If you’ve ever stumbled onto OL on a Friday night, you probably know that I am in love with beer. It’s a wonderful substance, with its bubbles and slight bitterness and ability to make even Gallagher seem funny. If the human race was even half as well-rounded as beer, the world wouldn’t be full of so many assholes.
In other words, beer is my Friday drink of choice, the chief resident of Partyville Krueger.
But alas, it’s also important to remember that variety is the spice of life. And the fact of the matter is that I want to spice up my life. So tonight, I’m not drinking beer!
Cool your jets, I’m still going to get blasted. In spite of Caffeine Powered’s concerns that I might be consuming too much fun-juice as of late, the end of the work week is still reserved for recreational socialization. But on this particular evening, I’m just switching up my substance of choice.
In place of a carbonated adult beverage, I’m lubing my throat with Evan Williams Honey Reserve.
Truth be told, I was drawn to Evan Williams Honey Reserve because of the bee flying across the front of the bottle. Just to reiterate, it was the cartoon bee on the label that made me want to try the product at hand. No, there’s no point in trying to refute the idea that I’m a bit of a man-child.
Anyways, upon further inspection I discovered that the drink is “Kentucky Liqueur made with extra-aged bourbon infused with real honey.” Turning over the glass container in my hand, I read that second self-description; “Sweet and smooth, Evan Williams Honey Reserve is perfect on its own, chilled, served over ice or mixed.” At least according to the marketing designed specifically to get my dollars, this seemed like a good choice. And as a fan of Jim Beam, I was intrigued by the notion of using sweet bourbon to coat my gut-interior. Sold.
I decided to approach the liquor from a couple of different angles, which is something I don’t usually get to do with the Friday Brew Review. Yeah, beer can be pounded out of a bottle, can, glass, funnel, or even a goddamn hat — but none of these really change the beer itself. But with Evan Williams Honey Reserve, I was given the opportunity to really switch up my methods of consumption.
The first technique I used was to pour the bourbon into a short glass filled with ice. Sucking in a fat whiff, I took note of the alcohol’s sweet odor. This stuff smells like it could be a key ingredient of the punch at the kindergarten graduation. Which is frightening, considering that the liquid is 35% alcohol. Over ice, Evan Williams Honey Reserve tasted just about as smooth as it smelled. There was a warmth in my throat and belly upon swallowing, but nowhere near the burning or stinging sensation often associated with hard liquor. No, this stuff went down just as advertised, like a mild bourbon whose notes of honey offset the typical bitterness.
My only complaint about drinking the Kentucky-export this way is that the consistency was fairly syrupy. Even when the ice started to melt, I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that I was sucking down a mouthful of cough syrup. But hey, I’m sure that there are worse mouthfuls that one could suck down.
For the second method, I drank the bourbon straight and chased it with Coca-Cola. While this strategy wasn’t prescribed by the brewery website, I figured it’d be worth a shot. And damn if I wasn’t right! For some reason, shooting Honey Reserve right from the bottle and into my belly was a lot more enjoyable than sipping it through ice; the full flavor was preserved while stripping away the syrupy texture. Additionally, pounding from my can of Coke after imbibing only enhanced the taste, making for a sort of candied drunkenness. It’s sweet — terrible fucking pun intended.
At the end of the day, I’m still an avid beer drinker. Next week, regularly scheduled brew-reviewin’ will resume. But I can’t say I didn’t enjoy tonight’s detour into the realm of elevated ABV. If you are looking for hard liquor with a softer edge, Evan Williams Honey Reserve might just do the trick.
For what it’s worth: B