Evan Williams Green vs Black: Which Tastes Better?

Evan Williams is a well-known bourbon manufacturer that has established a long-lasting reputation in the industry. Evan Williams produces a wide array of different premium whiskey and bourbon selection all varying in terms of their taste, flavor, and brewing process which makes them such a unique company.

If you’re a serious bourbon or whiskey drinker, you can appreciate all of the time and effort that Evan Williams put into their whiskey brewing practices to bring you a delightful selection of premium options. One thing that the company is known for is its unique blend of whiskeys that come in various different brewing formulas and ages. If you’re a true bourbon fanatic, chances are you’ve probably heard about the two varieties that we’re going to be focusing on in this guide.

Two of the most popular Evan Williams bourbon selections currently out on the market right now are Evan Williams Green Label & Black Label. Both of these select bourbon varieties are made with a similar blend that’s unique to the Evan Williams brand however they do vary in certain areas such as the amount of alcohol content contained in the bottle.

evan wiliams

The brand itself has a very rich history spanning back hundreds of years which lends to the nostalgia and loyalty bred by the name being slapped on the bottle. Every bourbon or whiskey drinker knows that taste is everything and when it comes to Evan Williams Green and Black label whiskey, they don’t hold back.

There are several different factors that you’ll want to consider before selecting which bourbon option is right for your particular taste preferences. To assist you, we’re going to provide a comprehensive review of every aspect involved with whiskey tasting and selecting which will allow you to make an educated decision about which option will best suit you.

For those who may be curious about picking up a bottle of EW green or black label but want to know more about the main difference between the two, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to go over the similarities and differences between EW black and green label whiskey so that you can decide if either of them is the right choice for your needs.

To begin, let’s look at a brief history of Evan Williams as a company so that you can see why so many people love the brand.

Evan Williams: Brief History of The Company

Evan Williams was born in Dale, Pembrokeshire and migrated to the United States around the end of the 18th century. Bringing his Welsh heritage to the US, Williams decided to settle in Kentucky which is where he began distilling his bourbon and whiskey options in 1783.

The area in which Williams was originally producing his bourbon varieties is now Louisville, Kentucky. Since William’s distillery was the first commercial distillery in Kentucky, the state decided to add a landmark point where the distillery once stood so that people who pass by can get a quick glimpse of the history in their local area.

Williams went on to become the first wharf master in the entire state of Kentucky in 1797 which further extends his impact on the area by large. These closely-held historical are pretty evident in the labeling and bottling of many Evan Williams whiskey selections where you’ll noticeably see the words “Since 1783” and “Kentucky’s First Distillery” on shelved bottles of their product. While the company has been consolidated today, they still hold close the roots of the brand and its inherent value through each bottle of whiskey that they produce.

Now that you know a little bit more about the overall history of Evan Williams whiskey selections and the brand as a whole, let’s look at the process by which many Evan Williams whiskey and bourbon selections are made.

How Evan Williams Whiskey Is Made

evan wiliams bourbon

Evan Williams whiskey selections are made through a comprehensive process of distillation, aging, and charring. The unique brewing process by which EW distills and refines their whiskey selections is truly incredible. Every barrel is hand made out a white oak on location at the EW distilleries.

The barrels are then charred using a state-of-the-art oven which ensures a fine and smooth crisp across the entire surface area of the barrel. Once the barrels have been properly charred, the distillation process begins. The wheat, barley, grains, and rye are mixed together using a specialized method only used in the production of EW whiskey varieties.

The for each EW whiskey selection is vastly different from the next which is what adds a unique sense of flavor and personality to each. Once the distillation process is complete, the bourbon is then placed into the barrels which were previously charred in order to age properly acquiring that signature taste that many know and love from EW. The amount of time that a particular bourbon or whiskey selection is left to sit all depends on the type and unique configuration of liquids that go into any bottle of EW whiskey or bourbon.

The aging process allows the bourbon to soak and take on the characteristics of the particular charred barrel that it’s placed into. After the entire process of barrel charring, distillation, and fermenting is complete. The produced mixture will then go into those hand-crafted barrels in order to age properly which brings out all of the flavors included in the mix before it was placed into separate bottles.

