For today’s tasting, we’re sampling a bottle of Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond (EW BiB). The bargain bin bourbon has a reputation for punching above its sub-$20 weight class. Let’s find out with a hearty pour.
At a Glance
- Distillery: Heaven Hill Distillery
- Location: Bardstown, KY
- Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Bonded
- Age: 4 Years
- Mashbill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley
- Proof: 100
- MSRP: $15
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Evan Williams Bonded: What We Say
|Nose||light alcohol, caramel, corn, wood, green apple, herbal tea|
|Palate||Cracker Jacks, toasted marshmallow, orange zest, white pepper, cinnamon|
|Finish||medium, dry, pepper, sweet cinnamon|
|What You Can Expect to Pay||$15-$21|
|Buy It: Now, Soon, Later, Never||Soon|
The nose on Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond opens with light alcohol, followed by caramel and fresh sweet corn. It’s fragrant and summery—like a county fair. A waft of wood follows, with more pine notes than oak, but still a bit of oak. A deeper nosedive yields green apple slices and a cup of herbal chamomile tea. Really enjoyable.
On the palate, the caramel and corn from the nose coalesce with a hint of nuttiness into Cracker Jacks—or, perhaps a bag of caramel kettle corn from that county fair. There’s also a tasty note of toasted marshmallow, with just a little zing of orange zest. The tail end delivers some earthy spice in the form of white pepper—or even a fresh Anaheim pepper—with a pop of dry cinnamon. Outstanding.
The medium finish lingers with more pepper and cinnamon, which must have picked up a little sweetness from the caramel. The finish is direct, immediately beckoning another sip. This bourbon is a knockout, considering the $15 price tag.
What Heaven Hill Says About EW BiB
This 100 proof version of the world’s second largest selling Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged four years under U.S. Government Supervision to meet the exacting standards for Bottled-in-Bond. First enacted by Congress in 1897 and still on the books today, Bottled-in-Bond guarantees quality and assures consumers the product is bottled at exactly 100 proof, the product of one distilling season at one distillery, aged at least four years, and clearly labeled with name of the distillery who made it and Distilled Spirits Plant (D.S.P.) number in which it was made and bottled.
This bourbon drinks neat. But at the $15 price point, I feel great about using it as a mixer for Old Fashioneds, Whiskey Sours, and other whiskey cocktails.