• Seth

David Nicholson Reserve Bourbon Review

A good value with plenty of character and more kick than expected.

Type: Straight Bourbon

Distillery: Not stated

Proof: 100

Age: Not stated

Retail: $39.99


Delicate and sweet, with obvious doses of honeysuckle, vanilla and caramel. There's no harshness here so I'm able to dive right into the glass. There's a bit of smoke and char on the back end followed by just a hint of bitter orange peel. Overall, it's very inviting.


The sweet vanilla and caramel notes from the nose carry over to the sip at first, but they are followed by spicy rye and charred oak that quickly become the focal point. Where the nose was delicate, the actual taste is bolder and more in-your-face. The sweetness of each sip quickly fades and makes way for earthy, leathery flavors.


For a 100-proof whiskey, this is a long finish. Leather, oak and more spice are leading the way here.


This one was a bit of a wild ride. The nose had me convinced it would be a sweet and easy sipper, then the palate was bold and really brought the spice. Even with the spice, it was never harsh or overly hot. Overall, this whiskey brings sweetness, depth of flavor, oak and plenty of bite to the table. It's hard to ask for much more at this price point in today's market. I'm not a huge fan of generic claims like "extra-aged" that don't come with actual age statements, but that complaint really disappeared once I tasted this stuff. This competes well with a lot of bottles on store shelves at higher price points, but at $35-40 it's a winner. It won't necessarily knock any favorites off your top shelf, but this is a bourbon everybody should keep on hand. Buy it to drink neat or as a fantastic mixer, you won't be disappointed either way.

This sample was provided at no cost courtesy of Cask Cartel. Thoughts and opinions are my own. https://caskcartel.com/products/david-nicholson-reserve-kentucky-straight-bourbon-whiskey?_pos=3&_sid=17e3a6018&_ss=r



Rating Scale:

This is a general guide of what I consider each score range

4.75 - 5.00: Phenomenal. Hard to imagine anything better. Acquire at any cost.

4.25 - 4.50: Excellent. I'll camp out to get a bottle if necessary.

3.75 - 4.00: Great stuff. I'll buy backups if not too expensive.

3.25 - 3.50: Good stuff. Try to keep one on the bar, but don't spend too much.

2.75 - 3.00: Not bad. I don't regret the purchase but may not buy another.

2.25 - 2.50: Sub-par. I regret the purchase. Reserved for mixed drinks.

1.75 - 2.00: Bad. I'll struggle to finish the bottle. May not want it in cocktails.

0.00 - 1.50: Drain-pour. Something seems wrong with it. Get it away