Evan Williams Bottled In Bond

Evan Williams Bottled In Bond
Evan Williams Bottled In Bond

I finally was able to get my hands on a bottle of Evan Williams Bottled In Bond. I’d been looking for one for awhile. I finally saw a single bottle on the shelf the other day and snatched it up. Being as Evan Williams is one of my favorite labels, I wanted to do a review of this one also.

Aroma: I don’t get a nose full of alcohol like i expected. There’s a woodsy, earthy aroma. it’s a pleasing, nothing off putting about it.

Neat: It’s a bit hot. But hey, it’s 100 proof. I immediately think of their single barrel but without the aging. A bit peppery with good mouth feel, thick and smooth, not watery. Flavors of wood and oak like most bourbons. It’s warm on the end.

In a Manhattan: As most of Evan Williams’ bourbons do, it make a very tasty Manhattan. As I’ve said before, Evan Williams whiskeys having a higher rye level just lends itself to Manhattans and Old Fashions. So yes, definitely works here.

so, I still think Evan Williams Single Barrel is their best bourbon, BIB would be my second choice from them. It’s a decent whiskey at a decent price point. It has enough flavor to hold up to cocktails and is still drinkable neat or with some ice.

Coming Up!

I have a couple of articles in the works. A review of another Evan Williams Whiskey. I’m also going to review and compare 2 Morakniv knifes I have. Waiting on 1 to get here. I really like the first. Going to put them both through some usage tests. Stay tuned!

Wolf Moon Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Wolf Moon
Wolf Moon

I picked this up when I made my COVID-19 run to the liquor store. I hadn’t heard of it, knew nothing about. Thought it had a cool name and the price point was perfect, $23! I love trying new whiskies and especially those in the lower price range, call me a glutton for punishment I guess.

I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by this. A neighbor had helped me move a new desk into my office where I’m now working and I pulled this out when we were done. He had drank it before and said it was good. So we shared a couple tots.

It is a bit hot neat, there’s some alcohol burn. Definitely smokey and woodsy with a hint of vanilla and caramel on the back. I prefer it with a bit of ice, tames the heat a bit. That being said, it’s an enjoyable bourbon that I would definitely purchase again.

Wolf Moon is one of the celebrity whiskies that have come on the market the last few years. This one has Jason Aldean’s name on the back and I think Florida-Georgia Line is involved as well. Here’s the Wolf Moon web site for more info.

A Tale of Three Whiskeys

One of my favorite whiskies is Evan Williams Single Barrel. It’s a great bargain and a good bourbon. So, only having tried the EW green label in the past, I thought I might stack up the single barrel against some of the other EW labels. So, here we go…

Evan Williams Single Barrel

Evan William Single Barrle

86 proof, 7-8 years old

Aroma: smoky and woodsy
Taste: Single Barrel is smooth and lightly sweet with a hint of vanilla. a spicy note from the high rye content. It has a nice mouth feel, especially with an ice cube or a bit of water.

This is one of my favorite sipping whiskeys and can be found for under $30 if you look for it. I see it any where from $26-$30 in my area. As I’ve noted before, I like a high rye bourbon and EW Single Barrel doesn’t disappoint. Just the right amount of a peppery spice note keeps it interesting. It make a fabulous Manhattan.

Evan Williams Black Label

Aroma: Immediately you get the alcohol in your nose
First sip – neat: It’s definitely EW, the rye spicy note is there, a bit of caramel and vanilla. somewhat hotter than single barrel, but that’s to be expected from an 86 proof, probably 4-5 year old whiskey that only costs $12, I wasn’t expecting it to be Pappy.

2nd sip: Added a single small ice cube that sat for a few minutes
The aroma is still the same, but the taste is a tiny bit more mellow, if sipping this one, it’s definitely the way to go. I’d be more inclined to use this for cocktails though. Adding a couple more cubes to cool it down, smoothed it out even more, but there is still a bit of a bite at the end.

It makes a passable Manhattan, if in a pinch, but the hotness comes through in a big way. I expected the vermouth to tone it down a bit, but it really doesn’t.

Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch

86 proof, all EW says is that it’s “extra aged”, whatever that means, and claims it’s pulled from less than 200 barrels

Aroma: pleasant aroma, kind of a sweet woodsy smell
First sip, neat: Considerably smoother than the black label, but still a bit hotter than the Single Barrel. Nice spice notes.
2nd sip, single ice cube: Interesting that it tastes hotter with an ice cube than without.
3rd sip, more ice: smoothed it out a bit, vanilla pops out now.

Here’s my thoughts on 1783. It doesn’t seem to be a that much of a departure from the Black Label for a doubling in price. If I’m going to spend $24 (what I found it for) on 1783, I’d rather spend a couple more bucks and get the Single Barrel, it’s a much more enjoyable bourbon.

I just didn’t enjoy it in a Manhattan. It was off tasting for some reason.

The Verdict

And here’s what I think overall. Hands down, I’ll spend the money on Single Barrel, if I’m wanting a sipping whiskey. Nether of the other two were horrible, but there’s better whiskeys at the 1783 price point. But, if you’re making whiskey cocktails, the Black Label is a definite bargain.

Heaven Hill Distillery, one of my favorite distilleries, makes Evan Williams whiskeys. They also make Elijah Craig, which is another tremendous sub $30 whiskey.

Favorite Whiskey Cocktails

I love a good whiskey cocktail and prefer the classics: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Sazerac, Boulevardier and the occasional sour. But my favorite, easily is the Manhattan. I’ve had, and made them with both rye and bourbon. Hands down, the way to go on any of these is to use a good rye. And currently, my rye of choice is Old Overholdt.

Old Overholt

Old Overholt is another one of those diamond in the rough finds. Smooth and spicy and very reasonably priced. Can easily find this for under $20. I think the last bottle I purchased cost me $16.

I rarely drink rye straight, but Overholt is smooth and balanced enough that I don’t mind a sip now and then. You’ll notice a different aroma from bourbon right off the bat, not near as smokey or woody as bourbon can be.

On the palette, the first thing I notice is that rye isn’t as like bourbon. You immediately get a spicy, peppery hit that follows all the way to the end. And this is what makes it a must in a Manhattan. That spicy note takes a cocktail from hohum to the next level.

Manhattan Cocktail

My sweet vermouth of choice is made by Gallo. The ratio I use is 2 to 1 rye to vermouth. Add 2-3 dashes bitters of choice. A maraschino cherry and a bit of juice. The top it off with a twist of orange or lemon peel – it’s a great refreshing cocktail.

I plan to try some other rye brands in the future, but for now, Old Overholt will do. I also would like to experiment with other bitters and vermouths. The offerings for those around here are slim, I think I can count the vermouths I can find on one hand with a wide ranging price. Other bitters I’ll have to order online most likely.

You can’t go wrong with Old Overholt, it’s a reasonably priced smooth and spicy rye. It would be a great choice to try if you’ve never ventured into ryes before. And if you haven’t tried many whiskey cocktails beyond a sour or a whiskey and coke, expand your horizons with a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. You don’t have to spend a lot to get the ingredients and they’re just flat out delicious.

After you’ve played around with those two, then move on to the Boulevardier or the Sazerac. The ingredients cost a bit more, but they’re next level cocktails. Look them up at your local speakeasy.