Saturday, April 18, 2015

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond Review

Here is another review I did as part of the /r/bourbon Community Review series. 

Evan Williams Bottled in Bond is budget priced offering from Heaven Hill that you will usually find on the bottom shelf of the bourbon rack. The bottom shelf status shouldn't deter you though as Bottled in Bond whiskeys can generally punch above their price class. Let's see if this one holds up to that reputation.

50% ABV; No age statement; $15
Notes: The nose starts with sugary sweetness, lots of fruit, and finishes with some heat. You can smell the youth here as there are more fruity new-make mash aromas than woody notes. The front of palate brings all of those same sweet fruit notes from the nose like bananas, honey, and sugary graham cracker. In the middle of the palate some spicy rye starts to come in and the finish rounds out with some smoky charred oak. Again the palate echoes the nose in that the notes are mostly that of a young bourbon. You won’t find smooth leathery oak or subtle fruit flavors here - I’m guessing this one is barely above the minimum bottled in bond age of four years. The young fruit and char notes are very forward but a modest rye level and nice proof bring a warm spice bite that keeps the taste interesting overall.
Thoughts: If you are more a fan of older oaky bourbons you probably won’t like this as much as me but I really like this. I like it so much in fact that in a recent blind tasting against other bourbons I picked it as my number one bourbon for the evening. I don’t think I like it quite as much as Very Old Barton Bottled in Bond but it’s pretty close which would make it my second favorite bourbon under $20. I like the balance of sweetness, spice, and smokiness and of course the price is hard to beat. It’s a hell of a value and frankly I’m amazed you can buy whiskey this good for $15.
Rating: B- / C+

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