|David Nicholson 1843, $19.99/750ml|
The recipe for David Nicholson 1843 has been passed down from distiller to distiller from its creation in 1843. This whiskey even flowed through the famous Julian ”Pappy” Van Winkle in 1893 at the Stitzle Weller distillery. Like most things that pass hand to hand there are always changes from the original, and that seems to be the case with this one as well. But while tastes change the heart of the idea is always present. This version does not have a distillery of origin but we at least know that it is made in Kentucky.
There has been a bit of an uproar lately in the whiskey industry about misinformation or flat out missing information on bottles with regard to where a product is made. I can understand it to a point but I also think that there is a lot of unneeded stigma around certain brand names. Fact is, just because you don’t know where a spirit has been distilled does not mean you will not like it, and there is a lot to like about David Nicholson 1843. First off, it is bottled at 100 proof, which promotes a higher flavor and aroma potential since it is not watered down before you buy it. I have been diligently trying to find whisky/ey that is at least 100 proof or higher for a lower price than most and, at only $19.99, this bourbon meets that requirement, something that is becoming increasingly harder to find in higher proof whiskeys. (My two cents, take it or leave it.)
The characteristics of this bourbon are pretty bold on the nose. You have earthy barley tones with black tea and menthol and a slight sour mash tinge. On the tongue the earth is even bolder surrounded by light caramel and vanilla creme and the finish is woodsy with more wet earth notes and charred oak, which goes to a lingering real cinnamon note that hangs on for a good while. This whiskey has a good frontal attack with a warm center that finishes with a cooling spice. My guess is that they use a higher barley and rye content along with the corn backbone. This is a good whiskey in my book. It might not be single barrel or cask strength but it meets my requirements of a good sipper.
Also, to those that would like to sample a good amount of whiskies, there is an event called Whiskey Business MI that will be happening at the Goei Center on November 20th. They are going to have some fun things to sample and at $40-70/ticket the cost to attend is not too bad. The website will have all the information for selections of products and where to buy tickets.