Belle Meade Reserve Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
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Belle Meade Reserve Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)

$199. 99
$2399.88 Dozen
ABV: 54.15%

One of Whisky Advocate's Top 20 Whiskies of 2018.

Belle Meade taste every barrel in their inventory, reserving the ones that are good enough to be a single barrel but don't maintain a high enough proof. They then batch these barrels with others to raise the overall proof and accentuate the flavours. The aim is to create a product that's greater than the sum of its parts. The Reserve is a high rye content whiskey around 7-11 years old. These are genuinely small runs of just seven barrels per batch. Alcohols may vary from batch to batch. Our tasting found a full-bodied Bourbon with lots of fleshy ripe peach and grilled corn character on top of your usual heavy vanilla, caramel fudge and sweet oak notes. Most surprising is just how little rye character comes through - also how well this balances out at high proof. The delivery packs in a lot of weight without being aggressive or hot, and while complexity isn't a strong point, lovers of buxom, corn-heavy styles should find this rich, expressive Bourbon a simple joy.

The Belle Meade brand is the work of Charles and W.A. Nelson, great-great-great-grandsons of Charles Nelson, a pre-Prohibition legend who, reportedly, made the first Tennessee whiskey in Robertson County. He was a German immigrant grocer son of a soap and candlemaker. Charlie adds, “Stories are what propagate cultures, and this is in my mind the American story,” he says. “I just love so many aspects of it. The things that he was involved with were at the core of human culture” — soap, candles, meat, coffee, whiskey — “the basic things that are also the great things.”

Other reviews... Oak, corn sweetness, and tropical fruit collide in this powerful bourbon that suggests grilled pineapple and charred corn on the cob. It handles the proof well, but be prepared for a no-holds-barred tongue lashing of licorice, bitter citrus pith, and oak, before a heaping spoonful of butterscotch pudding quells the heat. Reveals even more flavor with water—blueberry muffin, clove-studded orange, and cedar shingle. 92 points -