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Evan Williams Honey Reserve

Evan Williams Honey Reserve


  • Sinus clearing, lavender and honey
  • Sweet and citrus, vaporous
  • Spicy, lingering sweetness

A wonderful benefit of running a site dedicated to booze is that I’m very easy to shop for. For Christmas, my favorite sister-in-law gifted a bottle of Evan Williams Honey Reserve to me, with the expressed hope that I hadn’t tried it before. I certainly had not.

A bottle of Evan Williams Honey Reserve

A bottle of Evan Williams Honey Reserve. Image courtesy of Heaven Hill Distilleries

Honey Reserve is a Kentucky bourbon liqueur made with real honey. It’s high in alcohol for a liqueur (70-proof), and a snootful in a snifter will clear the sinuses, helpful in the winter. The liqueur is a bit more yellow, straw in the vernacular, than the average bourbon and significantly more viscous. The honey is apparent in both the scent and the taste, but the bourbon is significantly subsumed, reduced to adding interesting esters on the nose. Beyond the sweet flavor, it’s fairly spicy, which, according to the Evan Williams website, means the “Extra aged Bourbon [sic] is evident.” I don’t pretend to be a bourbon drinker, but I’m guessing that the extra-aged bourbon in the Honey Reserve isn’t as smooth as, let’s say, extra-aged bourbon.

But this is no knock on the Honey Reserve. It’s spiciness is a nice complement to the sweetness. A smoother bourbon would just disappear. And it makes a nice, simple cocktail with some ice and a spritz of seltzer. For those of us who like Irish Mist or Drambuie, the Evan Williams Honey Reserve works in the same vein.


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