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Evan Williams

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?

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

    1. 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

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

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

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

            1. 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

                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

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

                  1. re: bkhuna

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

                    1. re: bkhuna

                      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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                        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

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

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

                        1. 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

                            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

                              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

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

                              2. re: StriperGuy

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

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  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

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

                                    1. re: hawkeyeui93

                                      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

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

                                2. 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

                                    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. 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

                                      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

                                        Weller Special reserve is 90 proof.