Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Evan Williams is the second biggest-selling bourbon after Jim Beam, and their annual Single Barrel series is the world's only vintage-dated single barrel bourbon. Evan Williams himself is considered by many to be Kentucky's first distiller, and was also a politician and a member of the Board of Trustees in Louisville. The brand is owned by Heaven Hill. And this particular bottle is the 2002 Single Barrel Vintage, barrel #339, distilled June 7 2002 and bottled Feb 8 2012, making this a 9 year old bourbon.
This is the only Evan Williams I have had; and I bought this bottle at a SAQ store in Montreal. My friend Omar and I then proceeded to drink half of it while watching Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson - one of my favourite Westerns, that we've seen a billion times. There is nothing like watching a Western while drinking bourbon. Try it.
The colour is deep dark reddish amber, with a nose featuring lots of oak, mint chocolate, dates, vanilla, and blood orange, enveloped by layers of caramel. Dusty old oak furniture. Very dark, rich, fruity nose. Water brings out spicy elements of cinnamon and cloves.
It has a mouthdrying kick to it, and in the mouth is spicier than the nose. Stronger vanillas. Cigar box. Very rich oak in the mouth, you almost expect to get a sliver on your tongue! Interestingly, water improves the nose but dulls the palate. But it's still absolutely delicious.
The finish is woody, long and rich, with those cloves and cinnamon again. There is excellent balance between the oak, vanilla and spices - this is an extremely rich and involving bourbon, brilliantly done. I am eager to try more Evan Williams, though really more of their Single Barrel Vintages rather than their core range, which I fear may not measure up!