Review: Evan Williams Honey Reserve Liqueur

Watch out American Honey, there’s another bourbon-inspired honey liqueur on the market, and it’s gonna be breathing down your neck but quick.

Evan Williams has turned in its own rendition on the honey-flavored liqueur, this one with the promise of “extra-aged bourbon” in the mix. It can’t be much — the color of this liqueur is a delicate gold — but it sure comes across on the tongue.

The nose really just hints at honey: The initial aroma is strong with citrus and a little bit of whiskey in there, too. The palate again reveals lots of orange character, and a moderate amount of honey. And then that extra-aged whiskey kicks in — a relatively straightforward, but rich, bourbon finish that plays on the tongue until the honey comes back for a final round.

Very smooth and easygoing, Honey Reserve is a powerful competitor to Wild Turkey’s version, again not too sweet and not too syrupy and definitely worth a try as an after-dinner digestif, on the rocks of course. Which is my favorite? By golly it’s neck and neck but, in the end, I have to give the slight nod to the newcomer, Evan Williams Honey Reserve.

70 proof. Arriving on shelves this month.

A- / $15 / evanwilliams.com

evan williams honey reserve

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39 Responses

  1. ronald blouin October 9, 2009 / 1:09 pm

    how much sugar —I’m diabetic

  2. Lar November 9, 2009 / 11:44 pm

    I just picked this up earlier this evening after already having American Honey. This is hands down much better. I will definitely keep this one stocked!

  3. MarcW November 17, 2009 / 7:08 pm

    My wife bought me a mini-bottle of this new bourbon with honey and its a winner.
    Recommended for slow sipping after supper or as a drink when you don’t have to leave the hive!

  4. chris December 7, 2009 / 2:43 pm

    What stores are you finding evan willaims honey reserve in. I can’t find it around here

  5. Mac December 19, 2009 / 5:28 pm

    I came across it on the local military base. It was on 12.50 vs $20 for American Honey. I think I still favor AH, but not at the premium. Especially since I typically use it as a sweetener in hot tea/cider, not straight.

  6. Mac December 19, 2009 / 5:32 pm

    I want to add one note. I got the very last bottle of EWHR, which was right next to the AH. The AH stock was 100% full. As the reviewer said, AH better watch out.

  7. MikeD January 16, 2010 / 10:34 am

    At my liquor store, 12.99 with a nice $10 rebate. I look forward to the first sip.

  8. ActionJackson January 29, 2010 / 12:36 pm

    Just picked some up for $16. The clerk said they had to special order it because so many people were requesting it. Yum. I am pretty fuckin excited.

  9. ElTigre February 11, 2010 / 7:11 pm

    Just bought a bottle for 9.99 and came with a 10$ rebate so thats a free bottle. I havent tried it yet but even if it taste like shit who cares? I like EW bourbon so I am sure I wont be dissapointed. Anyway a free bottle is always good, dont be jealous suckas!!!

  10. lselie beckett February 14, 2010 / 7:06 pm

    I bought all thay had, but i hope the price dont rase , so i can keep it in stock at my house. I pay 15.00 bottle

  11. KRH April 18, 2010 / 9:14 pm

    Total swill. I guess I was expecting something a little more subtle than this syrupy shit.

  12. Jason April 30, 2010 / 7:12 pm

    I’m a big fan, especially when the ABC Store has it on sale for $12.55 total, (after tax.) Gettin’ ready to have a little taste now…

  13. Rocco May 19, 2010 / 12:18 am

    EWHR, sip for sip, runs a close second to JDAH. JDAH just seems to have a finer bourbon flavor and a better quality honey in the mix, equaling an overall better taste. However, if the palette is not THAT discriminating, You’ve got to go for EWHR because of the price.

  14. Rocco May 19, 2010 / 12:23 am

    Correction: All above references to JDAH should be WTAH. My bad. (I am a Jack Daniels fan !)

  15. KY Boy May 25, 2010 / 1:05 pm

    Rocco’s post should be disregarded: anyone who admits to liking JD doesn’t have a fit opinion on Bourbon ;). JD has a finer bourbon flavor? That’s like saying Sand is better when you’re thirsty than water. If it had been a Jack based drink as you thought, it would have 0 bourbon flavor, it would have the flavor of Tennessee Whiskey, which as Jonathan Hodgeman has stated so elequently, is in fact charcoal filtered semen.

  16. Uncle Jack May 30, 2010 / 8:19 am

    Bought it. Tried it “on the rocks.” LOVE it! And, the price is good.

  17. Anonymous July 3, 2010 / 6:29 pm

    KY boy, is exactly that- a boy.
    A kentucky gentleman would not be so crass. Tennessee whiskey(JD) is just fine.
    But our bootleg moonshine is even better.

