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93 points

Belle Meade 10 year old Sherry Cask Finish, 53.2%

Whoa...this sherry-finished bourbon offers an up front impression you don’t find in American whiskey: marzipan meets ground-up raw almonds sprinkled over pistachio gelato. Then caramel, nuanced cinnamon, delicate vanilla, and a slight hint of campfire smoke. It’s supremely complex, with the third layer being honey, dried apricot, dried pear, figs, and prunes over a sublime nuttiness and rich caramel. The finish lingers with salted-caramel cashew. If this is the future of barrel-finished American whiskey, let there be more. (Jack Rose Dining Saloon private selection)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

92 points

Belle Meade Cask Strength Reserve (Batch No. 5), 56.8%

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.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

92 points

Belle Meade Cask Strength Reserve (Batch No. 5), 56.8%

Swirls with the smells of a county fair—candy apples, peanuts, caramel, spiced cookies, and old barn boards, redolent with maturity and complexity. More childhood favorites appear on the palate: cinnamon Red Hots, grape soda, blackberry candy, chocolate-covered caramels, candy apple, and roasted corn, with lush oak rounding out into a peppery finish of cherry cola and roasted pecans. Given the barrel proof, this takes water well. Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery bottles the Belle Meade line of bourbons, sourced from MGP Distillery. Each batch of Cask Strength Reserve averages around 1,000 bottles; ABV varies between 55% and 60%. Number 10 in the 2018 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Belle Meade Malmsey Madeira Cask Finish, 45.2%

Cinnamon stick, baked apple, raisin, prune, and brown sugar on the nose, along with lime and a hint of rancio. The palate is refined, offering milk chocolate, almond, cherry, baked apple, cinnamon, and ginger. Water brings gentle spice, and the madeira note. The finish is gentle and flavorful, with notes of chocolate fudge, more cherry, and soft oak. Elegant and rich, with the madeira cask contributing much finesse and flavor.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

88 points

Belle Meade Sour Mash Straight, 45.2%

A blend of high-rye bourbons (30% rye) aged 6 to 8 years. A warm, welcoming nose, with pleasant dunnage warehouse earthiness, toasted oak, maple syrup, cinnamon, blackberries, grape candy, licorice, and an herbal note. A racy palate offers candied citrus, cherry, and apricot, as well as bitter chocolate, caramel, cinnamon spice, and pepper. Light and delicate on the finish, with milk chocolate, almond, orange, and more cinnamon. Delicate, smooth, sweet, and balanced.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

87 points

Belle Meade, 45.2%

This one’s calling to me; I can smell the rich nose from a foot away. Freshly-sieved cornmeal, sharp oak aromas, and spice cake in the nose. Good body, a bit warm (expected from the proof), and a mouthful of cracked corn, piecrust, sun-warmed meadow-mint, and vanilla. Finish is firm and leaner than the mouth, drawn out nicely. Belle Meade is currently sourced from MGP; Green Brier hopes to have their distillery up this year.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2013)

86 points

Belle Meade Cognac Cask, 45.2%

This blend of 6 to 8 year old bourbon is finished for 3 to 4 months in casks that aged Cognac for 12 years. There’s fruit, especially dried apricot, pear, passion fruit, grapefruit, and cherry. Then caramel, oak, leather, tobacco, vanilla, and a slight hint of cinnamon. Honestly, there’s a textural brandy-and-bourbon struggle, but beautiful vanilla and nutmeg surface, ensuring it is indeed bourbon. A muted spice comes toward the end with rich caramel. Solid sipper.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

86 points

Belle Meade 9 year old Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished, 45.2%

Buttery, nutty, and richly spiced, this has all the hallmarks of a sherry-finished whiskey—dried fruit, hazelnuts, chocolate—but retains its bourbon core with strong peanut, concord grape jelly, and roasted corn aromas. On the palate, it’s bourbon first: peanuts, cooked cherries, and plenty of oak. But the sherry softens and rounds out the mouthfeel, adding gentle spice, dried fruit, and silkiness.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)


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