The man is Andy Nelson, founder of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. The bourbon is Belle Meade and you’re invited to come sample it and meet Andy (he’ll even sign your bottle).
Read on to soak up some of the history behind the delicious liquid!
Andy Nelson was barely of legal drinking age when he and his younger brother Charlie embarked on their life’s mission to revive their historic family distilling business. Andy claims the role of Head Distiller, devoting his energy to the creation of classic spirits worthy of the family legacy, including Belle Meade Bourbon and Belle Meade Bourbon Sherry Cask Finish.
Andy said they re-opened Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery because it was “almost as if we didn’t have a choice.” When they were in Greenbrier, TN (their dad hauled them up there to buy a cow’s worth of meat), they discovered the special history of the distillery, their family’s special history. It was an opportunity they didn’t want to pass up. “Pre-prohibition our family had some sort of whiskey operation that we didn’t know about (we didn’t know if it was a moonshine still or what). Because of all the history and research that we did, we were able to find out what the products were that he produced back in the day,” Andy explained.
“Charles Nelson, our great, great, great grandfather, who ran the distillery, and his father John Phillip, who is our quadruple great grandfather, came over from Germany in the early 1800s. So that’s how that happened and the Green Brier is from the town where the distillery is,” Andy said. But the name of the bourbon, Belle Meade, comes from the upper-class neighborhood in Nashville and Charles Nelson’s brand of bourbon that he produced back in the day. The tradition is exactly what keeps its loyal drinkers coming back for more.
You might begin to realize by now that this bourbon has something really unique going on. But there’s a few more: “We have a cat, Sugar Maple. She’s our distillery cat. She’s our night-shift production manager. She stays out there and keeps the vermin away, our little mascot.”
Known for its spicy high rye content, Belle Meade Bourbon’s signature recipe was designed to be a versatile bourbon enjoyed served neat, with a splash, on the rocks or in a well-made cocktail.