Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Evan Williams 12 Year

Distillery:Heaven Hill
Age:12 Years
Proof:101 (50.5% ABV)
Price:JPY 2200

Evan Williams is a brand distilled and bottled by Heaven Hill that comes in many different expression (e.g., black label, green label, single barrel, 1783).

For the Japanese market (and the Heaven Hill gift shop), there is also Evan Williams red label - a 12 year age-stated expression. Aside from the color, the packaging is substantially similar to the black and green labels.

The upper label boasts that its has been "charcoal filtered." This is not the Lincoln County Process for which Jack Daniels is famous. Instead, the bottle is just advertising a fact that is true of almost all bourbon. Recently, however, it has become more common for bourbon labels to advertise the fact that they have not been filtered (i.e., non-chill filtered).

Evan Williams 12 Year has the caramelly sweetness that is some common in Heaven Hill with most of the rough edges shaved off. The hints of mint at in the finish that is common with Heaven Hill products is still present, but takes a back seat to the woody vanilla. Compared to the Elijah Craig 12 (also a Heaven Hill product) it doesn't have the same level of oakiness and spice. It's not by any means a complicated bourbon, but I did very much enjoy the bottle.

Recently, Evan Williams 12 Year has been made available for sale at the Heaven Hill gift shop. I'm not sure if this is the same bourbon that is sold in Japan, but the label looks identical. With Evan Williams 12 Year available in Japan for around $20, I'd be hesitant to pay the hundred dollars asked by Heaven Hill. I'd probably spend my money on Heaven Hill Select Stock.

Verdict: Evan Williams 12 is a very good example of Heaven Hill bourbon.

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