Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey

Maker: Nelson’s, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Distiller: Undisclosed (Dickel? Prichard’s? Somewhere else?)

Style: Wheat recipe Tennesse whiskey.

Age: NAS (not labeled straight so no minimum age)

Proof: 91 (45.5% ABV)

Michigan state minimum: $30

Thanks to Amy for giving me this bottle!

Appearance: Light copper.

Nose: Tarragon, grape soda.

Palate: Roasted corn, dried cherry, cayenne chilies.

Finish: A bit rough, then mellowing into more grape soda.

Mixed: It was fine mixed with Benedictine, but what character it had got lost. Other than that I didn’t have a chance to try it mixed.

Parting words: Nelson’s Greenbrier is the bottom shelf (ok more lower middle shelf) offering from Nelson’s distillery in Nashville Tennessee. They’re best known for their very good Belle Meade Bourbon line, one of which I thought I had reviewed at some point, but I guess I didn’t. No place to start like the bottom, though, right?

To be clear, this isn’t really the same stuff as the Belle Meade bourbons. Greenbrier is put through the famous Lincoln County Process (filtration through maple charcoal) and is made with wheat as the “flavor grain” unlike most TN whiskeys which use rye. None of the Belle Meade are made with wheat or given the LCP treatment.

Nevertheless it does sit at the lowest price point of the Nelsons’ offerings in Michigan, and it tastes like it, frankly. It’s not terrible, but it’s much closer to the level of quality of a $10 bourbon from a major distillery, than other bourbons or TN whiskeys priced in the $30s. Dickel #s 8 and 12 are both cheaper than this, as is Jack Daniels black label. Gentleman Jack is around the same price but it’s even more vile than the regular Jack Daniels, so I don’t think it’s a good comparison.

If you’re looking for a mixing Tennessee whiskey with a beautiful (it really is gorgeous) label, this is for you. Otherwise, you’re better off saving a few bucks and buying a Dickel. Nelson’s Greenbrier is mildly recommended.

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