The total amount of time that an EW whiskey variety will age all depend on the type of selection being made and what requirements it has to meet before it can be legally classified and sold as an EW whiskey on store shelves. The aging process in addition to all of the other variables in the production process mentioned above takes place exclusively at the distilleries.

This ensures that the quality of the whiskey and all the ingredients that go into it are premium and top-shelf. Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how Evan Williams Black and Green Label are created, it’s time to look at the main differences and similarities between the Green and Black label in addition to the overall taste profile and what you should expect when picking up wither bottle.

Evan Williams Green Label Vs. Black Label: What’s the difference?

To understand the difference between Evan Williams Black and Green label, you must first understand the basics of how all whiskey manufacturing takes place at the EW distilleries. EW is a brand that puts a focus on producing high-quality straight Kentucky whiskey varieties than span a wide range of taste spectrums and flavor profiles.

All of the bourbon and whiskey options that you find in the EW arsenal are crafted with passion, care, and attention to ensure that you receive nothing but the best in whiskey and bourbon. Before making your selection on whether the Green label or Black label is the right drink selection for you, let’s take a look at some of the important taste notes and other key factors that will allow you to determine which EW bourbon selection is right for you.

Evan Williams Green Label

Evan Williams Green Label is distilled and bottled at 80 proof which makes it a very strong whiskey selection. The Green label is aged for a bare minimum of at least 4yrs before it is bottled and put on the market for resale. This allows all of the flavors and tastes to seep into the whiskey mixture in order to bring out the true flavor and depth of each ingredient. The alcohol by volume content for the Green label is 40% which may not sound like a lot compared to other whiskey options out there however it does pack a punch.

The Green Label contains a mash bill of 51% corn and it is left to age in brand new handmade oak charred barrels which add a nice smooth finishing tone to the overall mixture. Green label is more on the sweet side when compared to other whiskey options which makes it great for mixing and making cocktails and other drinks that use whiskey as the main alcoholic addition.

Evan Williams Black Label

Evan Williams Black Label, on the other hand, is left to age for a period of anywhere between 4yrs and 7yrs which really brings out the underlying notes of ingredients combined during the mash bill. The mash bill of this whiskey contains at least 51% corn and is also aged inside of handmade charred oak barrels that are produced on location at the EW distilleries. The Black label is labeled as 86 proof and contains alcohol by volume content of about 43% which is a little more than the Green label.

The Black label has more of a tart overall taste but is filled with notes of saltiness, sweetness, spice, and herbs which provide a nice balance to the whiskey overall.

Now, we’re going to take a more in-depth look at both the EW Green label and Black label so that you can make the final decision on which selection is best suited for your preferences.

Black Label Vs. Green Label: Which one is better?

evan williams flavors

We’ve covered the basics of what you need to know in terms of the main production and distillation differences between both the Black label and the Green label. Now we’re going to give you a more in-depth take on what you should expect when picking up either variety.

While both of these whiskey selections are made using similar distillation and aging requirements, they do vary in some distinctive areas which makes their overall taste and flavor drastically different from one another. Make sure that you pay attention to this following section so that you can be sure about the main differences between both the Green and Black label EW whiskey selections.

Evan Williams Black Label

The Black label is packed with very pronounced hints of green apple, cherries, and vanilla. This blend of unique ingredients adds a very pleasant taste to the final whiskey product and are balanced very well within the mix itself. Let’s breakdown each portion of the Black label’s taste below for you to get a clearer picture of what to expect when drinking any of these selections.

Palate: the palate on the Black label is very smooth however that same smoothness is counteracted with a medium body that adds nice depth to the whiskey. The mix has a nice warmth to it due to the main ingredients which we’ll cover later. The overall flavor profile of the Black label consists of oak hints that are combined with a pleasant sweetness and a spice to top it all off.

