Evan Williams Single Barrel Kentucky Bourbon
It is no secret that my everyday bourbon is Evan Williams sour mash. In my opinion, for the money, it simply can’t be beat. It is sweet, chewy, and full, like a good bourbon should be, without the harshness or impurities that often accompany cheaper whiskies. Having established this, it should come as no surprise that I had high expectations for the Evan Williams Single Barrel, and it did not disappoint.
The single barrel is from the higher end of the Evan Williams line. As the name implies, this whiskey is not blended, and comes from the same new charred oak barrel, and has been aged for at least four years. The lack of blending adds to the nuances and complexity of the whiskey, and thus, typically, it’s quality. These very nuances, however, lack the consistency of blends, and there may be slight variations in flavor or aroma from barrel to barrel. The argument for and against each is very similar to the single malt vs blended scotch discussion. Some drinkers have preferences, whereas I just enjoy good whiskey.
The Evan Williams Single Barrel opens with a heavy grain aroma: slightly sweet, with a full nose of wheat, vanilla, and caramel. The taste begins with a warming touch of honey and grain, mellowing back into fuller oak flavors. On the back of the palette the whiskey tastes as if you’ve just taken a bite of cornbread, warm and buttery, but with a smooth finish. Not as chewy as some bourbons, and with a hint of vanilla rather than molasses, the Evan Williams Single Barrel is more smooth velvet than rich oak.
An excellent step up from my every day bourbon, the Evan Williams Single Barrel is one that I enjoyed immensely, and I’ll be very sad when the bottle runs dry.