Nelson Brothers Bourbon Review

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Have you heard of Nelson's Green Brier Distillery? If you have been into bourbon for a while, you probably are familiar with their Belle Meade line of bourbons, the bourbons that originally put them on the map. They have recently rebranded their flagship whiskey line as Nelson Brothers Whiskey and have released two inaugural bourbons in the new Nelson Bros Whiskey line; Nelson Bros. Classic Bourbon and Nelson Bros. Reserve Bourbon. Learn more about them in our review!

Nelson Bros. Classic Bourbon
Nelson Bros. Reserve Bourbon
Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery
93.3 proof / 107.8 proof
MSRP: $36.99 / $59.99

Please enjoy our Nelson Brothers Bourbon Review!

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

Have you heard of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery? If you have been into bourbon for a while, you probably are familiar with their Belle Meade line of bourbons, the bourbons that originally put them on the map. In fact, some of the Belle Meade special releases have a cult-like following and were very difficult to come by. Belle Meade bourbons are sourced from MGP (Ross & Squibb) in Lawrenceburg, IN. But, times they are a changing, as they say. Rebranding is going on, and there are new flagship whiskeys now under the Nelson Brothers Whiskey (or “Nelson Bros. Whiskey” as it says on the bottle label) brand.

A New Line of Bourbons

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery announced in June that they would be releasing two inaugural bourbons in the new Nelson Bros Whiskey line; Nelson Brothers Classic Bourbon and Nelson Brothers Reserve Bourbon. For all the Belle Meade fans out there, you might notice some similarities in the naming. That’s because the Belle Meade line also had Classic and Reserve bourbons. Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery also has another namesake whiskey, Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey, which will be the subject of another review.

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery has provided few specifics about the new Nelson Bros. bourbons, with the bottle labels saying only that they are “Bottled By Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Nashville, TN”. The brand has since clarified that these bourbons are indeed sourced whiskeys — including stock from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana.

So what are these new Nelson Brothers Bourbons like? Let’s taste them!

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Tasting Notes – Nelson Brothers Classic Bourbon
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Nelson Bros. Classic Bourbon
A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys
93.3 Proof

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Dark cherry, caramel, butter, oak; moderate alcohol for the proof
👉Taste: Caramel, honey sweetness, some rye spices, oak, cherry
👉Finish: Sweetness lingers with a black peppery spice building, joined by some barrel char later on; fairly long with a moderate burn; some sweetness and cherry candy also hang on to the end

Nelson Bros. Classic Bourbon has the “classic” (no pun intended) bourbon flavors, with quite a bit of sweetness, which continues on through the finish. It drinks a bit above its proof, and that may be due to its somewhat spicy nature, presumably due to the high rye mash bill(s).

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Tasting Notes – Nelson Brothers Reserve Bourbon
Nelson Bros. Reserve Bourbon
A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys
107.8 Proof

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Sweet caramel with some creme brûlée character and vanilla; apples, dark plums, honey sweetness, hint of milk chocolate, some oak in the back; noticeable alcohol
👉Taste: Caramel, brown sugar sweetness, oak, with a little bit of a light citrusy tang
👉Finish: Fairly spicy and long with a moderate burn. The other flavors linger on a bit, too. Some char and dry oak become noticeable later on.

The Nelson Brothers Reserve Bourbon is noticeably different from the Nelson Brothers Classic Bourbon. There are still the characteristic bourbon flavors, but they are bit more rich. The nose takes on some lighter fruit and more confectionary notes. These flavors continue into the taste, although become a bit less rich. There is again some spice in the long finish.

Summary – Classic vs. Reserve – Similar, But Different

These are both enjoyable bourbons. While they have similarities, they are also quite different. They both have typical bourbon flavors, but in different ways, and they both have some spiciness, particularly in the finish. The Nelson Bros. Reserve Bourbon has fuller and richer flavors, but the Nelseon Bros. Classic Bouron is quite pleasant as well. It is not clear from the information provided if the differences are accounted for simply by the proof and the barrel selection, or other factors. Since these bourbons are both blends of bourbons from different states and distilleries, and probably different ages as well, varying proportions of each may be used in each the Classic and Reserve. Regardless, the differences in flavor profile are such that one or the other would probably suit most people’s tastes.

Have you tried the new Nelson Brothers bourbons? What did you think? If you would like to learn more about the distillery, check out our Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery Review! Or read about one of their special releases under the Belle Meade label in our Belle Meade Black Belle Bourbon Review.

We hope you have enjoyed our Nelson Brothers Bourbon Review!

Thank you so much to Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery for providing the bottles for this review!

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