We remain fans of the whiskeys coming out of Nashville’s Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. In 2018, Drinkhacker took a look at several of their finished bourbons, among others, but by the end of the year they had already released yet another expression in their portfolio, Cask Strength Reserve. A blend of bourbons aged between 7 and 11 years, this release gives Nelson’s Green Brier a chance to show off some of their older sourced stock. Each release is a blend of truly small batches of only seven barrels each, and mileage will likely vary somewhat from batch to batch. So how does it compare to the standard Belle Meade Bourbon? Let’s find out!
The nose on this bourbon is rich with brown sugar sweetness and savory barrel notes. The wood is well-integrated here. It’s not sharp or overly oak-forward but warm and earthy with sweet maple, which complements more classic notes of baking spice and old leather. On the palate, the cask strength hits with plenty of heat but quickly turns to a gentle warmth. The heat manages to not overpower an initial burst of cinnamon stick, orange marmalade, and butterscotch, which are a bit syrupy and cling to the palate. The barrel adds a brief meatiness and also a slightly woody bite going into a long finish that fades to a dusting of cocoa powder, chewy caramels, and York peppermints. There’s a lot of great, classic bourbon flavor packed into this bottle. Seek this one out.
114.5 proof. Reviewed: Batch No. 12, bottle 868.