For more than a century, the wooded hills and misty hollows surrounding Lynchburg, Tennessee have kept alive one of the greatest stories in American history. In an area steeped in whiskey-making history and tradition, it only recently came to light beyond those hills and hollows that one of the world’s most famous distillers learned his craft from an unlikely source—an enslaved man named Nathan “Nearest” Green. After emancipation and the end of the Civil War, “Uncle Nearest,” as he was known, became the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States.
THE GODFATHER OF TENNESSEE WHISKEY
It’s widely believed that Nearest Green helped perfect many of the techniques that define true Tennessee Whiskey today. Most notable is the Lincoln County Process, which filters traditional bourbon through layers of sugar maple charcoal—a process that makes Tennessee Whiskey unlike any other distilled spirit in the world. Nearest’s skills were well known throughout the area and he generously shared his knowledge with others, many of whom would become whiskey distilling legends in their own right.
HONORING THE LEGACY OF A DISTILLING PIONEER
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey was created to honor Nearest Green’s legacy. Inspired by his original methods, Uncle Nearest 1856 is an ultra-premium aged whiskey, double distilled, sugar maple charcoal filtered using the Lincoln County Process, placed in new American oak barrels and aged for a minimum of eight years. It’s distilled, aged, bottled and hand-labeled in Tennessee.
Since its debut in 2017, the whiskey has quickly gained a loyal following across America and around the world. It was one of two brands named “World’s Best” at the 2019 World Whiskies Awards. Cigar & Spirits Magazine named it one of the Top 5 Whiskies in the World. Uncle Nearest 1856 also garnered a Double Gold Medal at the China Wine & Spirits Awards, Gold Medals at the SIP Awards (formerly World Spirit Awards), the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, New York Wine & Spirits Competition and Los Angeles International Spirits Competition.
CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH UNCLE NEAREST
Raise a glass to the best whiskey maker the world never knew and enjoy this delicious cocktail:
–1 1/2 oz. Uncle Nearest Premium Aged Whiskey
–1/2 oz. Ginger Liqueur
Combine all ingredients in a collins glass or copper mug over crushed ice. Top with ginger beer and fresh lime.