During a time where alcohol rights were slowly creeping away, a grocer by the name of David Nicholson had something stirring in the private back room of his St. Louis general store. It was in 1843, when drunk driving first became a penalty, Nicholson begin distilling an original bourbon recipe. Unbeknownst to him, the 1843 recipe he discovered would carry on for centuries.
50 years later, Julian Van Winkle and W.L. Weller started producing 1843 for the St. Louis market. Van Winkle held onto the brand until 2000 when it was acquired by Luxco. The unchanged, unfiltered, and unmatched 1843 is still known for it’s outstanding character that earned its original popularity. It is truly amazing that an unchanged 1843 bourbon recipe could win a double gold in 2015. But, David Nicholson’s did. Today David Nicholson is known for his two bourbon recipes, the 1843 and Reserve.
The 1843 is a 90 proof exceptionally smooth ‘wheated’ bourbon. The dominate characteristics in this bourbon are wood and smoke flavors with subtle vanilla. You will get that nice warm feel all the way down with this one, but that eases up if you add water. Outstanding in a manhattan, the smoky oak notes blend extremely well in a cocktail.
This 100 proof, extra-aged and ‘ryed’ bourbon provides a full-bodied flavor and a distinct, spicy taste. The drinking experience of Reserve is extremely pleasurable. A hit of sweetness as it first hits your lips quickly turns to rye and peppery flavors as it goes down. Toffee notes linger allowing you to enjoy even minutes after you’ve taken a sip.
David Nicholson Bourbons have mainly been sold in Missouri and Illinois so there are still many ares in the US that are eagerly waiting to try. This brand has survived almost two centuries and continues to impress.