Review: Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch Bourbon

Review: Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch Bourbon

1783 is a relaunched expression from Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bourbon brand, and like the prior bottlings, it is clearly designed with one thing at top of mind: Affordability. It’s a step up from standard Evan Williams Black Label, with a fancier bottle and a slightly higher abv, the relaunched expression hitting 90 proof, up from the old 86 proof, bringing it in line with the abv it had when it was originally produced. (As Heaven Hill notes, it’s now the bourbon with the second highest proof in the EW family.) There’s still no age statement, however, but while its $20 price tag is about double what Black Label will run you, in today’s market you won’t find many bottles on the shelf at this price level unless you’re really dipping into the bottom shelf.

The whiskey surpasses expectations at this price level, offering a simple but pretty spirit that layers cloves, ginger, and vanilla on the agreeable nose. No surprises await on the palate, with sees gentle granary and popcorn elements balanced by clear notes of chocolate, giving the whiskey a sweetened breakfast cereal character that goes down easy. Gentle peanut and popcorn elements on the finish belie what is clearly a young spirit — though it’s mature enough to showcase an ample brown sugar character and additional, lingering spice elements.

You probably won’t be sipping this solo as a Pappy chaser, but as an easy base for just about any bourbon cocktail, 1783 is a solid go-to.

90 proof.

B+ / $20 / evanwilliams.com [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch Bourbon

$20
8.5

Rating

8.5/10

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.

5 Comments

  1. Cangey on October 17, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    If you’re looking for a nosh while drinking this, grab the Triscuits. Seriously. I had the hint of salt ones, and, the whiksey with the cracker, I can’t explain it…

  2. Clay on January 9, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    I never cared for Evan Williams but about five years ago a friend had the 1783 and kept pushing me to have a shot, loved it, been drinking it ever since both on the rocks and mixed with a coke, for me it’s the smoothest out there, different taste for everyone but I’ve had the cheapest and some very expensive and for me this is it

  3. david m roberts on April 6, 2022 at 7:25 am

    Believe the rich color, and don’t let the price fool you. While it is indeed RIDICULOUSLY good for the money, 1783 is also just a damned good bourbon period. Full flavors, exactly correct sweetness to me, hint of spice , smooth smooth smooth. I drink a finger and a half with 3 ice cubes but it’s great in an old fashioned as well.

    • Brad Wilson on May 3, 2022 at 2:54 pm

      Just drink it straight in the cup. That’s the way to go.



  4. Bob B. on February 5, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    I have just added Evan Williams Small Batch 1783 to my ‘always on hand’ bourbon in my liquor cabinet. I have found that for the price ($20.99 – $22.99 in the Kansas City area in 2023) it has the best taste/value ratio for me. I add 2 tablespoons of cold water to bring out the various flavor notes. This may sound strange, but I really enjoy sipping this bourbon after dinner while also sipping a dark roast decaf coffee. (Far fewer calories and just as enjoyable as a bowl of ice cream after dinner.)

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