Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey
- USA, 700ml
On the nose, buttery vanilla and brown sugar, mixed with soft sultana and cinnamon sweetness. On the palate, caramelised nuts, oat cookies, more brown sugar, sandalwood, authentic corn hints and a hint of cut grass. To finish, lingering mint leaf and milk chocolate notes, with a final touch of spicy oak.
- Distillery: Uncle Nearest
- Type: American Whiskey
- Region: Tennessee, USA
- Alcohol: 50%
- Volume: 700ml
- Goes with: Neat or over ice
Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey is produced in Tennessee using a combination of corn and rye, and is put through the Lincoln County Process before being aged in new American oak barrels. The name honours Nathan Green, who was known as Uncle Nearest to friends and family, and was the first African-American master distiller on record in the USA. It's from Uncle Nearest that a particular Jack Daniel was taught about distilling was back in the mid-1800s. Cool...
The Uncle Nearest brand celebrates Nathan Green, known as Uncle Nearest to friends and family, a huge figure in whiskey history. As a slave working for preacher and distiller Dan Call, Green was introduced to a certain young orphan by the name of Jack Daniel (yep, that one) eventually teaching him the art of distillation in the mid-1800s.
He, in turn, was repaid by becoming the master distiller of the Jack Daniels Distillery, becoming the first African-American master distiller on record in the USA. Green was also instrumental in the evolution of the Lincoln County Process, and by association the creation of what we know as Tennessee Whisky.
Green, however, was not mentioned during any tour of the Jack Daniel’s distillery and not listed as a master distiller at their visitor centre, until Fawn Weaver, an American author and historian, made it her mission to bring it to light in 2017. Fortunately, the distillery altered its tours and corrected its mistakes quickly.
Weaver didn’t stop there, however. She decided to launch a brand in honour of Nearest Green, buying the land that Call had once owned and the site of the first ever Jack Daniel’s distillery. Although you can buy Uncle Nearest whiskey, the distillery’s liquid isn’t ready yet, so anything Uncle Neatest you taste at the moment will have been sourced from two other distillers.
The site features a 5,500 barrel rickhouse on-site, a still flowing water spring that was used in the production of Nearest’s whiskey 150 years ago, an interactive gallery showcasing the history of African American Distillers and a 1,000 seater live music venue to showcase country music artists built in the old Horse Auction site. Weaver also co-founded the Nearest Green Legacy Scholarship, which pays in full for college for any qualifying descendent of Nearest.
So, it’s all rather lovely, really. Green’s place in history has been secured and we have the chance to drink Tennessee Whisky in his honour. Cheers to Uncle Nearest!
- Master - 2020 The American Whiskey Masters (The Spirits Business) - Tennessee Whiskey - Super Premium
- Winner - 2019 World Whiskies Awards - American Whiskey - Best Tennessee
- Gold - 2019 The American Whiskey Masters (The Spirits Business) - Tennessee Whiskey - Super Premium
- Silver - 2019 The Design & Packaging Masters (The Spirits Business) - American Whiskey
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