750ml · 53.9% ABV
#10 Whisky Advocate Top 20 of 2022
The Nelson Bros. Reserve Bourbon has a nose of cherry, maple syrup, sweet mint and cinnamon roll. On the palate, there are notes of caramel, allspice, cherry and hazelnut with a finish that is brings earth, cocoa, allspice and cherry cobble.
Mash Bill: Corn, Rye, Malted Barley
This is a high-rye bourbon whose high proof of 107.8 manages to not overshadow its inner beauty. It’s warm and polite on the nose, with scents of root beer, sandalwood, and baked apple. The flavors are delectable, from nutty oak and peach blossom to ginger, black cherry, and spiced tea. Notes of saddle leather come in on the mid-palate, leading up to a finish of burnt orange, vanilla, and maple.
Charlie and Andy Nelson resurrected the family company in 2009, a century after it was shuttered by Tennessee’s Prohibition laws. Initial efforts focused on a second label, Belle Meade, which scored well. This year came the first releases bearing the family name on two bourbon labels–Nelson Bros. Classic and Reserve. Both have carried on the legacy admirably. This one packs a punch but is soft and gentle at the same time, offering red berry and vanilla malt aromas and a palate of melted marshmallow, coconut shavings, and baked apple. Like all good whiskeys, it saves the best for last, with a long, creamy finish of chocolate and spice.