  18. updyke August 22, 2010 / 3:05 pm

    we have yet to receive our rebate. it was sent SEVERAL weeks ago. what do you have to say about that?

  19. updyke August 22, 2010 / 3:07 pm

    we have not received our reward, and we sent it in SEVERAL weeks ago. what is the deal with that?

  20. Christopher Null August 22, 2010 / 4:06 pm

    updyke – You would have to take that up with Evan Williams.

  21. Scott September 30, 2010 / 11:16 am

    Bought a bottle of Seagrams 7 last nite at a liquor store that just opened and the owner had a large container of sample bottles (airline size) He dug around and pulled up an EWHR and gave it to me free. Thought I’d won a raffle or something. He thanked me for stopping at his new store and I thanked him for the gift but I thought to myself YUCK what is this crap! I went down the road and said heck I’ll take a sip…surprised and impressed were the thoughts in my mind then. I’ve always drank Jim Beam (NEVER Jack Daniels) until Jim priced himself out of reality and I lowered my standards a notch and became a 7and 7 guy (still 37 notches above Jack) and I have never been one for Liqueurs. I may be now!

    I got on-line to look for recipes with EWHR when I found this site but really as it stands I could drink this as is.

    Note: I had a buddy with me who took a pull on it, too. As much as I liked it he hated it….That is a real plus for me though and only adds to its chances of me bcoming a dedicated customer…Why? Because my friend has a favorite drink too…My bottle of Jim Beam and My bottle Seagrams 7. (But even that no buying bum would pass on a free bottle Jack!)

  22. Bryan October 28, 2010 / 3:25 pm

    Bought a bottle today. Price was right and I wanted to try something different. Damned tasty with ginger ale. Might be a regular bottle in my collection.

  23. Mac October 30, 2010 / 5:16 pm

    It seems Seagrams has their own honey liqueur now based off of 7. I am not a fan. It’s straight swill. Stick with this, WTAH, or Drambuie.

  24. wannatryit December 10, 2010 / 7:58 pm

    What is this about a rebate? I see mention of it but no one says from where it can be found. Come on, take another sip and open up. lol.

  25. dear December 28, 2010 / 10:28 pm

    I just tried this in the little bottle. It definitely has kick. Slightly sweet, slightly herbal. I have a real sweet tooth when it comes to drinks, so I mixed it in with mango nectar and it added a nice subtle flavor that really enhanced the mango. I’ll be buying a full bottle, whatever the price.

  26. Kel December 29, 2010 / 8:30 pm

    Tried this in place of Wild Turkey’s rendition and like it very much. A great sipping experience, I highly recommend.

  27. Terry January 11, 2011 / 5:54 am

    Saw it on the TOP SHELF of my local liquor store, Looking foe a mixer. Tried it neat. It is quite good but no where as good Drambuie. Becomes quite sickly after a couple of shots.

  28. Anonymous January 15, 2011 / 3:36 pm

    Good Stuff! A little ice…dash of ginger ale… happy times

  29. up east gent January 15, 2011 / 9:23 pm

    was recommended this from my liquor store gal.Had it neat and liked it. Nice bourbon flavors. Had it, as recommended by the gal, with an Arnold Palmer (lemonade and ice tea & make it yourself) and it became the new house drink.

  30. loren kirk February 5, 2011 / 1:37 pm

    Even williams honey with waterback or beer chaser that’s the way to go

  31. laura March 12, 2011 / 2:54 pm

    How can I get a rebate. Bought a bottle but no rebate. I still have a receipt.

  32. Kevin March 24, 2011 / 7:30 pm

    Anyone know of place in S. Calif that sells Honey Reserve? It cost a fortune to have it shipped from an online site. Thanks

  33. nx6 June 3, 2011 / 12:41 pm

    This stuff is awesome and the best bang for your buck when it comes to ‘honey whiskeys’

  34. CAMEO September 25, 2011 / 12:15 pm

    now whats all the excitement? i bet no one has actually put real honey in a few shots of whiskey or bourbon? let me tell u its very good! just mix it well…try it!

  35. Michael Staggs June 6, 2012 / 7:01 pm

    I love this stuff too much – it sneaks up on me, I don’t realize how much I drank until it is too late. I have tried several other “American Honeys”: Segrams, Wild Turkey, Jack Damiels, yours is the best.

  36. bquillin January 9, 2013 / 2:33 pm

    This is better than Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and FAR better than Southern Comfort!

  37. E. Williams December 5, 2013 / 6:59 am

    I am looking for an online retailer that sells the Evan Williams Honey in the miniature bottles? Any thoughts?

  38. Henry March 8, 2015 / 7:04 pm

    Then don’t drink it Ronald. Sheesh…

  39. ron March 17, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    jim beam honey is better for sipping I did not try mixing either

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