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Evan Williams

Jimmy Buffet Aug 15, 2007 07:14 AM

I have a friend who swears by Evan Williams whiskey. I have a stock that usually consists of Knob Creek and Maker's Mark but based on my friend's recommendation, would like to try a bottle of Evan Williams.

My pal buys Single Barrel. Comments? Is there a better horse in the Williams stable?

  1. d
    DavidT Dec 9, 2013 01:56 PM

    I can buy the Evan Williams single barrel for $23 or the Weller Reserve for $20. Aside from the extra $3 for the EW, any particular reason to buy one over the other?

    2 Replies
    1. re: DavidT
      carnicero Dec 9, 2013 04:26 PM

      Is the Weller Reserve 107 proof, like the Old Weller Antique? EW Single Barrel comes in at 86.6 proof, if I remember correctly. If bottling proof is something that matters to you, there's something to consider. I personally tend to prefer higher proof whiskeys.

      Also, EWSB is stated as 10 years old. I'm not sure of the Weller Reserve, but Old Weller Antique used to carry a 7-year age statement. I've read that it may still be 7 years or even older, but they removed the statement to give them more batching flexibility.

      1. re: carnicero
        ncyankee101 Dec 10, 2013 02:11 AM

        Weller Special reserve is 90 proof.

    2. c
      CreoleCook Dec 9, 2013 11:49 AM

      I'll have to give that a try. Up to now, Elijah Craig 12 year has been my top pick among bourbons up to $35 a bottle.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CreoleCook
        ncyankee101 Dec 9, 2013 12:01 PM

        Creole - the Craig is going to be tough to beat, and the fact that I can get a 750 for $20 or a handle of it for $40 makes it all that much better. There are cheaper Bourbons that are decent but I have yet to find one I like better.

        Really the only Bourbons I have had that I consider close in that price range ($20-25) are Old Weller 107, Weller 12 year, Elmer T Lee and Old Grand Dad 114. The EWSB is very good but just doesn't suit my flavor preference as much as those ones.

        If you go up to $35 there are a few I have had that are very good, but not much if any better than Craig. Four roses single barrel (on sale), Wild Turkey Rare Breed, Russell's Reserve 10 yr.

      2. JMF May 12, 2010 11:24 AM

        The regular Evan Williams, at around $12-13 a bottle, has to be the best bang for the buck in Bourbons there is.

        9 Replies
        1. re: JMF
          StriperGuy Nov 25, 2013 10:31 AM

          Just discovered this thread and bought a handle of EW...

          Okay, totally agree, a LONG time Jim Beam fan, black or white label, and I have to say EW is absolutely the best budget bourbon I've ever tasted. Heck, I like it better then quite a few top tier bottles. The cost for 1.75L here in Boston is an insane bargain at $24.

          Impressive stuff.

          1. re: StriperGuy
            sakeandgin Nov 25, 2013 01:50 PM

            Purchased a 1.75 in NH yesterday 19.99 along with a 3.00 rebate coupon. Bulleit Rye $22.99. The rye is 37.99 here in western MA. Plus every 150.00 you spent got a 25.00 gift card.

            1. re: sakeandgin
              StriperGuy Nov 25, 2013 03:01 PM

              Worth getting in the car, I'm in MA too.

            2. re: StriperGuy
              hawkeyeui93 Nov 26, 2013 04:40 PM

              I was afraid to admit this to others, but it is a very solid bourbon in the value price range.

              1. re: StriperGuy
                ncyankee101 Nov 27, 2013 01:27 AM

                I recently grabbed the Evan Williams BIB on sale here for $11.50, and also a bottle of the 1783 (black label) for about the same price. I haven't tried them side by side yet, but my first impressions of both were favorable. The BIB obviously is a little more intense, and I will dilute it a bit before comparing them.

                I consider my best bargain Bourbon to be Weller special reserve,. at the Atlanta area price of $12 (until recently $10). Of course, that price is considerably cheaper than the price I usually see of $15-18.

                1. re: ncyankee101
                  hawkeyeui93 Nov 28, 2013 01:42 PM

                  I would buy a case of Weller at that price ....

                  1. re: hawkeyeui93
                    ncyankee101 Nov 28, 2013 02:01 PM

                    I stocked up with 6 or 7 bottles when it was $10 because I had a feeling it wasn't going to last.

                  2. re: ncyankee101
                    JMF Nov 28, 2013 06:34 PM

                    I'm using both the EW Black Label and the Weller 107 proof as well bourbon in the new bar I'm working with.

                    1. re: JMF
                      StriperGuy Nov 29, 2013 12:24 AM


              2. d
                davebough Oct 1, 2007 07:05 AM

                How's the experiment going? Give us a report.

