Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey is the flagship product of the Uncle Nearest brand. Said brand was founded in July of 2017. However, it seems to have already managed to make a strong impression on the whiskey market in the United States. Something that has been helped along by the story of its namesake.
1. It Is Named For a Real Individual
Whiskey brands can be named for a wide range of things. In the case of Uncle Nearest, it is named for a real person named Nathan Green who was born in 1820. For a time, it was believed that his nickname was "Nearis" because of a misspelling by a census. However, it has been confirmed for quite some time that his true nickname was "Nearest."
2. It Is Named For a Master Distiller
Green was a master distiller. Said title can mean different things to different people. Originally, master distiller was just an acknowledgement of someone who had managed to gain a great deal of distilling-related expertise and experience through years and years of hard work. Nowadays, it often indicates someone who has the ability to take over a distillery, make changes so that it is working the way that they intend, and do so within a very short period of time. In any case, there is a lot of respect packed into the use of master distiller.
3. It Is Named For the First Confirmed African-American Master Distiller
What makes Green particularly notable is that he was the first confirmed African-American master distiller. For context, he was once a slave owned by a firm, which seems to have rented him out to a man named Dan Call, who was a distiller, a grocer, and a preacher. Later on, Green was freed following the American Civil War, though for whatever reason, he continued to work for Call as a freedman.
4. It Is Named For Jack Daniel's True Teacher
Jack Daniel should be a well-known name to anyone with an interest in American whiskey. After all, Jack Daniel's is still going strong as a whiskey brand in modern times, which is quite impressive considering that it has been around for almost one-and-a-half centuries. In any case, the traditional account is that Daniel learned distilling from Call. However, it turned out that Daniel's true teacher was Green, who had been told to teach Daniel about distilling by Call. Apparently, the real story had already been known by the historians as well as the locals for decades by the time that The New York Times wrote it about in 2016.
5. It Is Named For a Man Whose Descendants Who Are Still Working in the Whiskey-Making Business
Apparently, Green's family has continued working in the whiskey-making business over the decades. Specifically, Daniel started up his distillery in 1866. After which, he promptly employed two of Green's sons. The records seem to be a bit unclear on the matter. However, at least three of Green's children and at least four of Green's grandchildren went on to be employed by the same distillery at some point in time. Even now, he still has direct descendants working there, which says much about his family's connection to the place.
6. The Whiskey Brand Was Founded By Fawn Weaver
The Uncle Nearest whiskey brand was founded by an African-American woman named Fawn Weaver. She seems to have been involved in a number of things over the course of her life. For example, she was apparently a restaurant and real estate executive at one point in time. Similarly, she has written more than one book. As the story goes, Weaver was doing the research for another book when she became interested in getting involved in whiskey-making on her own. Subsequently, she and her husband bought the Call farm where the original Jack Daniel's distillery was situated.
7. The Whiskey Brand Shares a Founder With the Nearest Green Foundation
Other than the whiskey brand, Weaver also founded the Nearest Green Foundation, which is involved in a number of things. For example, it opened both a museum and a memorial park about the man, which will presumably play an important role in making his name better and better-known by the general public. Likewise, it has set up a scholarship fund, which is meant to help the man's descendants go to college.
8. Some of the Sales Go Towards the Nearest Green Foundation
It has been said that some of the whiskey brand's sales are directed towards the Nearest Green Foundation. This is important because non-profit organizations can't work towards their stated goals without money.
9. Tennessee-Style American Whiskey
Given the location, it should come as no surprise to learn that Nearest Green whiskey is Tennessee-style American whiskey. In fact, it was distilled in the state as well as aged in the state. Furthermore, Nearest Green whiskey is made using the process needed for something to be considered Tennessee whiskey. However, it is marketed as a premium American whiskey, which was apparently meant as a kind of pushback against the perception that Tennessee whiskey is inferior to Kentucky bourbon. As far as the people behind Nearest Green whiskey are concerned, Tennessee whiskey is just as deserving of praise as its Kentucky-made counterpart.
10. The Brand Cooperates with the Brown-Forman Corporation
It is interesting to note that the Uncle Nearest whiskey brand cooperates with the Brown-Forman Corporation, which owns the Jack Daniel's whiskey brand. They don't seem to be in business together. However, the Uncle Nearest whiskey brand has done a fair amount to generate interest in its namesake. Something that in turn, has changed how Brown-Forman Corporation handles the subject. To name an example, the latter now acknowledges Green as a part of its own history, as shown by how he is now considered to be its first head distiller. Apparently, the people behind the Uncle Nearest whiskey brand did a fair amount to help out with the historical information about Green that is now available through the Brown-Forman Corporation's own sources.
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Written by Lily Wordsmith
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