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Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003

Evan Williams And A Screaming Kid

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

27th Mar 2014


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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About a year and a half ago, I was visiting one of my two best friends in Montreal when we came across a bottle of the 2002 Vintage at the SAQ store (the provincial-government-controlled liquor retailer). We sipped it while watching Rio Bravo, one of the greatest film/whisky pairings I've ever enjoyed.

And yesterday, who should I run into at the LCBO but a bottle of the 2003! I quickly snapped up two bottles…and this time, I was visiting my other best friend, here in Toronto, and we sipped it while enjoying great food and conversation. Until…well, let's just say his five-year-old son didn't want to go to bed, and his parents struggled with him for an hour while he cried and yelled his head off (meanwhile, I simply disappeared nonchalantly into my glass…) Regardless, it was truly serendipitous that I got to enjoy these two closely related bottles with my two closest friends - though separately.

This comes from barrel no. 303. Now, this is interesting: the front label clearly states "Put In Oak 2003", yet on the back it states that it was barrelled on Apr 5 2004 (and bottled Feb 10 2014). Soooooo…..how can that be 2003 Vintage?? If anyone has insight into that discrepancy, please let me know.

The colour is a deep coppery amber. On the nose, caramelized brown sugar, maple walnut, menthol and a whiff of BBQ smoke. A touch of balsamic. Quite oaky. Not as much vanilla as you might expect at first, but it starts to develop with more time in the glass. A little bit too perfumy, though…and gets more perfumy with a drop of water.

On the palate, some dark maple (though not syrupy), cherry and a lot of oak. Mahogany humidor. Old leather. Nicely mouth-drying. Cinnamon sticks. Spices up nicely with a drop of water.

The finish is deep with raisin, cinnamon and smoked paprika. This is a lovely bourbon, but if memory serves, it doesn't have the depth that the 2002 Vintage had. Regardless, well worth the $50/bottle in Ontario.

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Abunadhman commented

Nice review Tom! Just purchased the 18th.Feb.'02 Vintage, bottled on the 6th. Dec.'11 Barre no. 127. I hope my new bottle is everything you found!

Cheers and Good Luck.

5 years ago 0

talexander commented

Hope you enjoy the 2002!!

5 years ago 0

Abunadhman commented

'Had a wee sip before decanting it and it doesn't seems to need any special treatment; in fact, it was good to go and was splendid without any distilled water at all - I tried a couple of drops and if anything the lovely richly textured mouth-feel was a little compromised or rather changed. I'll try a couple of drops, again, sometime but I don't think it needs to be altered at all. This Whiskey has been in bottle for over 3yrs.


5 years ago 0

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