Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond (White Label)

If we had a dollar for every time someone has asked “what’s the best cheap bourbon there is?” we’d likely have enough quid stacked up to buy an entire case of today’s reviewed product, if only we could find it. Hey, speaking of things we hear all the time in the bourbon world: Evan Williams Bottled in Bond is described by the brand as both “bold” and “smooth”. Moving on…

Morbi vitae purus dictum, ultrices tellus in, gravida lectus.


John H.




January 13, 2020

It’s wild how much history and value exists under the Evan Williams brand. From Fred Minnick’s touted “baseline bourbon” in Evan Black Label, to the elusive Evan Williams Red Label, there’s something in this lineup for nearly every budget and palate. In reference to today’s product–Evan Williams Bottled in Bond–we see what the marketing team has to say on the Evan Williams website:

One vision. One distillery. One season. Our bold, smooth, 100 proof Kentucky Bourbon is aged four years before it’s ready for you to enjoy. Look for the white label.

Fairly standard ad copy, but true nevertheless. Having snagged a bottle of this in Boston (since it’s not available in Maine) we’re excited to finally have a shot at this. Let’s twist the top and have a pour…

Tasting Notes…

Nose – Buttery brown sugar, vanilla, and toasted caramel up front. Straightforward in a good way. Hits a lot of classic bourbon notes with some underlying sweetness that’s nice.

Taste – The first thing that jumps out is the lack of ethanol in this product. There’s a good mouthfeel but it’s not harsh at all. Tastes like creamy caramel with perhaps a slight back of nut brittle. Light touches of vanilla and brown sugar are mixing in.

Finish – Longer than expected. There’s good character here for not only the price, but also the proof. The oak doesn’t really make an appearance until the finish, but it’s fashionably late. Caramel and brown sugar move away to provide a balanced finish with a very little bit of fruit that balances with the oak, although it’s a very mild and hard to describe fruit. Incognito fruit? Incognito fruit.

Bourbon Finder Grade: B

Final thoughts…

Without having ready access to this bottle, it’s hard to say how frequently we’d buy it if we could; however, for the price it’s very good. It checks off most of the boxes you’d look for in a bourbon–let alone a budget bourbon–without bringing along an unwelcome negative notes. Most surprising to us was the lack of ethanol heat that’s often responsible for budget juice missing out on being called (the dreaded) “smooth”. This one would totally be the house bourbon in the decanter at The Bourbon Finder HQ if only it were available in Maine.

This bottle is available now at Keg N Bottle

Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is. Our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible, and as such we decided early on that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us. We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day. Pour a bit and enjoy, these are the good old days of whiskey!

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