In this comparison guide of Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels, we have 2 of the most popular American whiskeys facing off. Jack Daniels, out of Tennessee, has been the largest seller of whiskey in the US for years. On the other hand, we have Evan Williams – the second largest seller of Kentucky Bourbon. When it comes to these two storied whiskeys, which should you buy?
In this guide we’re going to discuss the history, price, taste, and more of both Evan Williams and Jack Daniels to figure out which is better. If you’re not sure which to buy, just keep on reading.
Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels History
Before we get into the more tangible details such as taste and price, let’s look at how these companies reached the peak of the whiskey industry.
Evan Williams History
Evan Williams emigrated to the United States in the latter half of the 18th century and settled in modern day Louisville, Kentucky. He opened up a distillery that dons the title of Kentucky’s 1st Distiller. This is why bottles of Evan Williams will say “since 1783”, the year in which Evan Williams, the Welsh Immigrant, began distilling whiskey.
However, that is not to say Evan Williams – the brand – has been around since 1783. Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon has been around since 1957 when the Heaven Hill Company and Distillery began producing the straight bourbon.
Jack Daniels History
In 1866, the Jack Daniel Distillery was founded by Jasper “Jack” Newton Daniel. Jack, the son of a Welsh Immigrant, ran away after his father died in the civil war, essentially becoming an orphan. After a local preacher took him in, Jack Daniel learned the art of distilling from a slave named Nathan “Nearest” Green. Nearest would go on to become the master distiller of Jack Daniels, the first black man to hold such a position.
In the early 1900’s, business was booming for Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, but they quickly faced some serious hardships. Prohibition shut Jack Daniels down for 13 years. Shortly after prohibition ended, they shut down again to focus on producing more necessary materials for the 2nd world war.
Once the war was over and Jack Daniels began producing whiskey again, they quickly regained their spot at the top of the American whiskey industry. Much of this is thanks to Frank Sinatra who was introduced to Jack Daniels in 1947. While Sinatra’s love for this Tennessee whiskey grew, so too did its popularity. Big name musicians meant more popularity throughout the country and across the pond. Today, Jack Daniels is the number one producer of whiskey in the world!
Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels Similarities & Differences
While Evan Williams and Jack Daniels both have roots from Wales, these two whiskeys are separated by their differences. The most significant is that one is a Tennessee whiskey, the other a Kentucky Bourbon. However, the difference between these two is not merely geography. So, what is the difference between bourbon and Tennessee whiskey?
Bourbon vs Tennessee Whiskey
So, before we get into the differences between these two, let’s talk about their similarities. To put it plainly, Tennessee Whiskey is a subset of bourbon, so it must follow all of the laws and regulations as bourbon. Those regulations are as follows:
- Bourbon must be distilled in America
- Its mashbill must contain at least 51% corn
- It must be barreled in new charred oak.
- To be labeled “straight bourbon”, it must be aged a minimum of 2 years.
- Bourbon must not be distilled higher than 80% ABV and barreled less than 62.5% ABV
Tennessee whiskey, just as bourbon, must follow these same regulations with 2 added stipulations. First, while bourbon can be produced anywhere in the US, Tennessee whiskey must be produced in Tennessee. However, this isn’t what truly separates the two. The key difference is that Tennessee whiskey undergoes what is called the Lincoln County Process.
The Lincoln County Process requires that the whiskey is filtered through charcoal. The charcoal is intended to remove impurities in the whiskey to create a more smooth and mellow profile. While Tennessee is technically a bourbon and follows all the regulations, the US does recognize Tennessee whiskey as its own spirit.
Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels Taste
Now that we’ve discussed some of the basics, we can move into the more pertinent information. When it comes to Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels, which tastes better? What do they taste like? We’ll answer these question below.
Evan Williams Tasting Notes
Aroma: Butterscotch, dark fruit, and spice
Palate: Caramel and pepper. Dark fruit from the nose carries over. Light wood.
Finish: Medium finish with some spice. Mellows out into a nice caramel.
Jack Daniels Tasting Notes
Aroma: Primarily a balance of oak and vanilla.
Palate: Sweet vanilla and spicy oak. light notes of dried fruit.
Finish: Mild finish. The toasted oak is more prominent with the finish.
Summary of Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels Taste
There’s a reason these are two of three best selling whiskeys in the world, they are both good! But which is better? At the end of the day, this comes down to personal preference. Evan Williams has darker flavors and stronger spice to it. Jack is a bit sweeter with more of a toasty profile.
Those flavors come from the Lincoln County Process as Jack is steeped over sugar maple charcoal. If you want to figure out which is better, you simply have to try them both! Here at Barrel and Brew, we prefer Jack Daniels, especially when it comes to a whiskey coke. Check out our Jack vs Makers Mark Guide to see how our two favorites stack up against each other.
Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels Price
Taste isn’t the only factor that goes into purchasing whiskey. It’s also important to look at how much a bottle or a handle will cost you. So, how much is a handle of Jack? Evan Williams? Let’s take a look at some of the average prices below. As a note, prices can vary greatly depending upon location and individual store.
- 750ml Evan Williams: $10-15
- 750ml Jack Daniels: $18-23
- 1.75L Evan Williams: $20-28
- 1.75L Jack Daniels: $34-40
As you can see, Evan Williams is significantly cheaper than Jack. You’ll likely save anywhere from $5-15 when you go with the Kentucky bourbon over Jack. Not to mention that Evan Williams is bottled at 43% ABV (86 proof) in comparison to 40% (80 proof) that Jack is bottled at.
Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels Value
When we talk about value, we’re comparing price and taste to determine which is better to buy. Again, this is going to come down to personal preference, budget, and lifestyle. If you’re drinking a bottle once a month or every other month, the $10 doesn’t add up to a significant amount over the year for most people. If you find yourself going through a bottle more often, you may save a significant amount with Evan Williams.
The first thing you should do is decide which you like better. Let’s say you prefer EW to JD or maybe it’s close, the obvious choice would be EW for the savings. How much more do you prefer Jack? If it’s significant, you may have to spare the extra money to drink something you enjoy. From our standpoint, we have an affinity for Jack & Coke, so we typically stick with that when it comes to our mixing whiskey.
Evan Williams Varieties
Up to this point, we’ve focused on the standard Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. However, each of these whiskeys have other variations among their selection. In this guide, we’re going to focus on a couple selections from the Heaven Hill Distillery such as Evan Williams Eggnog and Evan Williams Honey, among others. If you’re interested in reading about the different Jack Daniels variations, check out our Jim Beam vs Jack comparison guide.
Evan Williams Eggnog
Evan Williams Eggnog is a seasonal, ready-to-pour cocktail that is perfect for the holidays. As a ready-to-pour cocktail, it doesn’t require any mixing or added alcohol. Simply pour and enjoy. Evan Williams Eggnog is a seasonal drink that’s meant for fall and winter months and holidays such as Christmas, as eggnog is a customary Christmas drink. Check out our Bacardi: Ready to Serve guide if you’re looking for some pre-mixed, summer cocktails.
Evan Williams Eggnog is 30 proof or 15% ABV. You can certainly add more bourbon to make a stronger drink or add some extra flavor by adding cocoa or peppermint. Whatever you decide, Evan Williams Eggnog is a delicious option for your holiday cocktail that requires minimal effort to make.
Evan Williams Spiced Cider
Evan Williams Spiced Cider is the other seasonal along with EW Eggnog. The Spiced Cider is really meant for the fall months, right as the weather begins to chill. At 17% ABV, 34 proof, it’s slightly stronger than the Eggnog seasonal, but can come off a little more watery. Some knock the spiced cider because it’s not the same as the previous Kentucky Cider sold by Evan Williams. However, add an extra shot to Spiced Cider and pour over ice or heat it up for a nice fall cocktail.
Evan Williams Honey
Evan Williams Honey is one of their five flavored whiskeys. Their Kentucky Straight Bourbon is mixed with honey liqueur and bottled at 65 proof – 32.5% ABV. This is the perfect drink for taking shots. I’m not particularly fond of ripping straight whiskey as a shot, but the added honey liqueur and lover proof helps this go down easy. A great addition for a party.
Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond
Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond, or White Label, is their 100 proof bottled in bond selection. A distiller must follow very strict regulations to label their whiskey as bottled in bond. The whiskey must be produced by a single master distiller, at one distillery, in one season, aged 4 years at a federal warehouse, and then bottled at exactly 100 proof.
All of these apply to Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond. It may also be referred to as white label since it bears a large white label in contrast to the usual black.
Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels Summary
Now that we’ve wrapped up all there is to know about Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels, let’s recap some of the more important notes. Jack is the largest seller of whiskey in the world. They were the first to create Tennessee whiskey – basically a bourbon that undergoes the Lincoln County Process. While the market for Tennessee Whiskey continues to grow, Jack has been atop the game for awhile now. Similarly, Evan Williams remains among the top whiskeys in the world every year. Currently, they are the third largest distiller of whiskey.
However, these two top the charts every year for different reasons. Jack Daniels has a unique flavor, one that is distinct. If your drink is made with Jack, you can taste it. This flavor is so well known for its pairing with coke that Jack & Coke is the one of the most popular drinks in America. On the other hand, we have Evan Williams. Its success can be tied to its ability to produce a quality whiskey at such a low cost. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more quality whiskey at a cheaper price tag.
Along with that, both of these companies have capitalized on the growing flavor varieties that whiskey has grown into. Drinks such as Evan Williams Eggnog and Evan Williams Honey have helped them break into new markets, to reach drinkers who wouldn’t normally find themselves drinking bourbon.
When it comes to buying a bottle of Jack Daniels or Evan Williams, there is no wrong choice. If you’re not sure which you would enjoy more after reading this, try both!
Evan Williams vs Jack Daniels FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions regarding Jack Daniels vs Evan Williams. Many of these are answered in the article above, as well.
Is Evan Williams Better than Jack Daniels?
This really comes down to personal preference, but there is an answer on a general and numerical scale. Jack receives more ratings and higher ratings than Evan Williams. Jack also sells more than 3x more whiskey than Evan Williams. From this, we can confidently say most people prefer Jack.
How Much Does Evan Williams Cost?
For a 750ml bottle of Evan Williams, it will cost about $15. A full 1.75L handle will run you $25. On average, this is about $10 cheaper than a bottle or handle of Jack Daniels.
Where Can I Buy Evan Williams Eggnog?
Evan Williams Eggnog is a seasonal selection. This means it’s only available certain times of the year. Evan Williams Eggnog is released around November every year, just in time for you to get a bottle for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can purchase a bottle at your local liquor store, although you are better off finding it at a larger store such as a Total Wine.