Nose: the nose of the Black label is filled with notes of oak and cherries with a nice splash of vanilla to add that extra smoothness that everyone loves. Once the bourbon has had time to breathe and release all of those subtle notes, you can easily pick up on hints of green apple that is offset by a slight mineral taste reminiscent of chardonnay. The alcohol is very pronounced due to it being a 43% ABV rated bourbon.

Finish: the finish of the bourbon is filled with hints of bread and has notes of cherry which adds a sweetness to the overall mix. The oak that the bourbon is aged in comes through well with all of the other notes and ingredients that the mix is filled with.

Evan Williams Green Label

The Green label is filled with sweetness and has very subtle hints of smoke and citrus throughout. The Green label also consists of a unique blend of ingredients that add body and flavor to the entire mixture. Let’s take a more in-depth look at the Green label to see exactly what goes into making it such a robust bourbon.

Palate: the Green label has a smooth palate that is offset with hints of sweetness coming from ingredients like clove. The mix has a very rich undertone and is filled with lots of robust flavors which add a nice balance to the dominant flavor in the bourbon. The overall flavor profile of the Green label consists of sweet notes that are outlined and pronounced with the smooth and rich undertones that you get throughout the entire variety.

Nose: the nose on the Green label is very pleasant and has a hint of citrus which adds kind of a mineral taste to the overall blend. The Green label is packed with subtle yet powerful notes of various dry herbs and smoke which add some nice body and texture to the mixture.

The blend also contains notes of clove and a rich golden like the wood amber scent and subtly encompass the overall mix. The Green label is a medium body selection that packs a powerful combination of tastes and flavors that are sure to satisfy the palate.

Finish: the Green label has a nice and buttery finish that is topped off with the natural oak flavor derived from the barrels that it’s aged in. This adds a nice smooth and woody taste to the bourbon overall and gives it a fully matured bourbon taste that even the pickiest of whiskey drinkers would love.

Now you know more about the main ingredients and taste that you should expect when drinking an EW bourbon selection. While most people know what ingredients come in their favorite bourbon selection, they do not know what is required to go into virtually all whiskey selections before they are placed on the market.

Main Ingredients in The Whiskey: A First-Hand Look

evan bottle

In this section, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important ingredients that come in any bourbon or whiskey selection on shelves. For bourbon and whiskey to legally be sold, the mash bill must contain a very specific amount of certain ingredients.

These ingredients go into virtually every bourbon and whiskey selection on the market currently. Make sure that you read this entire section in full so that you understand what to look for the next time you go shopping for a whiskey or bourbon selection.

Wheat

Wheat is a very important ingredient in bourbon and whiskey because it plays a major role in the fermentation process of the mash bill which ultimately produced the alcohol we consume. Without wheat, no bourbon whiskey is complete so it’s important that you understand and know the wheat content and type of any variety that you choose.

Some bourbon distillers even go as far as using wheat as the secondary ingredient in their overall bourbon mash so that it gives the resulting bottle of bourbon a more spicy and floral taste. Bourbon whiskey selections that use whiskey as the primary secondary ingredient also tend to have more of a nutty and delicate hint on the tongue.

Corn

Corn is the most important ingredient when it comes to analyzing the overall quality and taste of a particular bourbon selection. Corn is such an important ingredient of bourbon because in the United States, for any bourbon to be legally sold it must contain at least 51% corn in the initial mash bill.

Corn also adds a very pleasant sweet taste to the overall flavor profile of the end bourbon whiskey option that you decide to drink. By paying attention to the corn contents of your selected bourbon whiskey option.

Rye

Rye is another important ingredient in any bourbon selection. Rye usually makes up about 10% of any bourbon variety and it adds the essential flavors needed for any bourbon whiskey variety to pop. The rye used in any particular bourbon whiskey mix is typically harvested from local area farms and other sources near the distillery facility.

Depending on the type of bourbon whiskey selection that you buy, each rye type will add a different flavor to the drink overall. Some bourbon whiskey producers even up the percentage of rye that is in any particular bourbon whiskey by increasing the base percentage from 10% to about 3050%.

Now that you know about the essential ingredients that must be in any bourbon on the market, let’s take a look at how these various drinks are labeled and sold to you.

