Fred Minnick: Nelson’s Green Brier Makes History with New Whiskey

There’s cause for celebration in Tennessee. On July 4, the Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery will release its first Tennessee whiskey in 108 years.

In the 1800s, Charles Nelson ran one of the country’s largest distilleries, selling some 380,000 gallons of Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey around the world. But Tennessee enacted a statewide Prohibition in 1909 and Nelson’s company never recovered. Charles Nelson’s great-great-great grandchildren, Andy and Charles, began rekindling their family’s legacy in 2006.

Nelson’s First 108 Tennessee Whiskey culminates a decade-long rise from sourced whiskey company to distiller. (The Nelsons tell their history here.)

The new product also coincides with a new era. The company sources a relatively small amount of whiskey and is reducing its contract distillation. “This is the next step to that goal of distilling 100% of our whiskey,” Nelson says. “Nelson’s First 108 represents some of our first distillation runs.”