Bourbons- Bulleit and Evan Williams Single Barrel 1991
by Staff

Here we have two bourbons, one little known, the other very well known to the whiskey cognoscenti. Bulleit Bourbon, "frontier whiskey" as they bill it, is an old product reborn. Purportedly the first batch of it was whipped up in 1830, but over the years the brand has moved from one company to another and one distillery to another. Since 1997 Bulleit has been a Seagram brand and it is made at their Lawrenceburg, Kentucky distillery. The packaging for Bulleit is quite attractive; no bulbous perfume bottle here, Bulleit comes in a thick, flask or medicine like clear bottle

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with raised lettering and an old looking, saw-edged, orange band label slapped across the lower quarter of the bottle. It looks very 1880s. The bourbon itself is dark copper colored. It is oaky on the nose and medium bodied. In the mouth one tastes a little spice, apple, and orange peel. There's a touch of heat on the close, but for 90 proof it is quite soft. Well done, and an attractive choice for those looking for an alternative to super-potent bourbons (Think Knob Creek, for example) and super vanilla-ed bourbons (think Maker's Mark). (Rating ***1/2)

Evan Williams bourbons come in variety of prices and qualities. Those who have heard of Evan Williams are most likely familiar with their value brands, Evan William black and green. However, among bourbon lovers, Evan Williams Single Barrel bourbons have attained an almost iconic status in recent years. We crowed over the 1989, and the 1990 won a number of prizes.

And so we come to the 1991, which is pictured above. It is not a bourbon for the weak kneed. The 1991 booms- it has a huge bouquet and flavor that actually made our eyes pop open and heads recoil slightly. In a rare instance, our tasters actually felt obliged to cut it with a couple ounce of water, despite it being a relatively modest 86.6 proof. Once we softened it, though, we fell for the 1991. It is robust and tasted of honey, apple, cinnamon, mint and barrel. Very impressive, once again. (Rating ****1/4)

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