Meet My New Best Friend David

I'll be clear from the beginning: I have no idea who David Nicholson was, nor what the back story is about his brand or non-existent distillery. I have no clue as to what the original "43" recipe is, nor I am interesting really in learning about it because the whiskey in both of these bottles didn't come from any sort of David Nicholson production center and it wasn't created according to any of David Nicholson's standards (but I appreciate the story). What I am interested in doing, however, is telling you all about how delicious these two whiskies taste because they're both absolutely dynamite for the dollar. Luxco's latest addition to the California market is going to be very, very popular with our customers. 

Let's start with the 1843 100 proof Wheated Edition. Just to make double sure, I put a few glasses in the hands of my assistants here at K&L and told them it was a sample from a new Weller 107 single barrel that I had just purchased. Their eyes lit up and not one of them assumed the whiskey wasn't what I said it was. In fact, they were downright stoked about the quality. Then I immediately confessed. Alas, it was not Weller 107, but rather a new 100 proof wheated Bourbon from Luxco, the folks behind Rebel Yell and Ezra Brooks. How much would it cost, they asked? A cool $26.99, I replied. 

The nose is an absolute dead ringer for Weller. If you poured it for me blind, that's what I'd say. Pencil shavings, sweet oak, and caramel. Big spice. 50% ABV booming right out of the glass. The palate has more of those three elements, but also a creaminess that's perhaps even more compelling. The finish has another flurry of oak spice, pepper, cinnamon and clove. It's basically a really great version of Old Fitzgerald BIB in a different bottle and for the price I'm backing up the truck. I'll have no problem selling every single bottle we have before the week is over.

And then I'll be backing up a few trucks after that. There's no amount of this whiskey that will satiate the current demand for delicious, high proof, wheated Bourbon right now in California right now. We have guys selling their souls for Weller Reserve, yet the Nicholson is far better.

Now let's talk about the Nicholson Reserve, a classic corn/rye mashbill Bourbon also at 100 proof. Basically, if you liked our 100 proof Faultline release from a few years back, this is like a baby version for a $12 discount. There are some great herbaceous accents, lots of pepper from the rye, and a gush of savory notes on the finish, but again the texture is the real star. The nose is brimming with toasted wood and the 50% ABV really dials up all that oak from front to back. The Nicholson Reserve at $32.99 is like the perfect middleground between the standard Elijah Craig and the Barrel Proof. 

Basically, you're gonna want at least one of each and there's plenty to go around. When I sell out of the first lot, I'll be heading back to Luxco for more. And more after that. And more after that. This is exactly the type of Bourbon I'm after right now: abundant, delicious, with no hype, and plenty of availability and no allocations.

While everyone else is duking it out for their next two bottle allocation from Sazerac and the latest retro Nintendo from Gamestop, I'll be smiling over here with Mr. Nicholson and hundreds of satisfied customers.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll