Evan Williams Single Barrel 2000 Vintage (Barrel No. 1), 43.3%

Price: $26 Issue: Spring 2010 Reviewer: John Hansell

Very elegant, bright, and silky smooth, with honey-kissed summer fruits, subtle tropical fruit (papaya, coconut, pineapple), gentle caramel, sweet corn, and soothing vanilla, along with a dusting of cinnamon, nutmeg, and crisp mint. Pleasing, gently spicy finish. The most impressive aspect of this whiskey isn't its variety of flavors (they are fairly traditional for a bourbon this age), it's their integration and remarkable balance! It's also perilously drinkable. I can't speak for the other barrels, but if you can track down some bottles of Barrel No. 1, buy two! You won't be disappointed. Let me also note what a great value this whiskey is, compared to the way other premium American whiskeys are being priced.