Review: Evan Williams Vintage Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Virgin Charred Oak; ~9 Yrs
~78% Corn, 10% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Distiller Heaven Hill (Bardstown, Kentucky)

This line of Evan Williams is solely based on vintage releases, based on the distillation date - something you don't see often in whisky, and they have generally been terrific value and great tasting. Especially if you are in the states, where they can run quite a bit cheaper (~$30) than elsewhere - it is hard to find better value for a bourbon.

Review (2015)

  • Batch: 2004 Vintage
  • Bottling Code: N/A
  • Bottling Date: 2014

A nice, rich nose, with an elegant and syrupy corn body offset by some light white grape and light brown sugar, with a light intriguing oily note. The lightest bitterness is present on the nose, but once we hit the palate we get a rush of creamy corn and oak, alongside praline, which does some wonders and gently leads into the finish with a bit of a marshy-corn quality to it alongside some charred oak and butterscotch. Underneath, there is a bit of spice (ginger and old cinnamon) with light tannins. However, though well integrated and delicious, I wouldn't complain for a bit more complexity. Even at 43%, it doesn't feel like a lighter whisky (though doesn't seem cask strength, either!). Beside the black-labelled Evan Williams and the Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond, it is significantly more alive and complex.

Score: 86/100

Value: 75/100 (based on $37)