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Jim Beam vs Evan Williams

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

When it comes to bourbon, two names stand out: Jim Beam and Evan Williams. Both of these bourbons are popular choices for many drinkers, but they have some key differences.

We will take a look at both of these bourbons and compare them head-to-head in the battle of Jim Beam vs Evan Williams.

Evan William’s Brief History

It would be hard to find someone who doesn’t know at least one of the bourbons made by either Evan Williams or Jim Beam.

In fact, these two brands are so popular that they often dominate liquor store shelves and bar menus. But what many people don’t realize is that both of these distilleries have rich histories that date back centuries.

Evan Williams was a true pioneer in the world of bourbon. He worked in numerous trades as a businessman, politician, and of course, a whiskey distiller.

evan william’s brief history

In 1783, he founded Kentucky’s first commercial distillery on the banks of the Ohio River. Williams’ bourbon was known for its high quality and unique flavor, and it quickly became one of the most famous whiskies in the United States.

Today, his namesake brand is still one of the most respected bourbons on the market.

Jim Beam Brief History

Jim Beam’s story begins in the 1700s. At that time, the U.S. government began offering incentives to move west and grow corn. Many people, including Beam, packed up their families and relocated to where Kentucky is today.

Jacob Beam, who, like others, used his father’s whiskey recipe to distill his excess corn into a new, sweeter kind of whiskey and bourbon, was born. Unlike other whiskeys, which are made with grain mixtures that include rye or wheat, bourbon must be made with at least 51% corn.

jim beam brief history

This gives it a unique flavor that has become a favorite among whiskey lovers worldwide. Today, bourbon is produced in Kentucky and across the United States, and it continues to be enjoyed by many to this day.

Jim Beam vs Evan Williams Flavor Profile

Evan Williams and Jim Beam are two bourbons that have a lot in common in terms of flavor. For example, as two bourbons that are made with a high percentage of corn, they both have a sweet and mellow taste.

In addition, both Evan Williams and Jim Beam are aged for four years in new white oak barrels, giving them a smooth and well-rounded flavor. Of course, there are also some distinct differences between these two bourbons.

Jim Beam has a lower alcohol content, at 40% compared to Evan Williams’ 43%. Jim Beam is also aged for a shorter time, typically 4 years as opposed to the 5-7 years for Evan Williams.

This can result in a slightly different flavor profile, with Jim Beam being smoother and more approachable. When it comes to price, Jim Beam is typically in the pricier range while Evan Williams is more affordable.

Jim Beam’s Original Bourbon offers tasting notes that include a slightly spicy, oaky vanilla aroma, this medium-bodied bourbon brings mellow hints of caramel, vanilla, grain, and oak flavor with a slightly sweet, toasted oak finish.

The Beam family has been making bourbon for over 200 years and continues to use the original bourbon recipe.

The Evan Williams Bourbon flavor profile offers deep vanilla and mint notes that are well balanced, and the taste is smooth with notes of oak, brown sugar, and caramel. The finish is medium to long, with a lingering sweetness.


Since Evan Williams and Jim Beam are both bourbons, they are great for similar cocktails. Some popular options are, the Kentucky Mule is a popular cocktail that combines bourbon with ginger beer and lime.

The Bourbon Sour is another classic drink that combines bourbon with lemon juice, sugar, and egg whites.


For those who enjoy a more modern twist on the classics, the Boulevardier substitutes gin for bourbon and adds in Campari and sweet vermouth.

So next time you’re in the mood for a cocktail, don’t limit yourself to gin or vodka – give bourbon a try.


Both brands offer a range of products, from entry-level to premium. However, there are some key differences between the two brands.

Jim Beam offers a wider range of flavors, including honey and cherry, while Evan Williams sticks to the traditional whiskey flavors. Finally, Jim Beam offers a higher-end option called “Small Batch,” while Evan Williams offers a less expensive “Black Label” option.

Each brand appeals to different segments of the market. For connoisseurs looking for unique flavors, Jim Beam is the better option. For those on a budget, Evan Williams is the way to go. And for those looking for a middle-of-the-road option, either brand will suffice.

Visiting the Jim Beam Distillery

For eight generations, the Mattingly family has been welcoming visitors to their home and Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. What started as a small farm two centuries ago has become a thriving business, and the Mattingly’s are proud to carry on their tradition of hospitality.

Today, the distillery offers tours, tastings, and events that showcase the craftsmanship that goes into each bottle. Visitors can see firsthand how the whiskey is made and learn about the history of the family-run business.

Whether you’re a bourbon lover or just looking for a unique experience, visiting the distillery will be worth it.

Jim Beam tours give visitors a chance to explore the rich history of bourbon whiskey.

The tour starts with a walk through the grounds of the distillery, where you can see how the whiskey is made. Then, you’ll pull up a chair with the Beam family and learn about their 200-year-old history.

Finally, you’ll join us for a day in Kentucky that’s full of tradition and flavor. Jim Beam tours are a great way to spend a day in Kentucky and learn about one of America’s most iconic beverages.

Visiting the Evan Williams Distillery

Evan Williams has a new distillery experience on whiskey row where consumers can come visit and learn all about the process of making whiskey. The tour and tasting take you back in time to meet Kentucky’s first licensed distiller, Evan Williams.

Along the way, you will visit recreations of the Louisville wharf in the late 18th Century, as well as Whiskey Row along Main Street from the 1890’s through the present.

You’ll learn how Heaven Hill’s modern Bernheim Distillery operates and discover how it is different from distilling in Evan’s era. Then, you will see a combination of the two-a state-of-the-art, modern, operating distillery utilizing traditional techniques.

At the end of the tour, you will have the opportunity to taste some of Evan Williams’ fine bourbons. This is a truly unique experience that is not to be missed for any whiskey lover.

But that’s not the only tour experience available, The Evan Williams Bourbon Experience offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and learn about the life of one of the most famous bartenders of his time called The Ideal Bartender Experience.

Tom Bullock was a Louisville native and renowned bartender who was the first black American to write and publish a cocktail book. In this 45-minute presentation, you will sit back and learn about his life, legacy, and love of spirits. You will also taste three premium whiskeys and get to enjoy one of his most famous creations.

Evan Williams describes the experience as a rare opportunity to learn about the history of cocktails and whiskey from someone who was there during the last days of Prohibition.

Don’t miss your chance to experience the Ideal Bartender Experience at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience!

Jim Beam vs Evan Williams Final Thoughts

So, which should you choose when stocking your bar? Both Jim Beam and Evan Williams bourbons are excellent choices, but they do have some key differences.

If you’re looking for a classic bourbon that will always please, go with Jim Beam. But if you want something with a little more complexity and flavor, you can’t go wrong with Evan Williams.

Whichever one you choose, make sure to drink it responsibly.

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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