David Nicholson

David Nicholson Reserve Bourbon Review

A new expression under the David Nicholson banner, David Nicholson Reserve carries a traditional corn-rye-barley mash bill compared to the standard wheated David Nicholson 1843.  Luxco has owned the brand since 2000.  This new variant hit shelves this past summer for a suggest price of $34.99 – $39.99.  I’m not too familiar with the David Nicholson brand.  Writer Chuck Cowdery has a great article giving a bit of brand history.

There’s a sweet and spicy nose here, dominated by brown sugar, cinnamon, and buttered corn with undertones of toasted rye bread and black cherry.  Taste-wise, sweet brown sugar, sharp rye grain and sugared orange peel are followed by spicy cinnamon bark.  Then, maraschino cherries emerge mid-palate.  Some oak tannins and barrel char finish things off, alongside a medium-length semi-sweet finish.

Why one David Nicholson expression carries a wheated mashbill and the other a rye-based mashbill is beyond me.  It would be like if WL Weller Special Reserve being a wheater and their 12-year being a rye-based bourbon (that’s not the case).  It makes no sense.  And before you ask – yes, Luxco has sourced this whiskey.  It’s a pretty open secret, and at this point doesn’t really matter.  Regardless, I like what’s going on here, especially for the price. It’s a great sipping bourbon with some complexity and just enough flavor and depth to keep you coming back. In other words, I could drink this all day.


Thanks to Luxco for the sample.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

A New David Nicholson Expression

Photo courtesy of Luxco.

Photo courtesy of Luxco.

Luxco is giving their David Nicholson lineup some love.  They’ve updated the packaging to something a bit more upscale.  More importantly, a new expression is being launched.  David Nicholson Reserve is a 100 proof bourbon distilled from a rye mash bill, compared to the wheated mash bill of David Nicholson 1843.  The rye in the David Nicholson Reserve will give it a bit of spiciness.  Suggested retail price is about $35 – $40, where the 1843 should run about $30-$35.  I should have some tasting notes soon enough.  In the meantime, I’ve included the full press release below.

(St. Louis) June 27, 2016 – Luxco announced the brand refresh of David Nicholson 1843® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and the launch of David Nicholson Reserve® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The brand, dating back to 1843 and part of Luxco’s portfolio of whiskeys since 2000, will continue to provide 100 proof ultra-premium bourbon, in an updated sleek, upscale package for both of the variants.

“The 100-proof bourbon category continues to explode with an impressive 24 percent growth rate*,” says Fletcher Buchman, brand manager at Luxco. “We continue to add products to our portfolio that fulfill the demand for craft bourbons with fuller flavor and connect current and future consumers that celebrate authentic bourbons.”David Nicholson Reserve is a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that offers a rye mash bill for a spicy, warm finish and will be available in 750ml in July. This bourbon, bottled at 100 proof, is extra aged for a more robust flavor and a full-bodied long finish. Suggested retail price per bottle is $34.99-$39.99. The suggested retail price per bottle for the David Nicholson 1843 is $29.99-$34.99.

“David Nicholson 1843 is still made according to the original recipe and offers a smooth, wheated Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with hints of vanilla and oak. For David Nicholson Reserve, with the rye mash bill, we achieved a more complex, toasted rich flavor and a spicier bourbon,” says Buchman.

The brand’s packaging refresh includes a sleeker, contemporary bottle and a cleaner label design. With the addition of a natural cork and embossing on the shoulder of the bottle, the packaging now reflects the award-winning bourbon inside. David Nicholson 1843 recently earned a double gold award in 2015 and a gold award in 2016 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

For more information about David Nicholson 1843 and David Nicholson Reserve, please visit http://www.davidnicholsonwhiskey.com

*Source: NABCA 9L R12 through March, 2016