David Nicholson Reserve

Lux Row has a long history of sourcing whiskey, and most of their products can be easily identified as coming from the renowned Heaven Hill distillery. However, one bottle in their lineup, the David Nicholson Reserve, has left me intrigued and curious.

Bottled at 100 proof, the label claims that this bourbon uses a “high rye” mashbill to give it a spicier character. This caught my attention because Heaven Hill only has one bourbon mashbill. So, if this isn’t from Heaven Hill, then where is it sourced from? To unravel the mystery, I decided to take a sip and discover the truth. So grab a glass and let’s dive in.

Tasting Notes

Nose: The first whiff reveals a subtle peanut funk, reminiscent of several distilleries known for their distinctive peanut notes. I also detected hints of sweet cherries, warm baking spices, and a delicate floral note akin to rose petals.

Palate: On the palate, the David Nicholson Reserve presents a delightful balance of spice and sweetness. Flavors of cinnamon raisin bread, toasted pecans, and a gentle hint of banana dance on the taste buds. The mashbill’s high rye content becomes noticeable with a peppery kick that adds an extra layer of depth, grabbing your attention without overpowering the experience.

Finish: As the rye spice gradually fades away, a mild but luscious sweetness takes over. It’s like a semi-burnt brown sugar, providing an intriguing contrast. Towards the end, a hint of astringency emerges but quickly dissipates, leaving a pleasant finish.

Score: 5.9/10

Considering its price point, this bottle offers great value. I found it for just under $30, which places it in a highly competitive range. The flavor profile appears to be slightly more interesting than your typical Heaven Hill bourbon, leading me to speculate about its origin. My educated guess would be that it comes from Barton or Old Forester. The subtle banana note on the nose, similar to Brown-Forman products, and the proximity of Barton Distillery to Lux Row reinforce my belief that this might be a Barton (1792) product. Additionally, labeling it as a “high rye” bourbon matches Barton’s mashbill, which contains 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malt. In comparison, Heaven Hill’s mashbill consists of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malt, making the difference in rye content quite significant.

Final Thoughts

While the source of the whiskey is an intriguing aspect, it’s only a small part of what makes this bourbon enjoyable. Overall, the David Nicholson Reserve delivers a satisfying experience that can be enjoyed neat or mixed in a cocktail without breaking the bank. It may not win many whiskey of the year awards, but it certainly stands out as a solid and reliable choice. Now that I’ve uncovered its potential secret, I’m excited to pit it against a 1792 Bottled-in-Bond and see which one deserves your hard-earned $30. Stay tuned for the showdown.

Rating Breakdown

  • 1 | Disgusting | Drain pour
  • 2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it
  • 3 | Bad | Flawed
  • 4 | Sub-par | Many things I’d rather have
  • 5 | Good | Good, solid, ordinary
  • 6 | Very Good | Better than average
  • 7 | Great | Well above average
  • 8 | Excellent | Exceptional
  • 9 | Incredible | Extraordinary
  • 10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close

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