I don’t know about you Whiskey Women, but I love a good resurrection.
It’s always so sweet and heart warming to get word that something you once loved and held dear has decided to resurface and grace the world with its presence once more. Whether it be your favorite band, that incredibly delicious snack food, or the most perfect shade of lipgloss that for some unbeknownst reason was discontinued. What is not to love about our favorite things coming back into our life?
That’s why we at The Whiskey Women love the Nelson brothers. These guys decided to resurrect something we all hold very near and dear to our hearts- our beloved whiskey. We caught up with Andy Nelson from Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery to find out more about their operation and how they feel about whiskey. Grab your Belle Meade Bourbon and read on, ladies.
First things first, how did you get into drinking whiskey?
While I was in college I was more of a beer drinker, definitely just the standard guy looking to get drunk and thought beer was the best way to do that. However, when I left my college days behind me I got really into Scotch and started drinking that. About a year after college I discovered the history of my family and the original Green Brier Distillery. After hearing the stories of my family’s history and whiskey, my brother and I decided to bring it back and started doing market research. Ever since, we’ve been drinking all of the bourbon and American whiskey we can get our hands on- it’s really helped us develop our pallets.
What is your pallets favorite whiskey to drink Neat then?
(I wouldn’t let him choose Belle Meade Bourbon)
Oh that’s a tough one for me to answer. I’m not the kind of person that buys the same thing twice. My whiskey journey will not stop until I have tried all of the whiskey and bourbon out there.
Well, what if you were stranded on a desert island? A Green Fairy pops up and grants you three bottles of whiskey. Which do you choose?
I’ve only had like two sips of my coffee! You can’t ask me that hard of a question right now, my brain is still half asleep!
Oh, take all the time you need, whiskey is serious business. Throw the typical ‘stranded on a desert island’ scenario in there and things get intense. Ponder it- I’ll wait.
*Couple of minutes later, he finally has kind of an answer*
I would definitely pick one for the everyday, a weird and somewhat abnormal concoction, as well as one for special occasions. My everyday would be Belle Meade Bourbon. For my exotic pick I would choose Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. It’s an all malt American whiskey and VERY drinkable. For special occasions I would have to choose the over 100 year old original Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey that is in my great grandfather’s house.
Let’s talk more about Green Brier. In one word or phrase, describe Belle Meade Bourbon.
“My proudest moment.”
How have you guys gone about resurrecting Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery.
Our great grandfather owned the original Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. After hearing stories, we wanted to bring the family business back. At first, we really wanted to raise a bunch of money to build a distillery, use the original family recipe, have it mature for several years and then start selling Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey. That was going to be it, however, it definitely didn’t work out that way. It was incredibly difficult for us to get backing, and we didn’t want our first whiskey to be an unaged product, so we decided to source our whiskey from Indiana. And even though we do source our whiskey, it still falls in line with our history.
How does sourced whiskey play into the history of Green Brier?
If you look on our bottle you’ll see it says ‘SW&CO’, that stands for Sperry Wade and Company. Back in the day, SW&Co. was a Belle Meade distillery that distilled bourbon. They would distill it and send it to Green Brier for bottling. Belle Meade’s original label is the one on our Sour Mash Bourbon, we just cleaned it up a bit.
You guys aren’t planning on sourcing your whiskey forever. What are the plans to start distilling yourself?
That will be my second proudest moment. Once we get our still up and running, we will work on refining the Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey recipe. We’ll start putting it into barrels, letting that mature and finally bring back Tennessee whiskey to Green Brier. The Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey will be our flagship and signature brand.
Wow. It sounds like you guys have a lot in store for the future. What’s next for Belle Meade Bourbon and Green Brier?
We’ve expanded pretty rapidly over the past 14 months that our Belle Meade Bourbon has been out and available. We are currently in 12 states and we may open one more this year. We are very focused on growing the brand until we can get Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey- that’s our next big step. We are in the process of getting the distillery set up and under construction so we can finally start distilling whiskey ourselves.
Why should women drink whiskey?
Why shouldn’t they? It’s a fantastic spirit with a lot of depth, a lot of history, and a lot of romance to it. It shouldn’t be seen as an evil thing that makes men fight and go crazy because it’s not, at all. There’s so much more history to it than that. Plus, a woman who drinks whiskey has an automatic cool check mark next to her- there is something to be said for that. Whiskey is nothing to be afraid of.
Keep doing what you’re doing and spread the love! Go out there and preach the gospel of whiskey- the world needs to know how awesome it is!
We’ll do, Andy!
Ladies, DRINK MORE WHISKEY!