Uncle Nearest is named for Nearest Green, the African-American distiller who taught Jack Daniel the art of distilling Tennessee Whiskey. The brand was created by Fawn Weaver who did extensive research on Nearest Green. She decided to get some sourced barrels (she can not tell where because of a non-disclosure agreement) and create a brand to honor him. I feel she did a good job with picking the whiskey for this brand. It is a Tennessee Whiskey complete with the sugar maple charcoal filtering – just like the whiskey Nearest Green made when he was an enslaved distiller. I believe that the long term plan is to open a distillery and make the brand themselves.

Uncle Nearest 1856 Tennessee Whiskey

Proof: 100

Age: No Age Statement

Nose: Corn, vanilla and fruit especially banana. There is a slight smoky note and just a hint of oak.

Taste: Vanilla and banana with some baking spices and a smoky oak flavor with a hint of pepper. Tasted with a dried cranberry it becomes sweeter with some more fruit – bananas and pears and less peppery. Tasted with a pecan and the whiskey is less fruity and peppery, but more vanilla and oak forward.

Finish: Long and smoky dry with pepper spice and oak. The cranberry makes the finish a little shorter but not as peppery and more smoke and oak. The pecan makes the finish very long and dry with smoke,  oak and hardly any pepper.

This is a good whiskey. It has a nice balance of flavors and the traditional smoky quality of the maple charcoal filtering process. A fitting tribute to a distiller that was almost lost to history. I am enjoying it today with a Don Pepin Garcia – 15th Anniversary, 2018 cigar from My Father cigars. I enjoy the strong dark tea flavor of the smoke in this cigar and I think it pairs well with the whiskey. The whiskey adds some sweetness to the smoke bringing out the vanilla in the smoke. The smoke takes the pepper out of the taste and mutes it in the finish. It is a very good pairing. I think Uncle Nearest would approve.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller