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Stranded in Idaho Part Two Whiskey #5 Evan Williams

Canadian Polar Bears Stranded Ice PhotoSo when your meetings are over in remote Idaho County and you have three hours to go until dinner and the Boise State/Oregon game, what do you do in Grangeville?  Well my first inclination is to find a bar and have a whiskey or brew.  Our project manager invited us to his favorite watering hole and we happily went off to see what the local fare had to offer.

Toto…We’re not in Kansas anymore!  We went to Brodocks, one of only two bars in Grangeville.  I already described the other one at Ernies Steakhouse, and this is the competition.  The first thing I noticed was the 70s vintage tiki chairs that were strapped together with ratan and bent wood.  Being a big man there are a few things I tend to shy away from, and one of them is ratan.  Once you exceed about 250 pounds ratan becomes a chancy building material. There were times it felt as if the chair was coming apart under me, but fortunately for me the old strapping material held up to my girth.  There was no smoking allowed but the imbedded smell of decades of tar accumulation in the carpet and nicotine stained wall paper was evident.evan Williams

Here at Brodocks I had exactly 2 choices for my bourbon selection.  Of course Beam is ubiquitous, the other was Evan Williams, a Heaven Hill product.  I was unexcited to experience this bourbon because having been into my share of liquor stores I knew it was a lower shelf selection.  Evan Williams is the second largest selling bourbon in the United States after Jim Beam, making it the Miller of Bourbons, but to my surprise it was a rather pleasing drink.  It is an 86 proof or 43% ABV bourbon that has a nice color and a small nose.

This Bourbon reminds me of Keith Moon, the drummer for The Who.  Moon was known for his crashing style and errant beats.  He seemed to be in his own world with his drum kit, while the rest of the band was off playing the song moon would be crashing around in a corner looking for the rhythm that would pull the song together.  At the end of the day it all worked as the seemingly disparate notes came together in a cacophony of sound that ultimately was very pleasing to the ears.

keith_moon_lilli_kit

Evan Williams is the same, it starts out a little bitter and even a little watery, but then regains its structure with a sweet and smoky flavor that has oranges, honey, and tobacco flavorings.  It finishes with a mild burn but the song is a pleasing one as it all comes together nicely with a warm finish that feels like a heavy blanket on a cold, snowy evening.

Neat

The best way to drink this bourbon.  It has a warmth and a mild nose that smells of orange and tobacco.

On the Rocks

This is ok, but if you like your bourbon on the rocks add one cube at a time.  Too many cubes ends up watering this bourbon down and the modest flavor notes disappear.

With a Splash

Don’t do it.  The flavor is lost with water and mixing.

This truly is the Kieth Moon of Bourbons.  It is a little all over the place, but ends up pulling it together and finishing in a good place.

-Don

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Categories: Whiskey

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