Good quality bourbon whiskey is rarely available in India so when I had the opportunity to get my hands on a bottle of Evan William’s Single Barrel bourbon whiskey I could not let it go. When my aunt was flying in from Toronto, Canada and she offered to bring me a few bottles of whiskey one of my chosen whiskies was the Evan William’s Single Barrel.
So, what is single barrel whiskey? Single barrel whisky is a premium category of whiskey in which each bottle originates from an individual barrel, instead of whiskies from various barrels being blended to achieve uniformity of colour and taste. The whiskey from each ageing barrel is bottled separately. Usually each bottle comes with a distinct tag or label mentioning the barrel number and in most cases the dates for the commencing and conclusion of ageing. Since no single barrel can be the same it is thought that each barrel contributes some distinct characteristics to the final whiskey hence rendering the bottled content of each barrel as unique.
Evan Williams, a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, is distilled at the Heaven Hill distillery in Louisville, Kentucky but bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky by the same company. Evan Williams is one of the largest selling brands of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskies recognised as one of the world’s best selling whiskey brands.
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon, a multiple Whiskey of the Year award winner is bottled after select barrels meet their high standards and sealed with a black wax dip. As is the usual norm, the bourbon is vintage dated i.e. each bottle is bears the date it was put into oak barrels, the year it was bottled and the exact serial number of the single barrel that the bourbon was bottled from.
According to the tag the bottle I had went in oak in 2009 and was bottled in 2017. Here is my take on it.
Colour: Bright golden amber.
Nose: Burnt or charred oak with abundance of caramel.
Body: A rich full bodied whiskey.
Palate: Spicy with hints of fruity citrus notes. Luxuriously sweet.
Finish: Warming oaky finish lingers on.
Pairing: I enjoyed paring my Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon with a quality 70% dark chocolate. The chocolate seemed to enhance the sweetness and richness of the whiskey