Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey Review – Handmade Sour Mash Whiskey

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery was a pre-Prohibition historical distillery that operated under the ownership of businessman Charles Nelson and later his widow, Louisa, in Greenbrier, Robertson County, Tennessee, from 1870 to 1909.

The brand was re-launched by the Nelsons’ great-great-great grandsons in 2011 and they began operating a distillery in 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee, producing Tennessee whiskey and other spirits.

Morgans Holiday Spiced Whiskey Sour

2 oz. Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey

.75 oz cinnamon syrup

.75 oz. cranberry juice

Orange peel and fresh cranberries for garnish


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

Add ice and shake until chilled.

Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.

Garnish with orange peel and cranberries.

For the cinnamon syrup:

Combine one cup sugar, one cup water and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon.

Bring to a simmer and stir periodically. As soon as it starts boiling, take it off the heat and continue stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove excess cinnamon and refrigerate until needed.

2 oz Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey4 oz spiced apple cider.5 oz lemon juice.25 oz honey simple syrup .25 oz cinnamon syrup 2 dashes aromatic bitters2 dashes black lemon bitters

For each serving, heat spiced cider, lemon juice, honey syrup and cinnamon syrup until piping hot but not boiling. Pour 2 ounces of whiskey into a mug, add the cider mixture and bitters and stir to combine. Garnish the drink with a cinnamon stick and dried citrus.

For the spiced apple cider: simmer local apple cider with a few cloves and allspice. Let it slowly simmer for 15-30 minutes to pick up all the flavors.

Cinnamon Syrup

Jerrys Sugar Cookie Old Fashioned

2 oz Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey.5 oz vanilla spiced simple syrup 2 dashes aromatic bitters1 dash black walnut bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over one large cube or sphere. Enjoy with cookies on the side.

Vanilla Spiced Simple Syrup

3 dashes of Peychauds bitters

Orange zest, to garnish


Step 1: Build all ingredients in a rocks glass and stir together with ice for approximately 20 seconds.

Step 2: Add more ice so its compact and the glass is full.

Step 3: Garnish with orange zest and serve.

Looking for a ready to drink cocktail? Try the Slow & Low coffee old fashioned.

Inspired by the classic New Orleans after dinner drink , Coffee Old-Fashioned is made with straight rye whiskey, Intelligentsia Coffee, raw honey, demerara, angostura bitters and orange peel making it the perfect cocktail to sip by the fire throughout the holiday season.

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Nelson Brothers Is The New Tennessee Bourbon Brand From Nelsons Green Brier Distillery

Nelson Brothers Reserve Bourbon

Nelson Brothers

In 2006, Andy and Charlie Nelson learned that their great-great-great grandfather, Charles Nelson, was the founder of Tennessees largest pre-Prohibition distillery and responsible for producing Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey. The brand has a U.S. trademark dating back to 1860, making it one of the states oldest whiskey brands.

The brothers were determined to resurrect the family business. After three years of research and planning, the Nelsons relaunched that business 100 years after the original closed up shop.

Because it was prohibitively expensive for two twenty-somethings to start a distillery, the brothers began by sourcing whiskey, creating a proprietary bourbon blend and naming it Belle Meade after a label sold by Charles Nelson. Belle Meade took off, and today the brand puts out an extensive line of bourbons, including those finished in sherry, cognac, and Madeira casks.

Fast forward to 2019, and Nelsons Green Brier Distillery bottled the first batch of Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey since 1909, making it on site at their shiny new distillery. Charlie and Andy werent done.

Charlie and Andy Nelson

Nelson Brothers

The founders say the 93.3-proof bourbon works well neat, on the rocks or in a cocktail, and given its affordable price tag , you dont have to hoard it.

The Original Tennessee Whiskey


Prior to prohibition Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey was the largest selling brand of Tennessee Whiskey in the world. Records show it was sold throughout the United States and was enjoyed across Europe and in parts of Asia.

The brand started in 1860 and by 1885 the distillery was producing more than 2 Million bottles a year to keep up with demand. That demand was a result of Charles Nelsons dedication to creating a whiskey from the finest ingredients in a precise process. He charcoal mellowed his whiskey and was an early adopter of bottling his product rather than selling it by barrel or jug. This attention to detail made Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey one of the best whiskey anyone had ever tasteduntil Prohibition shuttered the distillery in 1909.

These tidbits of information were scattered like puzzle pieces across publications sitting forgotten in archives for a century. It was through many countless hours of research across years of published accounts that we were able to put together the puzzle pieces to replicate the mash bill and processes Charles used more than 100 years ago to make Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey – The Original Tennessee Whiskey.

Back in 1906 Louisa Nelson, widow of the late Charles Nelson, received the trademark for the Distillerys Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey – a product they had been producing since 1860.

