Giving each whiskey (and whisky) I try a final grade, but only after reaching the bottom of the bottle. After all, just one drink is never enough!
Monday, August 15, 2016
Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon
- 100 Proof
This is another one of the bottom-shelf bourbons that I just can't find anywhere in Illinois (though I understand it is available), so I grabbed a bottle while I was in Louisville last month. I'm quickly running short on my stash that I had built up during that trip. Though I hadn't planned on grabbing a bottle of the Evan Williams BIB, at only $11 it was hardly a gamble.
That being said, I'm glad that $11 is all I spent. This bourbon really comes across as a sub-par example of bourbon, something that I would really only use as a mixer, and, quite frankly, that's predominantly what this bottle was used for.
The nose gives off the traditional vanilla and caramel flavors, and leans more toward the caramel end. After getting that first sniff, I was hoping that I had found myself a gem on the lower shelf.
However, upon tasting it, the bourbon just comes across as watery and simple. Sure, it has the typical vanilla, but it lacked in the sweetness that I drew me to bourbon in the first place. Beyond that, it came across as dry and woody. Rather than mix with the wood and develop complex flavors, it simply took on the wood flavor and not much else.
This bourbon is also very watery in texture, and I just didn't really enjoy it as a sipper. As noted above, it just came across as a below-average bourbon, not like the Heaven Hill BIB which is a steal at this price point.
I ultimately ended up using this bourbon for making Old Fashioned's whenever the mood hit me. Even for this purpose, though, I think a sweeter, more robust bourbon would have made for a better cocktail.
Again, at the price point, it was worth the gamble, and I'm not exactly disappointed. However, knowing that there are quality bourbons, even sipping bourbons to be had at this price point, the Evan Williams BIB just doesn't stack up.
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