Review #96 Evan Williams 12yr: Bourbon
Score: 9.1 / 10
Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Ah good ol' Evan Williams! Love it or hate it? I am a huge fan of the Evan Williams Bottled In Bond (white label) and it remains my favorite budget pick at $14/bottle. I enjoy the Single Barrel too and I'm not opposed to rippin' shots of the Black Label. Green was one of the top scorers on our <$10 podcast episode.
Recently I went to Louisville and of course I had to tour the Evan Williams Distillery. It was a very fun tour with a tasting and plenty of great Evan Williams bottles available in the gift shop (including the Evan Williams 23 year - only $350). I picked up a bottle of the Master Blend (made with EW 23 year, Single Barrel, BiB & Black), this bottle of EW12.
This bottle is only available in two places, Japan and at Evan Williams in Louisville KY. Price was $129 which might seem absurd for a bottle of Evan Williams, but from my past experiences with the distillery, I HAD to get one. It can't be said enough that for your dollar, Evan Williams is one of the best whiskey brands out there!
Disclaimer: the wax on this bottle is T H I C C and I actually had to use a wrench to torque it off. I imagine that the distiller insurance and material is built into the cost of this bottle.
Pour was served neat in a Glencairn - 101 Proof - 50.5% alc/vol.
Nose: Loaded with robust vanilla and caramel. Sugar, orange rind and lemon rind create a sensational old fashioned in a glass smell. Oak, toffee and chocolate lie in the background.
Palate: Viscous mouthfeel that is creamy and incredibly malty. Vanilla and caramel flavors explode on the palate giving way to delicate fruit (red apple, strawberry) coupled with a light simmering cinnamon and light pepper. Oak and lemon zest linger on the back end.
Finish: Juicy, crave-able and oaky. Lightly tannic leaving citrus, brown sugar and cinnamon.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Rare. To re-state, this can only be found in sparse places in Japan and at the distillery in Kentucky. Obviously a must have if you come across it and like the brand.