A Honey of a Bourbon: Introducing Belle Meade Bourbon Honey Cask Finish Header

A Honey of a Bourbon: Introducing Belle Meade Bourbon Honey Cask Finish

In Bourbon News, New Brand Releases by Patrick "Pops" Garrett6 Comments

A Honey of a Bourbon

A sweet second in Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery’s 2018 Craftsman Cask Collection series

In a sweet play on the distilling industry’s legendary “honey barrels,” those elusive whiskey casks that have been aged to perfection and are almost mythological within the world of whiskey, Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville, Tennessee is about to issue a limited-release Belle Meade Bourbon Honey Cask Finish. It’s their second release of the remarkable Craftsman Cask Collection series, the first of which was an acclaimed Mourvèdre Cask-Finish, shared by owners/whiskey makers Andy and Charlie Nelson in March.

At the distillery, there’s a great buzz of anticipation surrounding the Honey Cask Finish, an industry first. Unlike so-called “honey bourbons” that are flavored with added honey, the Honey Cask Finish is aged in barrels that were previously filled with natural honey by the artisan-beekeeping-entrepreneurs at TruBee Honey in Arrington, Tennessee, about 20 miles south of Nashville. Close to 300 bottles (two barrels worth) of the cask-strength Bourbon will be released on May 12 – just in time for Mother’s Day. Belle Meade Bourbon Honey Cask Finish will be available for sale only at the distillery in Nashville. Doors open at 11am. The 750mL bottles are $120 and limited to one bottle per customer, per day.

For honey connoisseurs out there: the barrel had been filled with Summer Vintage Raw Wildflower Honey. And here’s an important lesson from the distillers, if you’re tempted to try this at home: “Honey is hygroscopic, meaning that it attracts water (as opposed to hydrophobic, which would repel water),” explains Andy. “When we got the barrel back from TruBee, the honey had dried out the wood, so the barrel leaked a decent amount when we filled it up with Bourbon. Barrels take a little while to rehydrate, but eventually the moisture swelled the wood back up enough to become a fully sealed container once again.”

It’s no surprise that this honey-of-a-method yields a sweeter pour; the Nelson brothers suggest serving it neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of water.

Distillers’ Tasting Notes:
Nose: Honey, cinnamon, cedar, caramel and floral accents
Palate: Honey glazed pastry, caramel, orange, and cinnamon.
Finish: Long and pleasant showing honey, cashew, and baking spices.

About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.


  1. Avatar

    Why do you even tell us about these Bourbons that 99.9% of us from out of state will never even get a sniff of them. It’s like the commentators telling us that Tiger is hitting a 7 iron 190 yards.

    1. Patrick Author

      Great question, Bob! It’s because we want to try and let folks know what the distilleries are up to these days. Some folks are well within driving distance of the distillery and would like to know about these releases and if they should consider investing in a bottle. Not every post is going to popular with every reader, but we do our best to share what we hear and expect our readers to decide if its of value to them or not.

    2. Avatar

      I would also add to Pops comment, in terms of bourbon innovation this is very cutting edge. To my knowledge no other distiller has ever done anything like this, definitely worth a write up at least.

  2. Avatar

    Will you be reviewing this? I am curious to see how this tastes, very unique

  3. Avatar

    I was lucky enough to be there on the day that this came out. Being a Dewars drinker I don’t know a damn thing about Bourbon, but I saw a HUGE line at the distillery and asked what the heck was going on. I figured if that many people were standing in that line then maybe I should too. So I did stand in that line and bought a bottle (cask strength) for like $120. Short story? It was incredible! I drank it! I want more! If there is anybody out there who wants to send me a bottle I will pay $300. They set the bar pretty high!
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