Evan Williams Changing Bottles for 2020: 5 Things You Need to Know

Evan Williams Bottle Updates
Evan Williams Bottle Updates

Props to the Evan Williams Brand for taking some time during the pandemic to work on itself, and enter autumn with a “new me” look.

Heaven Hill is updating the packaging for the legendary Evan Williams line of bourbons and whiskeys, with some subtle but sleek new details that do one of Kentucky’s most beloved bourbons justice. The announcement came this morning, with the core line of whiskeys seeing some major and thoughtful facelifts.

Bourbon lovers fear not, however; while many of us fear change, there’s nothing to worry about with this announcement. Here’s what you need to know about the new

1. Evan Williams Bottled-In-Bond will see the most changes.

Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond takes the biggest leaps in terms of updated bottle design, which is already reflected on the brand’s website.

The iconic white bottle is getting some color, emphasizing those green accents and drawing a lot more attention to the big ‘ol 100 on the front. In addition to the cosmetic changes to the bottle and label gilding, BIB will once again feature a prominent tax strip across the capsule closure. We’ve got to say, this is a pretty update.

2.There are no changes to the liquids.

Label chances have made us wince in the past few years, especially from iconic producers like Heaven Hill, because they’ve frequently meant the dropping of age statements. Luckily, there’s no change announced for the Evan Williams line. Evan Williams Black will remain the same 86-proof liquid, at 4-5 years of age. Bottled-In-Bond remains BIB. The flavors… err.. remain flavored.

3. The new packaging embraces its curves.

The biggest changes to the Evan Williams packaging are all about curves, including more angles on the bottle’s neck, and some added shape on the label itself. Pronounced gold foil and more vivid colors make the lettering pop, but a shortened neck label and some added text give the new EW a refined look that we’re all about.

Here’s the old bottle, for context:

And the new one:

There’s a lot to love here, but what we’ll give them the most credit for is embracing the familiar look in a new and improved way. They didn’t need to start from scratch, so it’s good to see that they didn’t.

4. The new packaging (thankfully) doesn’t include any corks.

No corks for the new whiskeys, thankfully. While a lot of brands have premium-ized their closures in the last few years (we’re looking at you, Four Roses), the capsule closure will still be the way for the Evan Williams line, albeit with some improvements for comfort. After dealing with hundreds of swollen or cracked corks in the past few years, we can assure you this is the best news.

5.Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage won’t see any changes.

At least for the time being, Even Williams Single Barrel Vintage won’t be seeing any label or bottle design changes—which has to be a relief to the OCD collectors among us who like to display the uniformity year after year on our bar shelves. The changes seem to only affect the core line, including the so-called “Flavors” series of Cherry, Fire, Honey, Apple, and Peach.

G. Clay Whittaker
Clay is Editor at Large of The Bourbon Review. He has written about whiskey, food, drink, and culture for Esquire, Playboy, Men's Journal, Popular Science, Southern Living, Maxim, among others.