On this last Wednesday of September, I am going to Tennessee for the tastings. I have two new products to taste with the Belle Meade Mourvedre Cask Finished Bourbon and Nashville Barrel Rye.
The Belle Meade Mourvedre Cask Finish Bourbon is the latest expression of cask finished Bourbons from the Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville. It is a sourced Bourbon whiskey from Indiana that has been aged for about 8 years, and then finished in the Mourvedre wine barrels. What I like about the finished whiskeys from Nelson’s Green Brier is that the Nelson brothers seem to have a philosophy about finished whiskey similar to mine. The finish should complement the Bourbon and not cover up its flavors. They have bottled this whiskey at cask strength and this allows the Bourbon to shine with only a hint of the wine flavors adding to the whiskey. An excellent whiskey.
The Nashville Barrel Rye from the Nashville Barrel Company is a sourced rye from Indiana that is seven years old and bottled at cask strength. I am not sure if the people bottling this whiskey are planning upon distilling their own whiskey in the future or simply build the brand with sourced whiskey, but I do like what they are bottling now. It is a very good rye whiskey. If the owners of the brand keep their quality standards at this level when sourcing whiskey, they should do very well.
Due to health reasons, I am having to give up cigars in my tastings. What I will do is recommend a cigar I would try with the whiskey if I were still smoking cigars.
Belle Meade Mourvedre Cask Finished Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Caramel, almonds, dates, baking spices and oak. A dash of water enhances the caramel.
Taste: Caramel and dates with some baking spices, almonds and sweet oak wood. When tasted with a dried cranberry the baking spices become cinnamon and cardamom and much stronger in the flavor. When tasted with a pecan, more of the almond and date flavors come forward making the taste similar to Amaretto.
Finish: Starts sweet with dates and caramel but dries out with some oak tannins and baking spices. The cranberry enhanced the fruit in the finish and added a cinnamon spiciness while reducing the oak. The pecan reduced the spice notes and balanced the finish very nicely.
I would pair this whiskey with a Nat Sherman Schrader MMXIII cigar. This was a cigar designed to pair with wine and should go well with the fruitiness of the whiskey.
Nashville Barrel Rye Barrel B513
Age: 7 Years Old
Nose: Rye grass, vanilla, a little citrus and ripe pear and a hint of sweet oak.
Taste: Rye grass, vanilla, cinnamon, mint and oak. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the fruit becomes a very ripe apple and the spice is reduced. When tasted with a pecan, the tannins come forward making it more oak forward with a hint of orange zest.
Finish: Medium long with oak and mint. The dried cranberry made the finish sweeter and fruitier. The pecan made the finish longer and drier with lots of oak and spice.
I would pair this rye with a Rocky Patel Decades cigar. I think the rich earthy tobacco of the smoke would pair well with the fruitiness of this rye.
Photos courtesy of Rosemary Miller