Uncle Nearest debuts new whiskey rangeBy Nicola Carruthers
American whiskey brand Uncle Nearest will release two rye expressions as part of its 2022 line, alongside a new packaging design.
Founded by Fawn Weaver in 2017, the brand celebrates Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green, a formerly enslaved man who was the first-known African-American master distiller.
The producer has now unveiled its range of whiskeys for 2022, made using four different recipes. The 2022 bottles feature whiskeys that were 100% distilled, aged and bottled by the brand at its Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
As part of the range, the distiller will also launch Uncle Nearest Rye, Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye, and a new single barrel whiskey that will be available more widely.
“Since the inception of our brand, everything in our bottles was blended to perfection by our master blender, Victoria Eady Butler, but the whiskey was sourced,” said Weaver, who is also CEO.
“Our own whiskey began fully maturing last year, and what we have in our bottles now is what we believe is the best whiskey we’ve ever released.
“Some call Uncle Nearest a straight Bourbon whiskey, some call us straight Tennessee whiskey. We don’t care, as our whiskey meets the legal requirement of both distinctions.
“What we do care is that you call us super-premium whiskey as that is what our namesake made, and it is what our team and partners have been working non-stop to make each and every day.”
The new design replaces the illustration of the site where Green originally distilled with Nearest Green Distillery’s symbol – a whiskey dram encased by a horseshoe.
Master blender Victoria Eady Butler, fifth-generation Nearest Green descendant, has added a note and signature to each bottle.
“Our first-generation Uncle Nearest bottles shared the history of my great-great-grandfather and his significance to the Tennessee whiskey coming out of the hills and hollows around Lynchburg,” said Eady Butler.
“Our new generation of bottles reflect the future of our brand and our Shelbyville distillery being what cements his legacy for my family and every future generation of whiskey lovers.”
The seven bottles in the 2022 range will be released initially at the Nearest Green Distillery, with cases of 1884 Small Batch currently being shipped across the US.
In December 2021, Uncle Nearest released the first new bottles of its Master Blend whiskey, exclusively available from the distillery.
Uncle Nearest recently named Mangrove as its distribution partner in the UK.