Welcome to Shelf Sleepers, our semi-regular guide to the best booze nobody is buying. This time: David Nicholson Reserve, a whiskey that tastes like fresh-baked cherry pie in a bottle.
You won't be tarred and feathered by your whiskey buddies for not having a clue what David Nicholson Reserve bourbon or Luxco are. The former is a grocery store owner from the 19th century who made a bourbon recipe and the latter has made quiet work of reviving old brands (Ezra Brooks, Rebel Yell) and acquiring new ones (Blood Oath). Its relative anonymity is your opportunity.
David Nicholson Reserve is sourced high-rye bourbon bottled at 100 proof, sold around $35 and bearing no age statement. It's strongly rumored to be Heaven Hill whiskey, but we'll never really know. Once poured, the room smells like baking spices and burnt sugar (the kind that you try to pick off the edge of a pie pan). Once sipped, it's all cherries, nuttiness and butter.
Surrounded by the likes of Eagle Rare ($40), Knob Creek ($35), Four Roses Small Batch ($35) and Wild Turkey 101 ($30), it faces stiff competition on the shelf, but its flavor profile differs significantly enough to warrant trying (and potentially keeping a stock of). Skeptical? Listen to whiskey personality, author and spirits judge Fred Minnick wax poetic about it while naming it the best whiskey between $26 and $40 in a blind tasting. Drink up before it gets 'tated.