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Review: Evan Williams Honey Reserve Liqueur

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Watch out American Honey, there’s another bourbon-inspired honey liqueur on the market, and it’s gonna be breathing down your neck but quick.

Evan Williams has turned in its own rendition on the honey-flavored liqueur, this one with the promise of “extra-aged bourbon” in the mix. It can’t be much — the color of this liqueur is a delicate gold — but it sure comes across on the tongue.

The nose really just hints at honey: The initial aroma is strong with citrus and a little bit of whiskey in there, too. The palate again reveals lots of orange character, and a moderate amount of honey. And then that extra-aged whiskey kicks in — a relatively straightforward, but rich, bourbon finish that plays on the tongue until the honey comes back for a final round.

Very smooth and easygoing, Honey Reserve is a powerful competitor to Wild Turkey’s version, again not too sweet and not too syrupy and definitely worth a try as an after-dinner digestif, on the rocks of course. Which is my favorite? By golly it’s neck and neck but, in the end, I have to give the slight nod to the newcomer, Evan Williams Honey Reserve.

70 proof. Arriving on shelves this month.

A- / $15 / evanwilliams.com

evan williams honey reserve

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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41 Comments

  1. ronald blouin October 9, 2009

    how much sugar —I’m diabetic

    Reply
  2. Lar November 9, 2009

    I just picked this up earlier this evening after already having American Honey. This is hands down much better. I will definitely keep this one stocked!

    Reply
  3. MarcW November 17, 2009

    My wife bought me a mini-bottle of this new bourbon with honey and its a winner.
    Recommended for slow sipping after supper or as a drink when you don’t have to leave the hive!

    Reply
  4. chris December 7, 2009

    What stores are you finding evan willaims honey reserve in. I can’t find it around here

    Reply
  5. Mac December 19, 2009

    I came across it on the local military base. It was on 12.50 vs $20 for American Honey. I think I still favor AH, but not at the premium. Especially since I typically use it as a sweetener in hot tea/cider, not straight.

    Reply
  6. Mac December 19, 2009

    I want to add one note. I got the very last bottle of EWHR, which was right next to the AH. The AH stock was 100% full. As the reviewer said, AH better watch out.

    Reply
  7. MikeD January 16, 2010

    At my liquor store, 12.99 with a nice $10 rebate. I look forward to the first sip.

    Reply
  8. ActionJackson January 29, 2010

    Just picked some up for $16. The clerk said they had to special order it because so many people were requesting it. Yum. I am pretty fuckin excited.

    Reply
  9. ElTigre February 11, 2010

    Just bought a bottle for 9.99 and came with a 10$ rebate so thats a free bottle. I havent tried it yet but even if it taste like shit who cares? I like EW bourbon so I am sure I wont be dissapointed. Anyway a free bottle is always good, dont be jealous suckas!!!

    Reply
  10. lselie beckett February 14, 2010

    I bought all thay had, but i hope the price dont rase , so i can keep it in stock at my house. I pay 15.00 bottle

    Reply
  11. KRH April 18, 2010

    Total swill. I guess I was expecting something a little more subtle than this syrupy shit.

    Reply
  12. Jason April 30, 2010

    I’m a big fan, especially when the ABC Store has it on sale for $12.55 total, (after tax.) Gettin’ ready to have a little taste now…

    Reply
  13. Rocco May 19, 2010

    EWHR, sip for sip, runs a close second to JDAH. JDAH just seems to have a finer bourbon flavor and a better quality honey in the mix, equaling an overall better taste. However, if the palette is not THAT discriminating, You’ve got to go for EWHR because of the price.

    Reply
  14. Rocco May 19, 2010

    Correction: All above references to JDAH should be WTAH. My bad. (I am a Jack Daniels fan !)

    Reply
  15. KY Boy May 25, 2010

    Rocco’s post should be disregarded: anyone who admits to liking JD doesn’t have a fit opinion on Bourbon ;). JD has a finer bourbon flavor? That’s like saying Sand is better when you’re thirsty than water. If it had been a Jack based drink as you thought, it would have 0 bourbon flavor, it would have the flavor of Tennessee Whiskey, which as Jonathan Hodgeman has stated so elequently, is in fact charcoal filtered semen.

    Reply
  16. Uncle Jack May 30, 2010

    Bought it. Tried it “on the rocks.” LOVE it! And, the price is good.

    Reply
  17. Anonymous July 3, 2010

    KY boy, is exactly that- a boy.
    A kentucky gentleman would not be so crass. Tennessee whiskey(JD) is just fine.
    But our bootleg moonshine is even better.

    Reply
  18. updyke August 22, 2010

    we have yet to receive our rebate. it was sent SEVERAL weeks ago. what do you have to say about that?

    Reply
  19. updyke August 22, 2010

    we have not received our reward, and we sent it in SEVERAL weeks ago. what is the deal with that?

