Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey – a premium award winning Tennessee whiskey, inspired by the first known African American master distiller Nathan “Nearest” Green.
Uncle Nearest Inc. launched in 2017, owned by an all minority-led business, headed by CEO Fawn E Weaver. Their 1884 Small Batch edition is curated by Master Distiller Victoria Eady Butler, the great great granddaughter of Nathan “Nearest” Green. The 1856 Premium Aged and 1820 Single Barrel editions have already won an impressive collection of awards globally.
Nathan “Nearest” Green, was the first known African-America master distiller in the mid 1800’s, operating the distillery at the Dan Call Farm near Lynchburg. The distillery was owned by Reverend Call but due to his Lutheran congregation being irked by the Reverend engaging in sinful whiskey making, the distillery operations were handed to the enslaved Nathan “Nearest” Green, who continued in this role as a free man after the emancipation proclamation. He perfected the Lincoln Country Process, which defines Tennessee whiskey by filtering through sugar maple charcoal before being aged in charred oak barrels.
History had been whitewashed with stories that Reverend Call himself had taught the craft of distilling to a young Jack Daniel, but stories told from generation to generation attributed this training to Nathan “Nearest” Green himself. When the New York Times published an article in 2016 that identified and confirmed Jack Daniel’s teacher as Nathan Green, Brown-Forman (owner of the Jack Daniel’s brand) officially recognised Nathan “Nearest” Green as the first Master Distiller at the Jack Daniel Distillery.
Uncle Nearest Inc. recently joined forces with Jack Daniels to form the “Nearest and Jack Advancement Initiative” to further advance diversity and accelerate Black Distillers in the American whiskey industry. “Where there is hope, there is vision. Where there is vision, there is action. And where there is action, there is change” - Fawn E Weaver, CEO of Uncle Nearest Inc