Way back in Lynchburg, Tennessee, the name Nearest Green has always meant something special. His birth name was Nathan Green, but his family and friends called him Uncle Nearest. No one actually knows how he obtained that nickname, so we assume he was the “nearest and dearest” to so many who came in contact with him.
Hailing from Maryland, one of the original capitals of whiskey making in the United States, we don’t know how or when Uncle Nearest made his way southwest to Tennessee. What we can confirm is he is the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States and thought to be responsible for helping perfect the Lincoln County Process, a requirement in being categorized as Tennessee Whiskey.
It should be noted that a 2004 book misspelled Nearest as “Nearis,” based on an incorrect spelling on the 1880 census. His name has always been and will always be Nathan “Nearest” Green—or to those who knew him best, Uncle Nearest. Now, it’s up to each of us to share his story and to make sure he’s given his due respect. Will you join us? Cheers!
The brand, seemingly 160-years in the making, revived the little-known story of Nathan “Nearest” Green, the first known African-American master distiller. Uncle Nearest 1820 commemorates the year Uncle Nearest is believed to have been born in Maryland and these special single-barrel editions have become highly sought-after whiskeys. Editions US-1, US-2, US-3 and US-4 have already sold out, so contact Uncle Nearest to prepare for the launch of US-5.
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is made using local ingredients from Tennessee. Our Tennessee Silver is an intricate 11-step, 25-day process utilizing a one-of-a-kind triple charcoal mellowing system that was hand-drawn and fabricated by engineers, exclusively for Uncle Nearest. No other whiskey in the world utilizes this proprietary process.