February 27, 2006

Evan Williams Black Label Bourbon Review

Evan Williams Black Label
7 Year Old Sour Mash Bourbon Whiskey
Made in Kentucky
86 Proof (43% ABV)
Typical Price: About $10 - Buy it at Internet Wines & Spirits

Evan Williams Black Label BourbonSince we're reviewing our whiskeys in order of age, we'll open up the Whiskey Week proceedings with the Black Label. So what'd we think of this ubiquitous whiskey?

The Color: Brown! Surprised?
Yup, it's brown when you look at it in the bottle, and it's brown when you pour it in a glass. It's Bourbon...what did you expect?

The Nose: Fruit and Leather
As we went nose to glass, we could smell vanilla, spices, and...leather? There's a musky, smoky smell somewhere in that bottle, like a saddle or a big fat belt with a huge buckle. We also detected a citrusy smell, which we attributed to the sour mash.

The Flavors: Drunk straight, it was surprisingly oily on the tongue, followed by hints of pepper and wood. This is a young Bourbon, and it tastes that way - almost too young to drink straight, unless you're up for a fight. When we put it on the rocks, however, it mellowed out a bit and gained some of the sweetness of vanilla. All in all, we can compare this stuff to Jack Daniels, but offering a bit more bitterness on the back of the tongue.

The Recipes: We liked the Black Label in your typical Whiskey drinks - from mixing it with cola to whipping up a Old Fashioned. The Evan Williams drink recipe page offers some other cocktails that might be worth a try, including a Bourbon Margarita and a Bourbon and Cream Martini.

The Verdict: Don't be afraid to check this one out, especially if you're planning to mix cocktails. Compare it to Jack Daniels, and we don't think you'll be disappointed - especially since the Modern Drunkard says we're supposed to boycott Jack Daniels nowadays. [Update: All you Jack enthusiasts can save your angry emails - we're not rallying for a JD ban, we just linked to a story. Jeez...]

The Site: EvanWilliams.com

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at February 27, 2006 7:04 AM
Recent Comments

i recently went on a caribean cruise and one of the islands we visited had evan williams , which i had never tried ive only ever had jack daniels , soi got bottle to try out and was really impressed its has good if not better then jd ,only problem is i cant seem to get it in england ,just wish i would have brought a case full home with me

Posted by: paul bowyer at December 2, 2010 5:41 PM

Evan Williams is my cheap well bourbon I keep around in times of need. It mixes great, is pretty drinkable on ice and best of all it's cheap. Try it with 7-Up sometime instead of Coke or ginger ale. I know it doesn't sound good but it kills all the heat and really brings out the sweetness in the bourbon.

Posted by: Jeff at January 13, 2010 7:52 PM

I was looking for a cheaper bourbon. I know the owner of the store, who suggested another brand. Then a big guy (6'4", 270lbs), who was also talking to the owner, suggested I try Evan Williams.

$11 later I am a convert.

Now, I come from a line of Scotch admirers. Oban, Laguvelin and that end of the scale. I also admire Maker's Mark.

So, my tale about Evan Williams is no tall one. I am just 5'7" on a good day.



p.s. Now, don't you go thinking about raising prices!

Posted by: Jayman at October 4, 2008 8:05 PM

Evan Williams Black Label is very smooth, especially for the money (less than $14 in NY/USA). Strong vanilla/coconut nose, in my opinion. Enjoy.

Posted by: Ralph at February 21, 2008 6:35 PM

Having worked in two state stores in Ohio, and having been the taste tester for most of the brands that were considered competition to the premium labels, unsurpassed I would choose Evan Williams over Jack Daniels ,1. Evan Williams is 90 proof vs. that 86 p of Jack and 2) cost about 7 dollars cheaper in Ohio by the fifth size, 3) far more superior flavor than JD. Try it, just once and you won't go back to Jack.
Phil Eddy

Posted by: Phil Eddy at March 13, 2006 9:25 PM
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