Drinking Black History

  • Posted on
  • By Jeremy Dugan
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Drinking Black History

From the man who taught Jack Daniel how to make Tennessee Whiskey. The man who brought charcoal filtration from his ancestors in West Africa to Tennessee, Uncle Nearest is the historical icon few whiskey lovers know.

When it comes to Tennessee Whiskey, the name that always comes to mind is Jack Daniel's.  And why not?  That classic square bottle is in every bar and almost every store where alcohol is sold; the brand even partners up with the NBA.


But what if I told you that the man who is known as the Master of the Lincoln County Process (charcoal filtration that occurs before aging the Whiskey) was a protégé of a man who was a slave at the time of his mentoring? This slave after the Civil War, as a Free Man, was the first Master Distiller at Jack Daniel’s facilities. The individual I am speaking about is Nathan “Nearest” Green, or as many during his time called him, “Uncle Nearest".

Thanks to founder of Uncle Nearest Distillery Fawn Weaver’s interest in the story of the Black Man who had people in Tennessee during the 1800’s praising his talents in whiskey-making, and finding living descendants like Victoria Eady Butler (Green’s Great-Great Granddaughter) to become her Master Blender (making Victoria the first African American Female Master Blender in the United States), Uncle Nearest Whiskies are starting to make people think of another name when they think of Tennessee Whiskey.

It is because of the history behind the brand, the strong Black Female presence in the offices and distillery of Uncle Nearest and the great taste profile of the 1856 100 proof Whiskey, I have decided to make Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey my first ever Spirit of the Month.


Uncle Nearest 1856 100 proof Whiskey, Shelbyville, Tennessee


Bold charred oak notes up front will give Tennessee Whiskey drinkers a familiar “welcome”. A rich mouthfeel gives way to flavors similar to red apple skins, tea leaves and caramel. While the fullness of those flavors coats the palate, the robust charred oak will not be ignored. Turning into a combination of subtle hints of cinnamon and dark chocolate adding more to the depth of this spirit. All this depth and richness in this 100 proof libation gives it a smooth finish.

$55.99 per bottle


  1. Robin Watson Robin Watson

    Thanks for the history lesson - enjoyed reading it and learning something new! And welcome back Jeremy!!!!

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