Skip to Content

Evan Williams vs Old Forester 86: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Evan Williams vs Old Forester 86 in this head to head 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 toJim Beam, Ezra Brooks

The nose is sweet, rich in honey, caramel, vanilla and just a touch 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 bad.

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

Adding a drop of water make it better as you get a bit more of caramel sweetness while making the finish smoother.

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

Not a bad whiskey and it won’t break the bank. The low price point makes the Evan Williams 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 bourbon to keep at hand as it has the warmth you want to make tasty cocktails on the cheap.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Evan Williams:

  • 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.
  • EW is crafted at Heaven Hills Distillery located in Bardstown, Kentucky along other brands such as Elijah Craig, Larceny, Rittenhouse Rye, Pikesville among many others.
  • 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.

Old Forester 86

old-forester-86
NoseBrown sugar, caramel, ethanol
PalateVanilla, banana, oak, spice
FinishCaramel, oak
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toBulleit Bourbon, Buffalo Trace

The nose delivers a sharp ethanol hit that quickly fades into a sweet scent of brown sugar and caramel.

On the palate, the Old Forester 86 has a decent body showing a medium texture.

Flavor is smooth and a bit musty, with hints of vanilla, banana, cinnamon and a whiff of charred oak spice providing a bitter note.

The finish is short, with caramel and oak to it with very little to no warmth.

It drinks nicely neat or rocks and the little higher than average proof (86) makes it a good option for an affordable cocktail.

Old Forester 86 is an easy drinker with nothing remarkable or off-putting, getting the job done providing good value for the money.

Way better than other budget bourbons like Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s that have odd tasting notes, but short of whiskeys like the Bulleit or the Buffalo Trace that have a more complex profile.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Old Forester 86:

  • Aged for around 4 years.
  • The mash bill is comprised of 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley.
  • This was the first bottled bourbon sold in sealed glass bottles instead of from barrels, to ensure consistent quality.
  • Old Forester has been on the market continuously since 1870, which is longer than any other bourbon.
  • Old Forester was launched in 1870 by George Garvin Brown and named for Dr. William Forrester, who prescribed bourbon to his patients.
  • Crafted at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Shively, KY.
  • This brand is owned by Brown-Forman which also holds Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve.

Evan Williams vs Old Forester 86: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPriceBottle Size
Evan Williams$181L
Old Forester 86$291L

Evan Williams vs Old Forester 86: Which is Better?

The Old Forester is a smoother bourbon than the Evan Williams

WhiskeyEvan WilliamsOld Forester 86
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Old Forester is a smoother and more gentle dram making a better sipper than the Evan Williams.
  • It has nothing remarkable but nothing off-putting making a good bourbon to enjoy neat.
  • If you are exclusively looking for a mixer to make cocktails I’d rather buy the Evan Williams as its rougher profile delivers more interesting and punchy cocktails, while saving a few dollars.

Jack Daniel's vs Old Forester 86: (Which Whiskey Wins?)

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

[…] Evan Williams, Buffalo Trace […]

Evan Williams vs Old Crow: (Which Bourbon Wins?)

Saturday 12th of November 2022

[…] Old Forester, Elijah Craig […]

Evan Williams vs Evan Williams Bottled in Bond: Which Wins?

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

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

Jim Beam vs Old Forester: Which Bourbon Wins?

Thursday 4th of August 2022

[…] the palate, the Old Forester 86 has a decent body showing a medium texture. Flavor is smooth and a bit musty, with hints of […]

Bulleit Bourbon vs Old Forester 86: Which Bourbon Wins?

Saturday 2nd of July 2022

[…] Also read: Evan Williams vs Old Forester 86: Head to Head! […]