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My wife likes to cook pork with bourbon (lovely lady). So she likes keeping bourbon around for this occasion (which I totally support). Before we were married her go to bourbon was Maker’s Mark. Saints-alive woman! I can’t support pouring 2 cups (16oz, nearly 475 mL, or over half a bottle!) of Maker’s Mark into her brine! (I’m just glad she never grabbed a bottle of Stagg!!). After she did this once with a bottle of Maker’s I dutifully began my quest for a cheap bourbon for her to cook with.
Enter Evan Williams: I picked up a bottle of the Black label . . . and just for comparison sake I picked up a 375mL of the Green label . . . just to see what I might find.
Nose: Way more sour apples and much less sweetness then the Jack Daniel’s or the Evan William’s Black. This is very thin and all sour-apple-y. Some Jolly Ranchers, and sour worm candies. With time . . . I am totally digging the sour nose. VERY tart.
Taste: Sour apples with a very thin mouth feel.
Finish: Medium short finish with a bit of a wave of yeasty bread dough coming through followed by a slightly spicy finish of white pepper corn, brown sugar, and cinnamon. It ends with a lingering salty sour lemon.
Balance, Complexity: Not overly complex in any way. Basically you get sour apples and Jolly Ranchers on the nose and bit on the tongue. The finish is spice with a strange yeasty bit to it. So I will have to say unbalanced and mild complexity.
Aesthetic experience: I dislike a great deal about this label: from the cheap looking green label, the 40% ABV, and the Jack Daniel’s imitation style label. I enjoy the nose but that was it.
Conclusion: I found the nose interesting in a sour-candy sort of way. It was a unique bourbon nose for me. That said, nothing else was compelling about this bottle. I gave the rest of the 375mL bottle to my wife for cooking . . . it didn’t impart the same flavors she enjoyed from the Maker’s Mark . . . so we will keep looking.