Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, a national whiskey brand inspired by the best whiskey maker the world never knew, Nathan “Nearest” Green, has officially launched in Portland, Oregon. The aged whiskey debut in Portland will be followed by Nashville, Tennessee.
When asked what would most honor Green, the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States, the descendants of his son, George Green – the one most known for helping his father in the whiskey business – said ensuring his legacy lived on a bottle of premium whiskey in perpetuity would be the ultimate tribute. With that direction, the Uncle Nearest production team set out to create an ultra-premium line of whiskey products in his honor.
Using local grains and the charcoal mellowing process Green helped perfect in Tennessee over 160 years ago, a process now known as the Lincoln County Process named after the county in which Green lived and made his whiskey, the Uncle Nearest team worked with two Tennessee distilleries still making whiskey the way Green made it. This process is approached intricately by hand, placing the product in new American oak barrels close to the same 110-proof Green was known for and waiting until it is at the perfect age, taste, and color.
“This whiskey is meant to bring to the forefront the man who so few outside of Lynchburg, Tennessee knew was one of the most important master distillers in the creation of what is now known as Tennessee whiskey,” said Keith Miles, spokesman for the brand. “Having spent so much time with Green’s descendants, our founders knew their desire was to honor him with a premium whiskey made as close to his way as possible and bring it to every bar and spirit shop around the world, so everyone would know his name.”
The resulting whiskey is as unique as the story from which it came. The Uncle Nearest Premium Aged whiskey presents a caramel color with a deep golden hue. On the nose, baled hay, pumpkin seeds, stone fruit, caramel corn and sweet maple are present. On the palate, the whiskey shows spicy caramel notes up front and then hints of maple as it mellows with dried fruit and floral notes. Sweetness and spice reminiscent of freshly baked oatmeal cookies remain through a long and rich finish.
A Premium Silver product, slated for a release later this summer, is the only clear whiskey in the world to undergo UN’s proprietary triple charcoal mellowing process to produce a smooth, mixable spirit.
Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Tennessee Whiskey: Aged
Price: $59.95 (*Oregon price, will vary by market)
Honoring Green with Portland’s collaborative spirit, the Uncle Nearest team has enlisted top Portland artisans to create celebratory products inspired by the whiskey and its story for its July launch. Artisans include: Bull in China, Jacobsen Salt Co., Salt & Straw, Steven Smith Teamaker, Alma, Xocolatl de David, and Marshall’s Haute Sauce. Top bars and restaurants throughout Portland will also feature Uncle Nearest-inspired cocktail specials at launch and throughout the summer.
In Nashville, the team tapped artisan favorites including Bongo Java, Goo Goo Clusters, Edley’s BBQ, Jake’s Bakes, and Acme Feed and Seed.