Evan Williams is the bourbon world’s Prince of the Paupers, a lower-shelf liquor whose base product easily bests the Maker’s and Blanton’s and whose higher-end creations make Pappy Van Winkle seem as delicious as the sweat that pools on the benches of your local dry sauna. The happy, affordable medium is Evan Williams’ single-barrel offerings, and the venerable Hi-Time Wine Cellars buys a barrel every year, then has it bottled with special labels denoting the distinction. This is Evan Williams at its finest—hotter and sweeter and smoother than the competition. Hi-Time and Evan Williams is the best superstar alliance since Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-8463; www.hitimewine.net.
Readers’ Choice: Bulleit