Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the super premium whiskey from Tennessee and the first spirit brand in history to commemorate an African-American, is excited to announce the launch of Uncle Nearest 1884 Premium Small Batch Whiskey. The brand revived the little-known story of Nathan “Nearest” Green, the first known African-American master distiller, back in 2017, and launched a namesake whiskey in his honor that has since won 40 awards and expanded into all 50 states and 10 countries (with shipping available to 148 countries). The brand can now be found in nearly 6,000 stores, bars and restaurants. A 7-year-old minimum whiskey, Uncle Nearest 1884 commemorates the final year Nearest is believed to have put his own whiskey into barrels before retiring from distilling.
Uncle Nearest 1884 is unique in taste and curation while celebrating Nearest’s legacy. The barrels used to create each batch are selected by Fawn Weaver, CEO and co-founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, to ensure each bottle contains a blend of the highest-quality liquid, maintaining Uncle Nearest’s signature smoothness. The release of this particular offering honors Nearest’s memory through his family’s personal involvement in the blending process, with each batch curated by a different descendant of the legendary master distiller and the back label of each bottle signed by the descendant who created that batch. The first bottles hitting shelves are curated by Victoria Eady-Butler, great-great-granddaughter of Nearest, shareholder of Uncle Nearest and its Director of Administration.
“If my great-great-grandfather were alive today, I know how proud he would be to see us keeping his legacy alive through the continued growth of this brand,” said Victoria Eady-Butler. “When Fawn first agreed to shine a light on our ancestor by putting his name on a bottle, we never could have imagined where Uncle Nearest would be two years later, with people around the world knowing the name Nearest Green. I speak for our entire family when I say we’re thrilled to be a part of his legacy.”
The small batch offering is a fresh departure from the whiskey brand’s other products, while still utilizing the elements that made Nearest’s whiskey so renowned. Uncle Nearest 1884 is lighter bodied, allowing it to be sipped by those who prefer a lower proof spirit. The bright off-white and gold label stands out on the shelf against its darker labeled counterparts and at $49.99 SRP, 1884 is the most accessible of Uncle Nearest’s super premium product line to-date without straying from the spirit’s premier quality and taste. 1884 is bottled at 93-proof, another nod to Nearest, as it is believed his whiskey was bottled at or near that proof.
“We set out to cement Nearest’s legacy and to ensure his contributions to the Tennessee Whiskey industry would never again be forgotten,” said Fawn Weaver. “With every bottle containing the signature of the descendant who created it, Nearest’s family is picking up where he left off. More than one million glasses of Uncle Nearest have been raised around the world in salute of this great innovator. This ensures millions more will be raised over the next year.”
The first batch of Uncle Nearest 1884 debuted exclusively on July 19, 2019 at Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s premier cocktail festival, in New Orleans, Louisiana during a conversation on “Kentucky Bourbon vs. Tennessee Whiskey: Battle of the Premiums,” led by Weaver. The new whiskey was met with high regard by all who tasted it, with respected writer G. Clay Whittaker encapsulating the sentiment best: “At 7 years of age, it’s already a modern value bottle at that price, not to mention that the whiskey inside is one of the most refined crowd-pleasers we’ve tasted this year.” The release date also marked the two-year anniversary since the launch of the Uncle Nearest brand and the release of its first expression, Uncle Nearest 1856, rounding out the company’s portfolio of super premium whiskeys.