The Amateur Drammer Introduces… Nic Branson a.k.a Aesc

Welcome to a new series of occasional articles in which I invite first time writers to take over

This first article will introduce someone I have had the pleasure of chatting whisky with over on Twitter.

I’ll let Nic introduce himself, give you his thoughts on his whisky journey and then his review of Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select.

Nic Branson AKA Aesc, is a Father, Indian Club Swinger, former strength coach and above all a lover of a good dram. He’s Interested in exploring whisk(e)y and learning more about it.  ​

My journey actually started with craft beer. The myriad complexity of flavors that were being created and the added benefit of the alcohol helping me to control my migraines. Unfortunately it turned out that I am allergic to something in beer, we are assuming it’s the hops. An alternative was needed. Some years back my wife and I were vacationing in Cape Breton, Canada and had the pleasure of touring Glenora Distillery, the dram at the end was divine. Biggest regret of that trip was not buying a bottle.

​Turn the page back to the present and I decided to try whisk(e)y as my new go to. My in-laws while traveling purchased me a small bottle of Balvenie Triple cask as a birthday gift. Just like that I was hooked. It’s not just a drink, every dram is a journey. Craft beer has experimenting and different flavors with varying levels of complexity, whisk(e)y on the other hand multiplies all of that a hundred fold.

​Each dram is a practice in meditation. The scent is your invitation to start investigating the history in the glasses. From there you begin to taste, its character starts to show more fully. The finish, a last parting gift that leaves you wanting more. More than just all that, every dram reveals a complexity that has been brought to you by years of care. Creating such spirits is a combination of art, science and love. That drink you just finished was planned years before this moment.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select: 

The initial nose is thick and sweet with honey, hints of dark orange marmalade and vanilla. At the very end when the sweetness begins to fade, a bit of oak comes wafting in. On the palette it starts off dry and spicy, this is quickly followed by oak and the honey promised by the nose. This transition creates a nice smoothness that carries into a finish of pepper and light lingering sweetness. 

For a slightly different experience add an ice sphere in a rocks glass. Lowering the temperature gives this whiskey a thick caramel mouthful and increases the sweetness while adding a mild buttery note.

You can catch up with Nic on his Twitter page, which you can find here.

If you fancy taking over at then get in touch.