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Recipes: Holiday Cocktails From Old Crow Medicine Show

Mike Harris and Ketch Secor, of the Nashville-based Americana string band Old Crow Medicine Show, offer “Sunday Morning” viewers some tips on yuletide libations.

Sazerac Cocktail

1 oz. Nelson Brothers Reserve Bourbon 1 oz. cognac Lemon peel


Chill a rocks glass by placing it in the freezer or filling it with crushed ice.

While the glass is chilling, add bourbon, demerara syrup, and both bitters to a mixing glass. Express the oils from a lemon peel into the mixing glass and drop peel into the glass. Add ice and stir.

Add two to three dashes of absinthe to your chilled rocks glass and turn to coat the inside of the glass. Shake out the excess absinthe and strain the cocktail into the seasoned, chilled rocks glass.

Nelson’s Green Brier Holiday Nog

Courtesy of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.


1 cup Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey 6 eggs 2 cups whole milk 2 dashes cardamom bitters


In a large mixing bowl beat the egg yolks until light in color and then slowly add in the 1 cup of sugar and beat until it’s dissolved. Then, mix in the milk, heavy cream, Tennessee Whiskey, cinnamon, nutmeg and bitters. Chill this mix while you move to the next step.

In a separate large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until they have soft peaks. Add the 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and beat until they have hard peaks. Next, slowly fold the chilled ingredients from step one into the egg whites and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey

Purchase Info: $29.99 for a 750 mL bottle at the Party Source, Bellevue, KY

Price per Drink : $2.00

Details: 45.5% ABV. 2 year age statement

Nose: Raisin, cinnamon, brown sugar, and mint.

Mouth: Thin mouthfeel. Gentle. Cinnamon, mint, and dried fruits.

Finish: Warm and medium length. Lingering notes of sweet cinnamon, mint, and dried fruits.

Thoughts: Not really a fan of this one. I don’t like raisins and American whiskey that has a strong, dominant dried fruit note will earn a dislike from me. Which, is odd since I dont mind the flavor when in brandy or an Irish whiskey. In American Whiskey, it just tastes very young. This whiskey is better in a rocks glass than it is in the Glencairn, but I still wouldnt be grabbing it off the shelf if there were other offerings. I didnt even really like it in a cocktail. There are good bones to this and when it has had more time in the barrel, I think it will probably be worth another look. But I cant recommend it as it sits now.

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Dsr Tn 01: Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey

Company/Distillery: Nelsons Green Brier Distillery

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Mash Bill: Corn, Wheat, Malted Barley

Age Statement: A Minimum of 2 Years

Proof/ABV: 91 Proof/45.5% ABV

Color & Viscosity: Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey is light tawny in color in the bottle. The whiskey presents chestnut to russet in color in the tasting vessel. This whiskey has a thin appearance sitting in the glass. The viscous line is sharp and slender. Legs develop as beads then slide effortlessly down to the bottom of the tasting vessel.

Purchase Price: About $30 at the Liquor Barn in Kentucky 750 ml

Bottle Label Information:

Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey

Hand Made Sour Mash

Tennessee Whiskey

Back Label

When our great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Nelson, introduced Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey to the public in 1860, he could never have imagined how popular his creation would become or that his process would set the standard by which all future Tennessee Whiskeys were judged. With our revival of Nelsons Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey, weve painstakingly recreated the family recipe: the finest ingredients, filtered through a mellowing bed of sugar maple charcoal, and aged a minimum of two years in new charred oak barrels. We believe its time the 21st century got to know the Original Tennessee Whiskey, and we hope youll agree it was worth the wait. Welcome Back!

For more of our history, visit:

The Historical Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery

431 Nelson Green Brier Straight Tennessee Whisky
Open land where distillery buildings once sat
Location Main St. W of Greenbrier Cemetery Rd., Greenbrier, Tennessee
Added to NRHP

The original Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery was located on Rocky Fork Creek in Greenbrier, Robertson County, Tennessee. It operated from 1867 until it was shut down in 1909 when Tennessee enacted state-level Prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

The distillery was acquired in 1870 by Charles Nelson, a Nashville businessman who expanded operations in the ensuing years. The whiskey produced there was sold in other parts of the United States under the label “Nelson’s Best”.

In 1885, the distillery produced 380,000 U.S. gallons of whiskey, making it the largest producer of sour mash whiskey in Robertson County during a time when whiskey production was a major industry in Tennessee and the county was one of the state’s largest producers. At that time, the annual production capacity of the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg was 23,000 U.S. gallons .

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery was a major contributor to the economy and growth of the town of Greenbrier during the late 19th century. It employed about 25 people directly and provided a market for local farmers’ corn, locally-made barrels and other local products. Its presence led to the construction of a railroad line and station in Greenbrier.

The distillery equipment was salvaged and shipped to Canada in 1923 to be used for distilling there by Seagram.

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