                1. j
                  Jimmy Buffet Aug 16, 2007 07:27 AM

                  Thanks for the recommendations, chow colleagues. I think this may be a fun quest - I love a good cigar and bourbon and last night I got to thinking that I am going to expand this into trying to find the best tasting bourbon for the bucks. With that in mind, I have had the following suggested to me:

                  Old Forester 86 proof
                  Old Forester 100 proof
                  Old Fitzgerald 1849
                  Old Grand-Dad ...
                  Jim Beam Black

                  and will consider the alternative brands you guys have made as well.

                  Again, thanks a million. Any others that I can add to my list would be appreciated.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: Jimmy Buffet
                    healthyscratch Aug 16, 2007 01:58 PM

                    If you already stock Knob Creek, I think you'll have a hard time finding better for the money. It's the Padron 2000 maduro of bourbons, if you know what I'm saying.

                    1. re: healthyscratch
                      bkhuna Aug 16, 2007 04:51 PM

                      Oh, I don't know about that, I was thinking more along the lines of the Hav-a-Tampa.

                      1. re: bkhuna
                        Mr Lee Ho Aug 16, 2007 07:50 PM

                        Don't know if it is considered a "true" bourbon, but Bernheim Wheat is excellent stuff.

                        1. re: bkhuna
                          healthyscratch Aug 17, 2007 07:14 AM

                          Not sure what I'd equate Hav-a-Tampas with in the bourbon world. Maybe Rebel Yell...but I'll drink Rebel Yell.

                      2. re: Jimmy Buffet
                        inuksuk Aug 16, 2007 07:54 PM

                        If you're willing to expand your palate just a smidge, the Jim Beam Rye Whiskey ( http://www.internetwines.com/mb310114... ) would be a bargain at twice the price.

                        1. re: inuksuk
                          Jimmy Buffet Aug 17, 2007 07:45 PM

                          inuksuk I have never tried rye whiskey but a fellow chowhound and good pal - oneweinerhound - and I were just talking the other day about some so that might be on the horizon.

                          1. re: Jimmy Buffet
                            JonParker May 12, 2010 10:58 AM

                            Second vote for the Jim Beam Rye. Compare it to the Old Overlholt Rye, which is also very good. Both are very reasonably priced.

                        2. re: Jimmy Buffet
                          angs9 Aug 17, 2007 01:41 PM

                          Here are the "bang for the buck" entries I would vote for:

                          Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon -> $20
                          Eagle Rare Single Barrel -> $25
                          Old Rip Van Windle 10 Year -> $25.

                          A great place to search for spirit reviews is the Beverage Tasting Institute at http://tastings.com. The above were among the well reviewed there that I've tried

                          1. re: angs9
                            davebough Aug 29, 2007 11:41 AM

                            I like expensive bourbons, but think cheap bourbons are underrated. Old Crow says Bourbon to me and at $8.50 a fifth I've enjoyed it with a lot of cigars.

                            1. re: davebough
                              Jimmy Buffet Sep 5, 2007 07:47 PM

                              I bought some Old Forester the other day and a bottle of Old Crow was really trying to catch my eye. Might go back for it.

                              Ditto some Ancient Age. I think I'll see if I can find some minibottles of the stuff before springing for something bigger.

                          2. re: Jimmy Buffet
                            heWho Sep 7, 2007 12:28 PM

                            Evan Williams Singe Barrel is really a great deal for the money. It's one of my favorites in that price range, but for bourbon on the rocks I tend to favor Basil Hayden because I love its sweetness. I'd add that to your tasting list. It's especially good with a sweet flavored cigar.

                            1. re: heWho
                              Jimmy Buffet Sep 15, 2007 02:54 PM

                              I have heard good things about Basil Hayden. I'll give it a try.

                          3. ted Aug 16, 2007 06:21 AM

                            I'lll make yet another strong recommendation for the single barrel.

                            1. d
                              drinkslover Aug 16, 2007 02:36 AM

                              Evan Williams and Elijah Craig are both top quality. EWSB is up there with the best for that sort of money.

                              1. bkhuna Aug 15, 2007 08:24 PM

                                Great stuff at a good price. I'll bet in a blind test, you'd like it better than Maker's Mark.

                                1. m
                                  mojoeater Aug 15, 2007 06:17 PM

                                  The EW black label definitely gets best in show in the cheaper bourbon category. The single barrel is very, very good.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: mojoeater
                                    redranger40 May 8, 2010 08:13 AM

                                    From what I've seen here in the chgo area though, ewsb is the same price as knob creek, and I loves me some knob creek...can I really put almost $30 in ewsb and enjoy it? Just asking, cause I've never tried it...I found the eagle rare 10 year here for $23.99, and is pretty damn tasty if I say so myself...

                                  2. m
                                    Mr Lee Ho Aug 15, 2007 05:40 PM

                                    EWSB is excellent stuff. I've heard great things about Elijah Craig Single Barrel, but have yet to try it.

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