Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon

Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon is a yearly release by Heaven Hill Distillery, the same producers behind the much-loved Elijah Craig, Parker's Heritage, Bernheim et al.. Single barrel offerings are special because they've not had their "rough edges" or unique characteristics blended out for the sake of consistency and so every batch is a little different. Every year since 1995, the Master Distillers select an assortment of barrels from their vast warehouses in Bardstown, Kentucky to be bottled as part of the annual single barrel edition. Each bottle is then marked with the serial number of the barrel from which it's drawn along with its vintage date.

It's uncommon to see single barrel expressions of anything in the LCBO, so I leapt at the opportunity to score a couple of my own this year. My bottle, from the 2018 release, was from barrel #547 and was put in oak on April 12, 2010 for just shy of 8 years before bottling - unblended - at 43.3% ABV. 

Nose: Warm cherry Twizzlers along with crushed walnuts, buttery vanilla, with a fresh whiff of mint and talcum powder.

Palate: Rich with a smooth, butterscotch toffee sweetness. A supporting cast of fresh tobacco, bitter orange and more walnuts round out the palate.

Finish: Dry and slightly bitter, with dried fruit and cocoa tones leading into a moderately long, warming finish.

Overall: Heaven Hill Distillery's annual Evan Williams Single Barrel release is by far one of the best deals going right now at $54.55 in the LCBO. Although it's relatively young at 8 years old, the whisky is bursting with flavours of charred oak, tobacco, chewy toffee and orange zest before trailing off with a distinct cocoa note on the finish. Evan Williams' yearly single barrel releases are a treat not to be missed for any serious bourbon fan.

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