Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch Whiskey 46.5% 70cl
Would you like to know more? Watch the video review!
Uncle Nearest was the nickname of Nathan Green, a slave from West Africa who in the early to mid-1800s was shipped from his birthplace to the home of Reverend Dan Call in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Call operated a side hustle from a small distillery not far down the road, and Green used a technique of filtering the whiskey through maple charcoal, based on a process of filtering water back in his homeland, to create a whiskey that was deliciously silky and immensely popular.
A young white boy named Jasper asked Reverend Call for work around 1850, and the lad became fascinated with what Green was doing at the distillery, begging the Reverend to let him work with the slave. Jasper began to sell the whiskey to local communities.
In 1865 Nathan Green became a free man after the 13th Amendment was passed. Shortly after, Jasper purchased Reverend Call's distillery and renamed it after himself - but rather than use his given name, he instead used the name the locals would call him - Jack. It sounded good when paired with his surname - Daniels.
Jack Daniels asked Nathan Green to be the distillery's first Master Distiller, which Uncle Nearest accepted.
The story of Nathan Green was, until recently, lost for many years - some would say conveniently, given how black history has previously been treated.
In 2017, Uncle Nearest launched as a brand sourcing whiskies from other distilleries, with the Nearest Green Distillery eventually opening in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The business is owned by Fawn Weaver, an author who is determined to bring Green's amazing story into the spotlight, resulting in the only distillery in America (and possibly the world) to be Black- and female-owned.
Uncle Nearest has only just become officially available in the UK, with the 1884 Small Batch the first to be launched here. Bottled at 46.5 ABV (93 US Proof) this is apparently a marriage of 8 to 15 year corn and rye spirit, all undergoing the Lincoln County Process of filtering through maple charcoal. There's delicious notes of butterscotch and bananas, but the slightly higher-than-usual ABV accentuates spicy notes within - a hint of chili spice and warm oak add complexity without being too drying or overpowering. It makes a fantastic Old Fashioned, but is soft enough to sip quietly with a good book as the sun goes down.
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