Evan Williams Bottled In Bond Review
Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. is the king of Bottled In Bond whiskeys. Currently they boast 5 bourbons, 1 rye, and 1 corn whiskey - all of which are standard offerings. This doesn't even include their giftshop only releases and out of production BIB whiskeys. HH is headquartered out of Bardstown, KY with their distillery located in Louisville, KY. HH produces the popular Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, and Rittenhouse/Pikesville brands of whiskeys.
Last week I reviewed Jim Beam Original, a popular bottom shelf bourbon that is very close in price to EWBIB. Overall I was unimpressed and left wanting. You can read that review here. This week I thought it would be nice to review one of my favorite bottom shelf bourbons in response - Evan Williams Bottled In Bond (also conveniently sporting a predominately white label).
Distillery: Heaven Hill Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky (DSP-KY-1)
DSP: DSP-KY-1, DSP-KY-31
Cost: $14 pre tax for a 1 Liter bottle in SC.
Proof: 100 Proof
Age: At least 4 years old
Mashbill: 78% Corn / 10% Rye / 12% Barley
Pour: 2 oz neat in a Glencairn glass
Nose: Big caramel bomb. Buttered sweet corn on the cob, vanilla extract (the real stuff), nilla wafers, ground nutmeg, and a hint of black pepper.
Palate: Medium viscosity and sweet. Barrel spices, chocolate chip cookie dough, light cinnamon, graham crackers, and shortbread cookies.
Finish: Super warm with a long fade. Nutmeg, caramel, and black pepper. Lingering warmth.
I have been an advocate for this bourbon ever since my fist bottle and with good reason. A lot of bottom shelf whiskeys tend to be low proof and/or taste overly young. EWBIB manages to avoids both of those pitfalls. This whiskey is inexpensive (even more so when you buy a 1.75L) and can be found in nearly every liquor store in my area. It has serious versatility as it works well in cocktails, neat or even paired with a beer. No bullshit - I will sip on EWBIB alongside a beer from time to time when cooking at home. I also find this to be a fantastic bourbon for Kentucky Mules and the proof stands up to the ice/ginger beer/lime. Price is not factored into my scores but honestly this is probably the best bang for your buck bourbon on the shelves today.
A while back Bourbon Pursuit recorded a two-part podcast with Bernie Lubbers as their guest (episodes 36 and 37). He goes on to talk about the different Heaven Hill NAS BIB bourbons and how they are more or less the same but different batches (Evan Williams BIB, J.W. Dant, J.T.S. Brown) and are simply marketed in different parts of the county. I know there are areas of the US that can't find Evan Williams Bottled In Bond and likewise I am unable to find J.T.S Brown on the shelves in South Carolina.
What is everyone drinking this holiday weekend? Sound off in the comments or tell me I'm fucking crazy for loving EWBIB. Whatever. Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend. Cheers!