Bourbon Reviews

Evan Williams 1998



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Having tried other vintages of the Evan Williams bourbon line from Heaven Hill, I decided to try the 13th vintage, released in 1998. The Evan Williams line of whisky has won a number of awards over the years. The bottle I bought was marked with the precise date it was bottled. The liquid is a deep amber color consistent with over a decade of aging.

The aromas which I initially detected when I first opened the bottle evolved so much over the course of the next few minutes that I actually had to just sit back and enjoy for a while after I poured the bourbon and before I tasted it. The aroma started out with notes of oak and leather and hints of exotic fruit—probably pineapple. As I waited I started to detect marshmallow, honey, wheat, and more complex fruit layers.

Upon sipping this bourbon I was rewarded with every bit as much complexity and subtlety as I had experienced aromatically. At the start I tasted mostly leather and oily, toasted wheat. The flavor morphs into honeyed fruit—but not pineapple as I had originally thought, perhaps pear—and then there is a taste of nuts at the finish. The honey also remains on the palate until the very end.

Ever since 1990, the Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage bourbons have been winning awards from magazines like The Spirit Journal and Malt Advocate, and it’s easy to see why. I have tried other vintages of this bourbon and enjoyed them very much—the 1998 was no exception, and is indeed perhaps one of the finest of the bunch. It tastes great mixed with other drinks but is exceptional on its own and doesn’t really require anything else to enjoy. Not only is this bourbon a joy to taste, but it’s a joy even to smell, and the resulting experience is top notch.

Another great thing about the Evan Williams 1998 is its price—this delicious bourbon only costs about $25.00-$35.00. While it’s true this isn’t cheap, it’s also not as high a price as you might be willing to pay for this bourbon once you’ve tasted it. In light of this I think that not only is this a great bourbon, but it’s also an excellent value.

Color: Amber.

Nose: Oak, leather, pineapple, marshmallow, honeyed wheat.

Taste: Leather, Toasted wheat, honey, pear, nuts.

About Ryan

My name is Ryan, and I joined Martin to share my passion about bourbon. I live in America, but enjoy traveling as much as possible, especially to visit bourbon distilleries (of course!). Not only do I enjoy bourbon, but I also love whisky, wine and premium cigars.

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Chan

    December 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

    Keep an eye out for the 2001 vintage of this bottle! Heard a lot of reviews, both from friends and online, that it’s one of the best single barrel bourbons you can buy!.

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