Understanding the Different Whiskey Labels

whisky glass

Every bourbon selection on the market will come with a label indicating the cask strength of that particular drink. This is an important factor to keep in mind because it will allow you to determine the overall potency of the selection.

Evan Williams primarily makes Kentucky Straight cask strength bourbon options however there are a lot more varieties out there. In the following section, we’re going to take a look at all of the various cask strengths that exist on the market today and what you should expect when you see a bourbon labeled with one.

Straight Bourbon Whiskey

This is the most common cask strength label that you will see when buying Evan Williams. For a whiskey product to qualify as straight bourbon whiskey, it must be stored in new charred oak barrels for at least two years or more and EW does just that. Straight bourbon whiskey can contain two or more mixtures of straight bourbon whiskey varieties which can add to the overall flavor profile and taste of the whiskey.

All of the whiskey varieties used in the production of straight bourbon whiskey must be distilled and produced by distillers that are located in the same state. Once a whiskey goes through all of these processes, it can be legally considered a straight bourbon whiskey.

Single Barrels

Single Barrel cask strength refers to the distillation process used in a particular bottle of whiskey. Single bottle bourbon selectins are distilled in one barrel which adds a bold and unique flavor special to the specific type of barrel used in the fermentation and production process of the whiskey in question.

The size of the wood chunks in the barrels used during the creation process of a particular whiskey variety, the conditions in which the barrels are stored, and a lot of other factors will impact the overall flavor profile of your selected bourbon whiskey option.

There are various types of barrels used in the production of bourbon whiskey all varying in size and material. Evan Williams uses new charred white oak barrels for most of their selections.

The varying materials used in the process of making bourbon whiskey will have an impact on the final flavor and taste profile of your selected bourbon whiskey option. That’s why it’s so important for you to pay attention to these elements before making a decision on which bourbon whiskey variety is best for you.

Now that you understand the differences between the primary cask strengths out on the market, it’s time to look at the main differences between Evan Williams Black and Green label.

What’s the difference between Evan Williams Green and Black?

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Evan Williams Black and Green label are made using similar mash bills however the main ingredients differ quite drastically. Below, we’re going to list the main differences between both labels so that you can understand which one is right for your desired tastes.

Black Label

  • More of a tart taste with hints of sweetness

  • Vanilla and Cherry add a nice texture and roundness to the blend

  • Medium body with a strong alcohol content

Green Label

  • Smooth & Buttery taste lined with undertones of sweet citrus

  • More aromatic than Black label with cloves and spice for an extra kick to the smooth blend

  • Nice round taste

Evan Williams: Questions & Answers

enjoying evan whiskey

Many people have some questions about Evan Williams and want to know more about the liquor they’re drinking before they buy it. In the following section, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions so that you can gain more insight into the brand before taking your first sip.

Q: Does Evan Williams still own the distilleries?

A: around 1934, Heaven Hill brand took over the entire Evan Williams distillery operation and still proudly produces the bourbon today.

Q: What are some other Evan Williams selections besides the Green and Black label?

A: Evan Williams offers a lot of different bourbon options besides the Green and Black label including 100 proof and boned, 1783 Original Blend, Evan Williams Smooth, and more.

Q: Where can I purchase some Evan Williams Bourbon?

A: Evan Williams bourbon is available in many different licensed liquor stores around the United States and worldwide.

Conclusion

Now that you know more about the Evan Williams brand and the core differences between the Black and Green label, you will be able to choose the right selection for any occasion. Use all of the information we included in this guide to help you locate the perfect EW bourbon variety that your taste buds and palate desire.

We’ve given you all of the key data that you need to make a wise and educated decision about particular ingredients and factors to look for when selecting which Evan Williams bottle will be yours for the night.

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Ben Holt

Ben has years of experience with wine, whiskey, and scotch. After becoming a wine sommelier, he decided to focus his attention on the dark southern gold we call whiskey. Now a seasoned vet in the whiskey game, he regularly provides Whiskey Watch with the latest whiskey info and his personal opinion on the best whiskeys in the world.
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