Spirit Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage

Recently, a reader of the blog asked me for the name of a good bourbon, and I went through all of the different bourbons and what I thought of them. But then I told him, “If you want a good, top notch bourbon for a good price, go for the Evan Williams Single Barrel.” I hope he tried it. Hell, just look at the picture closely, and you’ll see that it’s all gone. I need to replenish my stock, obviously.

At 43.3% alcohol, it’s respectable. This is not your cheap bourbon. Sure, it costs $27, but it tastes like a $50 whiskey. It may sound like I’m blowing smoke up their ass, but I really do like this bourbon.

The aroma fills the air whenever you open it, but any good bourbon will do that. The taste, though, is tremendously smooth with just a little bit of alcohol burn left on the tongue. It’s a pleasant feeling, not the I-need-to-cough feeling some whiskeys leave me with. The taste is sweet, like honey or molasses, but it’s not the main taste. Mainly, it tastes like grain, like a bready mouthful of sweet liquor.

That’s what it is, I suppose: a bready mouthful of sweet liquor.  I won’t even bother with a cocktail for this one. It’s good on its own. But if you do want something, I recommend adding very little to it. I have tried it in a Manhattan, and it’s good. In an Old Pal, and the characteristics blend in too much. My favorite, though, is the Sazerac. A little sweetness, some bitters, and a hint of anise. Perfect.

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