This bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel was a birthday gift from my dad. He seems to have an eye for great bourbon. Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Single Barrel is the only vintage-dated single barrel bourbon available. This review is of a 2004 vintage (barrel 1323), barreled on 1-21-04 and bottled on 10-13-14, making the bourbon 3 months shy of 11 years old. To my knowledge, most barrels in this line average about 10 years old. It comes in at a very sippable 86.6 proof. So how is it?
On the nose, I get lots of toffee, cinnamon, oak and orange peel. It’s all nicely balanced. None of these distinct aromas overpower one another. They also carry over onto the palate. The entry is soft… very little heat. Again, lots of toffee, oak, cinnamon, citrus and cloves. There’s not a lot of heat with this whiskey, probably due partially to the low proof. There’s a medium length finish. It reminds me of sweet cinnamon candy (think red hots, but not as spicy).
Nothing really stands out in Evan Williams Single Barrel. I say that as a compliment. It’s very nicely balanced, with the typical bourbon flavors you’d expect from a 10 year old whiskey. If that’s not good enough to make you buy a bottle, the price should win you over. A 750ml bottle will run you under $30. I’d easily add this to my list of “Best Bourbons under $30” along with Elijah Craig 12 year old, Bulleit, W.L. Weller 12 year old, and Four Roses Yellow Label. Recommended.