It’s probably fair to say that Evan Williams is a pretty household name among bourbon drinkers. It is consistently one of the best selling brands worldwide and is more than likely on the shelf anywhere bourbon is found across the United States. While I don’t particularly care for the 86 proof Black Label Evan Williams, its 100 proof sibling is one of my go-to budget bottles. Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond, or White Label, is the same whiskey as the Black Label except that it follows the BiB standards.
In order to be labeled BiB, a whiskey must be the product of one distillation season and one distiller at one distillery, be aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least 4 years, and be bottled at exactly 100 proof. Additionally, the label of a bonded whiskey must identifying the distillery where it was distilled and, if different, where it was bottled. Bonded whiskey came about as an assurance of quality to the consumer. Today, most BiB whiskeys are rather affordable and are usually great bottles to keep around for both sipping neat and making cocktails or mixed drinks. Now for some tasting…
Name: Evan Williams Bottled -In-Bond
ABV: 50%, 100 proof
Age: No age statement, but it is BiB, so at least 4 years
Company / Distillery: Heaven Hill
Mash Bill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley
Price:$15-18 (Picked up a 1.75L for $24.99)
Nose: Caramel and brown sugar heavy, just a touch of graininess
Taste: Toasted corn, maple syrup, spice
Finish: Surprisingly long. Rye spiciness, toasted oak
Overall: Like many BiB bourbons, much better than the price tag might suggest. While definitely not complex by any means, it is certainly smooth and balanced enough to be an everyday sipper neat or on the rocks. Also makes a fantastic all around go to cocktail bourbon. Is it the best bourbon on the shelf? Hell no. Is it the best thing on the shelf under $20? I’ll let you decide. If nothing else, it’s a good reminder that you don’t have to spend a fortune for a good drink. If you haven’t yet, pick up a bottle and give this one a chance.