Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2004 Vintage

Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2004 Vintage

evan williams single barrel 2004

Evan Williams’ annual Single Barrel release is always a cause for celebration. It’s invariably a great whiskey, and it’s also incredibly affordable. While your typical vintage-dated single barrel bourbon will run you $75 or more, Evan Williams Single Barrel is currently priced at $27 a bottle. (Last year’s price: $26.) If you see this whiskey for sale — no matter what vintage it is — buy it.

Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam says he was taking a cue from the evolving national palate this year and was bottling a spirit that was “maybe a bit more assertive and bold than in years past,” choosing barrels aged high in the warehouse (where temperature fluctuates the most) for about 9 1/2 years.

Frankly, I don’t get assertive from this bourbon, though it is certainly a knockout. The nose offers plenty of wood, but it’s balanced and pretty, lightly perfumed with vanilla and cinnamon notes — a serious aroma, but a lively one. On the palate, plenty of spice — more cinnamon and cloves — is met by some orange oil, touches of licorice, ample vanilla caramel, and plenty of lumberyard on the back end.

All in all, the 2004 vintage of Evan Williams Single Barrel fits in with this long-running series’ house style, and it perhaps offers a ever-so-slightly burlier-than-usual character on the finish. Either way, it’s incredibly easy to enjoy, and well worth its embarrassingly reasonable investment.

86.6 proof. Reviewed: Barrel #1.


Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2004 Vintage




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Chad on February 10, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I agree with you: the Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage is a fine bourbon. I always try to keep a bottle on hand if I don’t drink it before I get back to the liquor store.

  2. edoconnor on February 12, 2014 at 8:19 am

    The question is:

    Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon


    Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon

    • Christopher Null on February 12, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Both are great whiskeys, but Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is going to be much tougher to find these days (and considerably more expensive if you do).

  3. MadMex on August 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    2005 a no brainer.

  4. Christopher Null on August 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Have been trying to obtain a 2005 bottling with absolutely zero success — or response at all from Heaven Hill, actually.

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