The last time Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery was making their brand of whiskey, shortwave radios were in style, the U.S. Army had just bought its first airplane from the Wright brothers and the Montreal Canadiens had yet to win a single one of their now-record 23 Stanley Cups.
It’s been a dog’s age since then, 108 years if you’re counting, but Nelson’s is back in business.
For the first time since the distillery shut down in 1909 — Tennessee was early to the Prohibition party for some ungodly reason — Nelson’s is producing the recipe of whiskey that its founder, Charles Nelson, was cranking out to the tune of 380,000 gallons per year before closing up.
The rejuvenation of Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery comes courtesy of Andy and Charlie Nelson, brothers who are hoping to get Charles’ name up there with George Dickel and Jack Daniels.
Available in two varieties (90 proof is $40 and 121 proof is $60), Nelson’s First 108 is a new version of the blend that is said to be the first-ever bottled whiskey in the state of Tennessee.
“We recently launched our Nelson’s First 108 Tennessee whiskey on the Fourth of July because that was Charles Nelson’s birthday,” Charlie told Whiskey Wash. “We called it Nelson’s First 108 because it had been 108 years since we shut down, and we happened to have 108 barrels of this Tennessee whiskey in 30 gallon barrels that had been aged for a little over two years.
Better late than never.