the “upgraded” bottled-in-bond version comes with a white label. Which is slightly interesting to me because it’s the opposite with Jim Beam whose entry level is the white label and “upgraded” version is the the black label. Though they do now have the Jim Beam Bonded which sports a gold label. Apologies if you don’t find it interesting but I’ve been a marketer for 10+ years so I always find it at least mildly interesting to see how different brands represent their products. Anywho…
Supposedly founded in 1783, Evan Williams is one of Heaven Hill’s 2 flagship brads (the other being Elijah Craig). The story as HH tells it is that Evan Williams was a Kentucky settler who started distilling in 1783 and was the first distiller in KY. However, given the long history of illicit distilling in that part of the country, there’s no way to prove that. Though there is another issue with the origin story that arises from historian Michael Veach who has evidence that Williams didn’t leave London till 1794. Historical quibbles aside, this is still a brand that’s been around for a long time and has been a part of Kentucky’s long Bourbon History.
Evan Williams Bourbon Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Heaven Hill
Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley
Cask: new charred oak
Age: NAS (rumored to be 5-7 years)
Evan Williams Bourbon Review
Dark sweets like caramel and butterscotch pair up with some notes of vanilla frosting and corn to start things off. Hints of dark fruit, red licorice and spice soon shows up and a light touch of woody astringency arrives fashionably late.
Caramel corn, peppery spice, dark fruit, citrus rind, imitation vanilla and corn nuts. Not wildly complex, but a far cry from being terrible.
Medium and filled with notes of raw corny grain, caramel, peanut butter and a touch of spice.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Balanced for what it is, medium body and a light warm feel.
I like Evan Williams Bourbon. It’s a solid, down-to-earth bourbon that’s easy to drink neat and works alright in cocktails. It’s a bourbon that serves its purpose well when you’re having friends over and is a pleasantly sweet after-dinner whiskey. I do enjoy the Single Barrel Vintage versions of it better than this, the standard Evan Williams Black Label release, but they’re 2x the price and if you’re looking for something that’s cheap and doesn’t taste bad this is the bottle for you.