- DISTILLER: Bottled by Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery and distilled in Lawrenceburg, IN (read: MGP)
- MASH BILL: 64% Corn | 30% Rye | 6% Malted Barley
- AGE: Minimum of 9 years
- YEAR: 2017 | Barrel 2067
- PROOF: 108.7 (54.35% ABV)
- MSRP: $74.99
- BUY ONLINE
NOSE: Fruit forward with a noticeable scent of apple | Soft buttery toffee | Hint of oak coming in at the end
TASTE: Dark fruit | Vanilla | Baking spices (hint of cinnamon) | Touch of cherry
FINISH: The mouth has an initial soft coating that gives way to a peppery spice with lovely notes of cherry and caramel. The finish is long and complex with a solid Kentucky Hug. After a splash of water, a smooth butterscotch appears with a light astringent coating that lingers until the next sip.
SHARE WITH: Anyone looking for a very solid pour. When drinking with experienced bourbon imbibers, enjoying an initial pour neat is the way to go; however, due to the higher proof, you may want to add a rock or a splash of water when sharing with a more inexperienced consumer of brown water.
WORTH THE PRICE: I struggle suggesting anything over the $50 mark because everyone’s wallets are different. That being said, if the MSRP of $74.99 doesn’t scare you off for a barrel proof, then I HIGHLY recommend this product.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This is a bottle I will aways try to have open on my bar and juice that will be shared with guests who enjoy a quality product. If higher proof or second tier prices make you hesitant, then look for a pour at your local watering hole (distribution map). Either way, give it a try. I know we all have different palates and profile ranges, but I think you will find it a superb dram.
OVERALL: My first experience tasting Belle Meade was a few years ago at an event in Louisville. The featured guest speaker at the event was Charlie Nelson, great x 3 grandson of Belle Meade founder Charles Nelson. A few weeks later, I took their single barrel product – at the time it was proofed down to 90.4 – to a blind tasting in which it was the clear winner of the night; favored by five of the seven tasters.
Over the years as my tastes buds have acclimated to higher proof whiskeys, I was excited to see the Belle Meade Single Barrel being released at cask strength. I do not feel much flavor was lost as a result of the increased proof, but I will say that the flavor profile morphs quite nicely as a cube of ice melts slowly changing the notes and dropping the proof.
Besides the small batch and single barrel offerings, Green Brier Distillery has a line up of barrel finished products that, in my opinion, is worth checking out. I like what the Nelson brothers are doing to honor their family heritage.
Belle Meade Bourbon Single Barrel is selected through a tasting process in which a team of staff members scrutinizes samples from a group of barrels age 9 or more years in search of barrels with a superior flavor profile worthy of being bottled as a Single Barrel. To pass muster the barrel must show the characteristics that are the hallmarks of a superior well-aged Bourbon; balance, depth, and complexity. The few barrels that make the grade are then set aside to be bottled at true cask strength – high proof with ample maturation.
We do not cut our Single Barrel Bourbon to proof, and it’s never chill filtered. It is bottled just as it was sampled in the approval process and that means the proof of every bottling is different. That’s why every single bottle has the barrel number, proof, and the barrel’s original fill date written on the front label.
POINTS OF DIFFERENCE
- High-rye content
- Never cut to proof and bottled at true Cask Strength
- Comes from one exceptionally flavorful barrel
- A minimum 9 years of aging
- Never chill-filtered to retain maximum flavor
Every barrel of whiskey is different, an adventure all its own. That’s the beauty of a single barrel whiskey.