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Evan Williams vs Henry McKenna: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Evan Williams vs Henry McKenna in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Evan Williams

evan-williams-black-label
NoseCaramel, vanilla, honey, ethanol
PalateHoney, spice, old leather, oak char
FinishOld leather, oak char, lingering spice
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toLarceny, Maker’s Mark

The nose is sweet, with notes of honey, caramel, vanilla and just a whiff of ethanol.

On the palate, the Evan Williams has a decent body as it has some texture. Flavor is sweet at first, with a hint of old leather although it has some oak char bitterness, but nothing too severe.

The finish has more of that old leather hint, is bitey and warm, with lingering spicy notes.

Adding a dash of water makes it better as you get a bit more of caramel sweetness while removing some of the hard edges.

Evan Williams will never win an award, this a basic offering, a little rough around the edges when compared to fine bourbons.

But not a bad whiskey and it won’t break the bank. The low price point makes it a good choice for the person that is not picky and just wants to have nightly pour without spending much.

The Evan Williams is a whiskey to keep at hand as it makes one the best bourbons to mix as it has the warmth, flavor and price to make good cocktails.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Evan Williams Black Label:

  • The mash bill is made from 78% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye.
  • Evan Williams carried an age statement of 7 years until the 90s when it was removed. Now is aged for just 4 years.
  • Evan Williams was born in the UK and emigrated to the United States towards the end of the 18th century. Williams settled in Kentucky and began distilling in 1783, in what is now Louisville.

Henry McKenna Straight Bourbon

henry-mckenna-straight-bourbon
NoseCaramel, vanilla, corn
PalateCaramel, vanilla, corn, oak spice
FinishCaramel, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBenchmark

The nose is quite light with a hint of caramel hitting first, followed by vanilla and a touch of sweet corn.

On the palate, Henry McKenna feel watery with very little body. Flavor is smooth and sweet with hints of vanilla and caramel, followed by corn and a tad of oak spice that builds up after a few sips.

There is also a subtle mineral note to it making it somewhat interesting.

The finish is short, with hints of caramel and oak spice with very little to no heat to it.

Henry McKenna is a smooth and sweet easy drinker and better than what it price suggests as it doesn’t have the nail polish notes you expect to find at this price range.

Don’t expect it to win a an award but it will get the job done when looking for an overly easy drinker.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Henry McKenna:

  • Aged at a minimum of 4 years.
  • Made from a mash comprised of 78% corn, 12% malted barley, 10% rye.

What do Evan Williams and Henry McKenna have in common?

Crafted at Heaven Hill using the same mash and same age

These bourbons are crafted at the Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown, Ky along Elijah Craig (Best), Rittenhouse Rye, Larceny, among others.

They are made using the same mash bill and aged for the same length.

What’s the difference between Evan Williams and Henry McKenna?

The difference lies in the proof

The difference between Evan Williams and Henry McKenna lies in the proof as the first is bottled at 94 proof and the latter at 80 proof.

Evan Williams vs Henry McKenna: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

BourbonPriceSize
Evan Williams$181L
Henry McKenna$181L

Evan Williams vs Henry McKenna: Which is better?

Henry McKenna is a smoother bourbon

WhiskeyEvan WilliamsHenry McKenna
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Henry McKenna is smoother as the lower proof means it has a higher water content making it lighter.
  • If I were you I would buy the Evan Williams, which is punchier and a better choice for mixed drinks, and if the mood for a sip I would add a bit of water to it.
  • By adding water you basically turn the Evan Williams into the Henry Mckenna!!!