Like most bourbons, Evan Williams Single Barrel carries the namesake of an American great. According to the Bourbon Heritage Center, Evan Williams built one of the first commercial distillery in Kentucky back in 1783 on 5th Street here in Louisville.
Williams moved to Kentucky from Virginia where he took advantage of our limestone water to produce a bourbon of superior quality. By focusing on quality and strategically positioning himself within the city, Evan Williams bourbon became a market leader. Ultimately, Evan Williams would become the standard for quality in the bourbon world.
Other sites will refer to Evan Williams as Kentucky’s first distiller, but this was disproven by bourbon historian Mike Veach.
Today, the Evan Williams Brand is owned by Heaven Hill Distilleries – an outstanding, family-owned operation based in Bardstown, Kentucky. Heaven Hill is the the second-largest holder of bourbon in the world and the largest independent family-owned and operated producer and marketer of distilled spirits in the United States.
Every single Master Distiller at Heaven Hill Distilleries has been a member of the beam family. This has no-doubt attributed to much of the success of the distillery since they got their start in 1935!
So there are several varieties of Evan Williams bourbon on the shelves today. They include:
- Evan Williams Green Label, 80 proof
- Evan Williams White Label, 100 proof
- Evan Williams Black Label, 86 proof
- Evan Williams Single Barrel, 86 proof
- Evan Williams 1783
- Evan Williams Red Label, 101 proof
- Evan Williams 23 years old, 107 proof
We will be reviewing all of these soon (because somebody’s gotta do it). But for now, this bourbon review focuses on the vintage single barrel version.
The vintage date is the date the whiskey was put into oak, along with the year it was bottled and the exact serial number of the single barrel that the Bourbon came from. (Fun Fact)