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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997, Blahhhh!

    I purchased this last night for $32.99. For the first time tonight, I tried Evan William Single Barrel, 1997 and it was horrible.

    Now, my feelings could change on this, I know. As an example, I said Wild Turkey Tribute wasn't very good and then I turned out to love it. So, yes, my feelings could change. However, will it do a 180? Doubt it. Maybe I'll go from hating it to not minding or liking it somewhat but not the point of love.

    Okay, I'm not one of those tasting geeks that's going to break down flavor in a bourbon, i.e., the first sip rolls atop my tongue like a sparrow sauntering in the restless wind, and with a stiff swallow the flavors of orange zest on a summer's eve accompanied by tanglewood wrapped in English leather just off the shore of a Brazilian monclave in late July with a whisper of wind enchanting the silk finish...etc. No, I'm not one of those. And, you know what, bully for you if you are. I give you credit for doing so. But here, I will give my weak rendition of the flavor that ever so subtly tinkled on my tongue (that's right, tinkled not thingled): A very weak flavor did arise after the initial dull taste of stagnant water, it was that of a fresh pile of dirt being pushed in a wheel barrow gently falling as it goes, onto my tongue. What followed was a weak spattering of alcohol, followed by a total hollowness, like sucking on a piece of parchment paper and expecting great flavor to explode on my pallate.

    Dang, this stuff is just horrible. I seriously do not want to revisit it but, alas, I probably will once all other bottle are depleted. Oh well, such is life in the wallet of a modern day, blue collar every man.

    Cheers,

    The other Mark Brown
    Last edited by NickAtMartinis; 10-26-2007 at 22:25.

  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2007
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    I have long objected to the characterization of the EWSB Vintages as a solitary lot. There are just too many barrels bottled each year to achieve consistency. (I know I am in the minority on this.) And don't get me wrong; I love the EWSB Vintage project, just don't think every barrel from a given year can be lumped together as though of one inviolable profile.

    So, which 97 barrel so offends you?
    ____ ____
    Barrel_Proof

  3. #3
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    Quote Originally Posted by Barrel_Proof View Post
    I have long objected to the characterization of the EWSB Vintages as a solitary lot. There are just too many barrels bottled each year to achieve consistency. (I know I am in the minority on this.) And don't get me wrong; I love the EWSB Vintage project, just don't think every barrel from a given year can be lumped together as though of one inviolable profile.

    So, which 97 barrel so offends you?

    Good question. Barrel # 404. To be honest, I sincerely doubt that another barrel tagged to be EWSB would be so vastly different that I'd feel crook-armed to purchase it. But, that's just my feeling.

  4. #4
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    A quick note: thank goodness for my purchase of Weller Antique. Darn fine bourbon.

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    SE PA
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    Quote Originally Posted by NickAtMartinis View Post
    A quick note: thank goodness for my purchase of Weller Antique. Darn fine bourbon.
    same here. today. and am still trying to figure out what's going on with it. but i know i like it!

    i relate to your 'change' of mind regarding a bottle.

    i've hit some kind of level in my whiskey tasting that i find AMBIVALENCE asserting itself in an intriguing way...

    just last week i discovered my (thus far, and surprisingly) favorite pour: Russell's Reserve 90. i know the 101 is supposedly better. etc. but i am a WT fan and, upon my first two pours of RR90, i found a let down. i tried again and, oddly, was reminded of something that wasn't even a bourbon: APPLEJACK. the RR90 seemed thin as Applejack...

    then, third pour on (another day later) and the complexities and subtle aspects became assertive. even the thin-ness disappeared. so, i learned a lesson (now further impressed upon me by your own experience) to give a bottle a few chances. our tongues shift just as the sun and weather and earth-spin and (etc etc etc) do!

    of course, i know it gets more complex. does what we eat (even after our palates are quite cleansed) and take into our bodies ultimately affect our abilities to detect nuances? what about moods? enjoying a pour is relaxing, but darn complicated!

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 1999
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    Sweden
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    867

    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    Havenīt been keeping up lately. Is the -97 a Jim Beam product? I ignored the -96 due to the fact that it wasnīt made at HH.

    All in all, though, I regard EWSB pre 1996 as one of the best that the bourbon industry has on offer. It is certainly one of the brands I would pick if I were to challenge a non-convert. Professionality is the keyword here.

    As for complete turnarounds: my most extreme case was the Isle of Jura Superstition which I deemed as undrinkable when I opened it. After half a bottle I adored it. These things happen from time to time and I can never predict it.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  7. #7
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    There was some 1996 that went into the barrel in December, so that wasn't made at Heaven Hill, but most of it was. The fire was in November of that year.

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Rockland County, NY
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    "Okay, I'm not one of those tasting geeks that's going to break down flavor in a bourbon"

    You're right.
    Colonel Ed
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006

    Comissioned by Paul Patton, 1999

    "It ain't the booze that brings me in here, it's the solace it distills"

  9. #9
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post
    There was some 1996 that went into the barrel in December, so that wasn't made at Heaven Hill, but most of it was. The fire was in November of that year.
    I see. Well, thanks for that info. I was under the impression that all -96 bottlings were from Jim Beam.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
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    Apr 2005
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    Re: Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedmans Brorsa View Post
    I see. Well, thanks for that info. I was under the impression that all -96 bottlings were from Jim Beam.
    Here are two threads you may find of interest:

    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...fire#post89234
    http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...highlight=Evan

    Roger

 

 

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