When Tennessee’s state level enactment of Prohibition shuttered Nelson’s Greenbrier Distillery (along with all the other distilleries in the Volunteer State), it was the biggest producer in the state. Since reviving the family distillery, Andy and Charlie Nelson began working to producing an in-house Tennessee Whiskey using the original family recipe. Now they have announced that the initial release of that in-house recipe will come on July 4th, 2017.
Two years ago, Nelson’s Greenbrier laid down 108 30-gallon barrels with their then-new distilling equipment. These were made with the Greenbrier wheated Tennessee Whiskey mash bill, which stands apart from the high corn, rye mash bills used at Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel. The whiskey from these 108 barrels will be called “First 108” (Nelson’s has been closed for 108 years), and divided into two 375ml lots: a Green Label blend bottled at 90 proof, and a single barrel, cask strength Gold Label.
All subsequent production runs were laid down in standard 53-gallon barrels, and the distillery has indicated no intention of making a future production run using the 30-gallon barrels. That makes this initial release a one-of-a-kind limited edition. If all goes according to plan, the next Tennessee Whiskey release from Nelson’s Greenbrier won’t come until 2019, when the initial 53-gallon stock reaches four years old.
Charlie Nelson, the namesake of the man who put Tennessee Whiskey on the map, states, “We are so excited to have re-created the signature spirit of my great, great, great grandfather, Charles Nelson’s, original Green Brier Distillery. After a gap of 108 years, whiskey historians and connoisseurs will be able to savor what was once the first bottled whiskey in the state of Tennessee.”