Sunday, April 2, 2017

Tasting: Evan Williams White Label

Yesterday our blog went all haywire and decided to act out on its own, creating a false review on the Limited edition Evan Haskill bottle. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience this malfunction has caused. We have now solved the problem, and have taken the necessary precautions to prevent such unfortunate incident from happening again in the future.

Below are the original scheduled Evan Williams White label BIB review.  


Evan Williams. White Label
Bottled In Bound.
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distillery: Heaven Hill
(Distilled in Louisville KY and bottled in Bardstown KY)
Age: NAS, but at least four years.
Proof/ABV: 100Proof/50%.
Mash bill: 75C/13R/12B
Average Swedish price: 429SEK/48USD.
Release: Ongoing. (Although no longer available in Sweden).

Points: 81/100

Color: Amber.

Vanilla, grain, burnt sugar and dried fruit. Maybe a hint of smoke, like dried leaves burning.

Alcohol burn at first, then revealing corn and a hint of Arak, or maybe Arabica coffee. After that a little bitterness, then finishing on a very strong grain note. A bit underwhelming taste-wise, and could use a few more notes to stand up to the warmth of the proof.

Mouth feel:
A bit creamy, a little bit tannic with a comforting long warm linger.

Evan Williams is said to be Kentucky’s first distiller, making spirits since 1783. A claim now highly doubted and as disproven as it probably ever will be. Recently shifted, the claim - made, among other places, on a historical marker just outside the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience location – is that Williams founded the first commercial distillery in Kentucky.

Truth or lie, the Evan Williams brand is the second largest selling brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey in the U.S, after Jim Beam. This review is of the bottled in bond-version of the standard black label Evan Williams bourbon.

“Bottled in bond” is a label given to American spirits if they meet the following demands, regulated since 1897, now in the Standards of Identity, a part of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act: it’s the product must be of one distillation season (January to June or July to December) and one distiller at one distillery. It then has to be aged for at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision. After that it must be bottled at 100 proof/50% ABV. The bottle label must then identify the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled.

Bottled in bond is supposed to be a marker of authenticity and transparency, but in the case of Evan Williams becomes a statement undermined by sharing label space with what probably are false claims. Unfortunate, because the bourbon in the bottle stands firmly on it’s own.

Bourbon marketing is filled with great stories, most of them debunked but still loudly proclaimed. Taken to heart by marketing departments, it’s sometimes advised to never let the truth get in the way of a great story. Maybe they should put that on a historical marker in Kentucky.

Photo & Review By: Erik Hasselgärde