Monday, June 23, 2014
Review of Belle Meade Sour Mash Whiskey Bourbon
The Four Barrels are always looking for new products to try and spirits to review. Recently, we stumbled across a unique bourbon that – surprisingly - we had not heard of before. Unlike many of these micro-distilleries popping up around the U.S., this bourbon has a story a 100 years in the making.
Nelson's Greenbrier Distillery was established on Rocky Fork Creek in 1867 and was acquired in 1870 by Charles Nelson of Nashville. Nelson's first whiskey held the title “Nelson's Best”. The distillery produced whiskey until 1909. At that time, Tennessee enacted prohibition causing the distillery to shut down.
In 2011, Nelson’s great-great-great grandchildren, Charles & Andy Nelson, decided to resurrect the family business. As of now, Belle Meade is the only product they are selling. Belle Meade Bourbon is sourced from stock bourbon produced in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, but they are currently in the process of outfitting their own distillery and rickhouse in Nashville, TN and plan to revive Charles Nelson’s recipe for Tennessee Whiskey in the coming years.
-High rye content (30% rye)
-Small batch – 4 hand-selected barrels per batch
Age: Unknown. We believe from the color and taste that this bourbon is at least a four year whiskey. Also, we know that most bourbons coming out of lawrenceburg are around 4 years old.
Distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Four Barrels Tasting Notes: (Neat)
-Nose: Maple syrup with a hint of tobacco and smoke
-Palate: strong sweet front with vanilla. Surprisingly sweet given the nose
-Middle: Smooth and sweet
-Finish: slight spice. With a 30% rye mash bill, it's not that distinctive
We would suggest you serve this bourbon neat or use for cocktails.
We look forward to what the future holds for Greenbrier Distillery. We know this is a cut-throat market but there are many bourbon sippers out there that want something other than the large corporate labels.
Good bourbon can not be cheated. If Charles & Andy Nelson keep to their vision, they very well could rise the Greenbrier name to the very top, where it once stood.
Price Point: $39.99 - 750ml
Nelson's Green Brier Distillery
Chas & W.A. Nelson, Proprietors