David Nicholson 1843 Review

David Nicholson 1843 Review

David Nicholson 1843 is a Luxo brand, distilled by Heaven Hill, that’s mostly available around the St. Louis area and a bit in the surrounding states, but doesn’t spread much further. It definitely doesn’t make its way to Los Angeles, which is why I had to rely on the kindness of internet strangers to get a sample and taste this whiskey I see in posts but never on shelves.

In David Nicholson’s Words: David Nicholson 1843

“A ‘wheated’ bourbon that provides an exceptionally smooth flavor and finish. Winner of the Double Gold at San Francisco World Spirits competition, 1843®’s award-winning taste is appreciated from coast to coast.

Rich scents of honey and butter are followed by subtle hints of vanilla and oak.

Exceptionally smooth to start, followed by woody, smoky overtones, with a long, warm finish with a touch of spice.”

Being a wheated mashbill distilled by Heaven Hill this is the same whiskey that used to go in Old Fitz and now goes into Larceny and Rebel Yell. It’s a good whiskey and at $30 it’s also a good value. Without a doubt if it was available in CA I’d have a bottle on my shelf, but I don’t so we have to settle for this sample and the David Nicholson 1843 review below.

David Nicholson 1843 Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Heaven Hill
Bottler: Luxco
Mashbill: Corn, Wheat, Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: NAS (4+ years)
ABV: 50%

Price: ~$30

David Nicholson 1843 Review


Sweet oaky and roasty aroma: Oak, caramel, roasted grain and dark fruit with bits of cinnamon, brown sugar and a touch of peanut oil and honey.

Spicy oaky and toasty flavor: Heavy oak, spice, toasted bread and layers of molasses, peanuts, pie crust and a bit of butter, grain and dark fruit.

Long dissolve of oak, dark fruit, dark sweets, peanuts and spice.

Great balance, medium body and a weighty feel.

David Nicholson 1843 is a happy whiskey. No I’m not drunk either, nor am I high, this is the only drink I’ve had today and I’m still sipping on the sample while writing this. It has a pleasant connecting balance from the nose to the finish and is enjoyable all around. I wish it was available in Los Angeles because this is a killer deal at about $30!

The aroma and palate are rustic and warm and carry notes that scream BOURBON; it has a richness that isn’t overpowering, but inviting and a bit surprising. Being a wheatear I wasn’t expecting the David Nicholson 1843 to be as spicy as it is, but it’s a fantastic dimension to pair up with the sweet, oak, toasty and roasty character that presides over the dram as a whole. This whiskey is, in a word, delightful.

SCORE: 88/100 (B+)

Thanks to /u/rhinusdax for the sample

David Nicholson 1843 Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 88
  • Palate - 88
  • Finish - 88
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 88


David Nicholson 1843 is a delightful dram.

David Nicholson 1843 Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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20 Responses to David Nicholson 1843 Review

  1. Yes! Very delicious juice in that one. Come to Iowa and you can find it in places for $19.99 all day long! Great after dinner dram. Nailed the review too. Thanks, Josh!

  2. Thanks for tipping me off to this gem. I live in St. Louis and had seen it on the shelves but always passed it over due to the bland packaging. I guess it’s true that you can’t always judge a bourbon by its cover! I made tracks to pick it up at Friar Tuck today, and really dig it.

    The wife and I were smitten with Luxco’s other wheater, Rebel Yell 10-Year, after tasting it for the first time at the Whiskey in the Winter event here in St. Louis last year. That is one hard to find bottle, and the price is even higher this year. What are the odds that this is the same bourbon in a different bottle?

    • Hey Cory, that’s awesome, glad you dig it! It’s definitley the same whiskey in this and in the Rebel Yell 10 years, the 10 years is just older. The whiskey in this is likely about 4 years.

  3. A few nights ago I was killing time before a dinner meeting the next county over and hit an ABC store I drove by. They had several bottles of this sitting on the shelf, and I picked one up based on this review. I am in NC and had never seen or even heard of this bourbon before your review. I spoke with the clerk about it, and she indicated they almost always had it in stock. I cracked it open last night and was not disappointed. I think your review is spot on. It is a wonderful pour and at around $30, I’ll do my best to keep this one in the cabinet moving forward. I agree that there is a lot more spice in this whiskey than expected, given that it is a wheater! Thanks for the review on this.

  4. Have you looked at the history of David Nicholson? Skip the whole St. Louis story. David Nicholson was owned by Stitzel-Weller and was another member of their wheated whiskey family along with E.L. Weller and Pappy. When Stitzel-Weller was acquired by Sazerac/Buffalo Trace, the David Nicholson got lost. It seems no one wanted it. Then another company comes along and revived the brand and claimed it was made to the original recipe. I have tasted this DN against E.L. Weller Special Reserve and E.L. Weller 107 Antique. At 100 proof, I think it slots nicely in between. Since I can’t get Weller anymore–on allocation due to the Pappy craze, I have been enjoying DN. The Virginia state store system just closed it out at $19.99/bottle (reg $29.99)–No one knew what it was. I bought the remaining bottles at my store.

  5. This was recommended by a local shop here in Upper Michigan as a new arrival after asking for a Wheater suggestion.

    We really like this, esp for the price (27). Lots of Carmel on the palate, great mouthfeel too. Reminds of Blantons, not as smooth (but much cheaper!)

  6. Closeout at VA ABC. Got two bottles at $15.09 each. Really tasty bourbon, wish I’d gotten more. It has a nice oily mouthfeel and I agree about a great all-around connecting balance. A really nice surprise!

  7. Pleasantly surprised by the spicy kick this has. I live in STL so it’s easy for me to find, and sometimes is on the bottom shelf! Hopefully word doesn’t get out too much because I’m pretty sure I always want this in my cabinet. Got it for 25 bucks as well…I think I’m falling in love.

  8. WOW! Thanks for the heads-up on this! It’s just as good as you described, maybe a frog-hair better. Found it for $18.99 and not complaining.

  9. Purchased a bottle today at the same price. Noticed the 2015 San Francisco Double Gold sticker and a cork replacing the screw on cap. Bet the price goes up soon.

  10. I bought a cork bottle two days ago, on close out in Montgomery county Md for 17.99. I’ve enjoyed it so far, and I’m planning to grab a few more bottles before it disappears.

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