Evan Williams Bourbon – Review

Evan Williams BourbonEvan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

86 Proof

Price Point: $20 – $30 for 1.75 L

Distiller: Old Evan Williams Distillery



No matter your budget or your taste buds, you can’t drink top-shelf whiskey every night.  Sometimes your palate (and wallet) crave something simpler and cheaper.  Or maybe you prefer to have a refreshing bourbon on the rocks, but (like me) you can’t force yourself to water down the higher end stuff on your shelf.

Meet Evan Williams.  He’s cheap, he tastes good, and he’s not watered down to 40% like many of his bottom-shelf counterparts.  This is the whiskey you pull off your shelf when you don’t want to analyze too hard what you’re drinking.



The nose on Evan Williams is very light with a lot of corn and a little bit of rye.  Pretty much a bare-bones bourbon, but what did you expect?.

Evan Williams tastes slightly better than your average bottom-shelf bourbon.  Probably because it’s 43% ABV instead of 40%.  However, it’s still very light in consistency and flavor – similar to Benchmark in a lot of ways.  I do enjoy the nice bit of vanilla that kicks in with this stuff.

There’s a good bit of caramel and vanilla on the finish, which I never complain about.


Rating & Recommendations

Evan Williams is just fine for its purpose, which is why I rate it a 79 out of 100.

This is a nice, readily-available bourbon.  Perfect for sharing with friends (especially when money is tight).




4 pings

Skip to comment form

    • Paul Williams on November 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm
    • Reply

    Why don’t you review Woodford Reserve? I find it very drinkable.
    Nice caramel color and flavor. Smooth all the way through. The
    bottle. . . if one were to review bottles as well. . . is nice and smooth
    as well; like a flask. This product appeals to all the senses.

      • Ryan on November 18, 2012 at 9:49 am
      • Reply

      I’ve actually never bought a bottle of Woodford Reserve – have only had it in bars. I’ll get around to it eventually. There’s a lot of whiskey out there!


    • Charles Shaulis on March 1, 2013 at 12:56 am
    • Reply

    After you’ve been havin’ steak for a long time
    Beans, beans taste fine
    An’ after you’ve been drinkin’ champagne and Chivas
    You’re gonna settle for Thunderbird wine

    – Shel Silverstein

    • Lee Gaudin on July 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm
    • Reply

    *I sort of consider myself a reliable judge of affordable bourbon. I agree, Woodford Reserve is by farrrr the best Kentucky bourbon I can afford to taste. Makers Mark is a close second. Jim Beam, not so good. Evan Williams, to my palate is the very best of the completely affordable bourbons. Maybe it’s because of the higher than 80 proof, I don’t know. It’s my favorite of the cheaper bourbons.

    • Eugene Lee Barinaga on September 3, 2013 at 11:47 am
    • Reply

    As a novice whiskey drinker, I rely on the Net for information on choosing wines. I also listen to friends who have more experience on anything with alcohol in it. Johnnie Walker Double Black sort of initiated me to the joys of whiskey drinking. I am also partial to Johnnie Walker Red which perplexes most of my drinking buddies; they say it tastes terrible.
    Anyway, I came across Evan Williams in a newly opened S&R here in Davao City. The price of $10 a bottle sure grabbed my attention. I tried it neat, but found it too strong. Tried it on the rocks and it went down smoothly, i daresay it tasted better than Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. A couple nights later, I wanted to make a cocktail with this whiskey. Went through what I had at the time. Here’s what I came up with:

    1 shot Evan Williams (freezer cold)
    125 mL Canada Dry Ginger ale (last to be added)
    2 pinches Grated orange peel
    Juice from half an orange
    crushed ice.

    My friends loved it. Still thinking of a name to christen it with. Hope you can try it and critique it. Thanks.

      • Michael Bourbon on August 27, 2014 at 9:07 pm
      • Reply

      Sorry for being nearly a year late, Eugene….

      How about “Evan’s Rind”? = )


    • Johnnie Hunter on December 1, 2015 at 9:16 pm
    • Reply

    My husband loves your eggnog, but the bottle we got this year is very runny. Have you changed the recipe?

    • A. Franklinson on June 14, 2019 at 2:03 pm
    • Reply

    Completely agree. This is a solid, honest bourbon with lots of corn taste, which is mostly what whiskey is made from after all.

      • Brian J Conyngham on July 18, 2019 at 8:42 pm
      • Reply

      I love the smooth taste of EW bourbon.

    • Lenorah Gibbons on October 27, 2019 at 10:08 am
    • Reply

    10 proof EW straight bourbon whiskey, for the price, is the smoothest whiskey I’ve ever experienced. One can put this EW in the fridge, and drink it straight from the bottle, it is so smooth. Thank you. It is beyond good.

    • David Badner on September 23, 2020 at 7:50 pm
    • Reply

    Evan Williams has been my go to cheap whiskey for a while. Lately, Ezra Brooks has been standing in. Also Old Grand Dad High Rye Mash and Bonded are great choices if you’re looking for good taste and low cost.

    • t.d.a. on November 19, 2020 at 6:47 pm
    • Reply

    Good to dip on. Will not light your belly or mouth on fire.

  1. […] 90.4, Van Winkle has a bit of a bite to it.  Compared to your everyday bourbon like Benchmark or Evan Williams, this bourbon is much heavier both in viscosity and flavor.  Van Winkle will taste very sweet, […]

  2. […] always open that $80 bottle of Scotch.  There are certainly inexpensive whiskeys worth drinking (Evan Williams and Benchmark come to mind), and others that should be avoided (Ten High, […]

  3. […] Evan Williams Bourbon […]

  4. […] Whiskey-reviews.com. It’s fine for its purpose, the Evan Williams Bourbon Whiskey Black Label taste slightly better than your average bourbon drinks. It has consistent flavors which makes it a really nice bourbon. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.