    Reply
  20. Christopher Null August 22, 2010

    updyke – You would have to take that up with Evan Williams.

    Reply
  21. Scott September 30, 2010

    Bought a bottle of Seagrams 7 last nite at a liquor store that just opened and the owner had a large container of sample bottles (airline size) He dug around and pulled up an EWHR and gave it to me free. Thought I’d won a raffle or something. He thanked me for stopping at his new store and I thanked him for the gift but I thought to myself YUCK what is this crap! I went down the road and said heck I’ll take a sip…surprised and impressed were the thoughts in my mind then. I’ve always drank Jim Beam (NEVER Jack Daniels) until Jim priced himself out of reality and I lowered my standards a notch and became a 7and 7 guy (still 37 notches above Jack) and I have never been one for Liqueurs. I may be now!

    I got on-line to look for recipes with EWHR when I found this site but really as it stands I could drink this as is.

    Note: I had a buddy with me who took a pull on it, too. As much as I liked it he hated it….That is a real plus for me though and only adds to its chances of me bcoming a dedicated customer…Why? Because my friend has a favorite drink too…My bottle of Jim Beam and My bottle Seagrams 7. (But even that no buying bum would pass on a free bottle Jack!)

    Reply
  22. Bryan October 28, 2010

    Bought a bottle today. Price was right and I wanted to try something different. Damned tasty with ginger ale. Might be a regular bottle in my collection.

    Reply
  23. Mac October 30, 2010

    It seems Seagrams has their own honey liqueur now based off of 7. I am not a fan. It’s straight swill. Stick with this, WTAH, or Drambuie.

    Reply
  24. wannatryit December 10, 2010

    What is this about a rebate? I see mention of it but no one says from where it can be found. Come on, take another sip and open up. lol.

    Reply
  25. dear December 28, 2010

    I just tried this in the little bottle. It definitely has kick. Slightly sweet, slightly herbal. I have a real sweet tooth when it comes to drinks, so I mixed it in with mango nectar and it added a nice subtle flavor that really enhanced the mango. I’ll be buying a full bottle, whatever the price.

    Reply
  26. Kel December 29, 2010

    Tried this in place of Wild Turkey’s rendition and like it very much. A great sipping experience, I highly recommend.

    Reply
  27. Terry January 11, 2011

    Saw it on the TOP SHELF of my local liquor store, Looking foe a mixer. Tried it neat. It is quite good but no where as good Drambuie. Becomes quite sickly after a couple of shots.

    Reply
  28. Anonymous January 15, 2011

    Good Stuff! A little ice…dash of ginger ale… happy times

    Reply
  29. up east gent January 15, 2011

    was recommended this from my liquor store gal.Had it neat and liked it. Nice bourbon flavors. Had it, as recommended by the gal, with an Arnold Palmer (lemonade and ice tea & make it yourself) and it became the new house drink.

    Reply
  30. loren kirk February 5, 2011

    Even williams honey with waterback or beer chaser that’s the way to go

    Reply
  31. laura March 12, 2011

    How can I get a rebate. Bought a bottle but no rebate. I still have a receipt.

    Reply
  32. Kevin March 24, 2011

    Anyone know of place in S. Calif that sells Honey Reserve? It cost a fortune to have it shipped from an online site. Thanks

    Reply
  33. nx6 June 3, 2011

    This stuff is awesome and the best bang for your buck when it comes to ‘honey whiskeys’

    Reply
  34. CAMEO September 25, 2011

    now whats all the excitement? i bet no one has actually put real honey in a few shots of whiskey or bourbon? let me tell u its very good! just mix it well…try it!

    Reply
  35. Michael Staggs June 6, 2012

    I love this stuff too much – it sneaks up on me, I don’t realize how much I drank until it is too late. I have tried several other “American Honeys”: Segrams, Wild Turkey, Jack Damiels, yours is the best.

    Reply
  36. bquillin January 9, 2013

    This is better than Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and FAR better than Southern Comfort!

    Reply
  37. E. Williams December 5, 2013

    I am looking for an online retailer that sells the Evan Williams Honey in the miniature bottles? Any thoughts?

    Reply
  38. Henry March 8, 2015

    Then don’t drink it Ronald. Sheesh…

    Reply
  39. ron March 17, 2015

    jim beam honey is better for sipping I did not try mixing either

    Reply
  40. ARUP SARKAR April 17, 2015

    I stay at Kolkata, India. Which is the cheapest way to order your Honey Reserve and what will be the price approximately ?

    Reply
  41. JJ January 11, 2016

    Drink Evan Williams straight often since Mr. Beam decided to get expensive. The EW Honey is too syrupy for my preference. It would probably be a good selection if you are entertaining females or intending on mixing. If you are like me and enjoy a straight neat bourbon with the right amount of kick, you should pass.

    Reply

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