Evan Williams (whiskey)

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Evan Williams Bourbon Whiskey
Evan Williams.JPG
Bottle of Evan Williams
Type Bourbon whiskey
Manufacturer Heaven Hill
Country of origin Kentucky, United States
Introduced 1783
Alcohol by volume 43.00%
Proof 86
Related products Heaven Hill

Evan Williams is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky[1] by the Heaven Hill company. The product is aged for a minimum of four years.[2]

Production[edit]

Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Super-Premium Bourbon

Although bottled in Bardstown, the product is distilled at the Heaven Hill distillery in Louisville.

Most Evan Williams bourbon is sold as the mass-market "Black Label" variety, which is aged 5 to 7 years.[1] The company also bottles several other expressions, including a "White Label" that is bottled in bond, an "Evan Williams 1783" bourbon that is produced in more limited quantities and a nine-year-old single barrel bourbon sold in vintage dated bottles sealed with black wax.

As of June 21, 2010, Evan Williams was the second largest-selling brand of Kentucky straight bourbon (following the market leading Jim Beam brand) and had the fastest-growing market share among the top-volume American whiskey brands (with a 12.4% sales growth rate), according a press release issued by the producer citing A.C. Nielsen Scantrack 2010 data.[3][4]

Evan Williams Black is 43% alc/vol (86 proof), unlike some popular whiskeys which are bottled at the statutory minimum of 40% alc/vol (80 proof).

Origin of the name[edit]

Historical marker for Evan Williams in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky

Evan Williams was a Kentucky settler who the company says began distilling in 1783 in what is now Louisville, Kentucky.[5] A historical marker in Louisville (depicted in photo at right) says the site was Kentucky's first commercial distillery.

This heritage is emphasized on the bottle label of the best selling variant – the black label – which bears the inscriptions "Since 1783" and "Kentucky's 1st distiller".

However, the inscriptions should not be construed as indicating that the brand has continuously existed since the time of the historic distillery. The modern whisky brand was established in the mid-1900s and has no direct connection to the historic distiller.

Moreover, key details of the historical claims about Williams have been asserted to be false by historian Michael Veach of the Filson Historical Society.[6] Veach said that the assertion that Williams was Kentucky's first distiller did not appear until an 1892 publication by Reuben Durrett – more than a century after the fact. He also said that the dating is disproved by a record of Williams traveling from London to Philadelphia in May 1794, showing that Williams could only have begun his distillery substantially later. Veach indicated that the true identity of Kentucky's first distiller may never really be known, that record-keeping about such matters was poor, and that there are others that seem more likely as candidates for first distiller, including Jacob Myers and brothers Joseph and Samuel Davis. Records reportedly indicate that Myers and the Davis brothers both arrived in 1779.[6]

Varieties[edit]

Varieties of whiskey using the Evan Williams brand name include the following:[1]

  • Evan Williams Green Label, 80 proof
  • Evan Williams White Label, 100 proof (bottled in bond)
  • Evan Williams Black Label, 86 proof
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage, 86.6 proof
  • Evan Williams 1783, 86 proof
  • Evan Williams Red Label, 101 proof
  • Evan Williams Blue Label, 107 proof

Several liqueurs are also produced under the Evan Williams brand, including:

  • Evan Williams Egg Nog, 30 proof
  • Evan Williams Honey Reserve, 70 proof
  • Evan Williams Cherry Reserve, 70 proof
  • Evan Williams Apple Orchard, 70 proof

Evan Williams Bourbon Experience[edit]

The whiskey and its history is featured in the "Evan Williams Bourbon Experience", a tourist attraction in Louisville that is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Awards[edit]

On Feb. 16, 2011, the "Black Label" expression tied with 100 proof Very Old Barton as "Best Buy Whisk(e)y of the Year" in the 17th Annual Malt Advocate[7] Whisky Awards.

Reviews[edit]

"The Black Label smells of deep vanilla and cherry and is a bit smoother than the green label," says Morgan Murphy.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Evan Williams official website. Accessed April 2010.
  2. ^ Robare, Matthew M. (March 10, 2011). "Honey whiskey leaves drinkers buzzing". The Massachusetts Daily Collegian. Retrieved January 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ Heaven Hill Distilleries Press Room website page.
  4. ^ Evan Williams Bourbon Builds on Sales Growth with new Multi-Million Dollar Marketing Campaign, Heaven Hill Distilleries Press Release, June 21, 2010
  5. ^ Evan Williams official website - History[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Veach, Michael R. (2013). Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-8131-4165-7. 
  7. ^ Malt Advocate. Accessed Feb. 2011.
  8. ^ Murphy, Morgan; Editors of Southern Living magazine (2014). Southern Living Bourbon & Bacon: The Ultimate Guide to the South's Favorite Foods. Oxmoor House. ISBN 978-0848743161. 

External links[edit]