Luxco, the makers of Blood Oath, Rebel Yell, and Ezra Brooks, recently repackaged and rebranded its David Nicholson 1843 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a bourbon with which I had been previously unfamiliar. As part of that rebrand, the company is launching a new expression: David Nicholson Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
The bourbon is made with a higher-rye mashbill, is “extra aged,” and is bottled at a full 50% abv, but otherwise little production information (and no formal age statement) is offered.
Let’s taste it anyway.
There’s nice color here, but the nose is light and quite gentle, which is surprising for a 100 proof whiskey. Notes of vanilla and caramel are present as expected, alongside some notes of white pepper and a touch of forest floor. It’s not altogether aromatically thrilling from the start, but the palate ups the ante by lacing its toffee, butterscotch, and ginger spice notes with a stronger grind of black pepper, which adds some nuance while at the same time causing the whiskey to scratch a bit at the back of the throat. Otherwise the finish is relatively drying and modest, fading out with echoes of that aromatic earthiness and a bit of gumminess that clings to the roof of the mouth.