Written by Tatu Kaarlas
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 21:58
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 1996 is bright brown with core highlights that are nearly red in this refined decanter. The cork is protected by a black rubber seal that goes all the way down to the end of the bottles bubbled neck.
Markings on the front label clearly indicate the whiskey was put in oak in 1996 as do the handwritten notes, which add a touch of individuality, on the back label.
Around the neck is a small booklet praising the quality of Evan Williams Single Barrel and listing some awards it has won over the years. All these little details make the bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel very inviting and attractive.
I could hardly wait to finally open this bottle for review after 5 long months it had been calling my name on the shelf. But it wasn't going to be easy to get to its contents as the rip cord of the wax seal didn't work and I actually had use a knife to cut through the thick rubber and then through the odd plastic cover under it. It appears this bourbon was determined to pique my anticipation as it made me wait a little while longer - it took nigh on 10 minutes to open the bottle!
Sniffing from the bottle the nose reveals very mild aromas and one familiar but unrecognizable aroma. As I pour some whiskey in the glass and smell again the unrecognized aroma turns out to be old leather with some fruitiness and smokiness on the side. Then some vanilla and maybe licorice?
A splash of water reveals minor honey notes but does not affect the taste. A fruity entrance in the taste develops into dry oak flavours with apple alongside some bitterness that further develops into a smooth subtle aftertaste that hints of vanilla and apple, which is clearer now. Once the whiskey has been drunk the glass smells quite strongly of leather after letting it aerate for a while.
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage 1996 is like liquid velvet to the tongue and is almost as smooth to the throat with a taste akin to the flavours of autumn. The complexity and hard to notice flavours make this whiskey a very challenging one to review but does not detract from its overall enjoyment.
Country: United States, Kentucky
Aged: 10 Years
Barreled on: 19.1.1996
Barrel No: 527
Bottled on: 21.8.2006
Have you tried any of the Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbons? Tell us your favorite vintage at the forums!