Uncle Nearest Whiskey

You may have seen on my Instagram and Instastories that I and several other lucky people were fortunate to take part in the exciting debut release of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey in Portland in July. This is a new national whiskey brand inspired by “the best whiskey maker the world never knew, Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green'” and which hopes to help get his name and story to more people. If you’re wondering what this is all about, let me share the story and how you can try it – both as a drink, but also in a few other special Portland collaboration products!
Uncle Nearest Whiskey Uncle Nearest Green- the greatest whiskey maker the world never knew now being honored and getting his name to be known via Uncle Nearest Whiskey

The Story Behind Uncle Nearest

First of all, who is Uncle Nearest?
By the Creek behind the Preacher's house, Nearest Green turned water into Gold. Uncle Nearest Whiskey drink cocktail called Tennessee Gold, with Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Honey, Lemon
By the Creek behind the Preacher’s house, Nearest Green turned water into Gold. Uncle Nearest Whiskey drink cocktail called Tennessee Gold, with Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Honey, Lemon
Nathan “Nearest” Green was the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States. He worked as the master distiller for the whiskey operations of the Reverend Dan Call Farm in the mid-1800s in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Although he initially was a slave, Nearest Green chose to continue to work on the Call Farm making whiskey after the Civil War even after emancipation as a free man.
Uncle Nearest Green- the greatest whiskey maker the world never knew now being honored and getting his name to be known via Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
The locals and historians know, and now you will to, that the story goes on how he worked along side and became the mentor of Jack Daniel, the 8 year old boy who lived next door to the Call Farm. Reverend Dan Call eventually chose his congregation and sold the distillery on to Jack Daniel, and well the rest is history.  Since it opened,  seven straight generations of Nearest Green descendants have worked for Jack Daniel Distillery, with three direct descendants continuing to work there to this today.
Uncle Nearest Green- the greatest whiskey maker the world never knew now being honored and getting his name to be known via Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
So, this is a story of how not only this man who mastered whiskey and taught whiskey to young Jack Daniel, but then got lost in history – until now. Now he is being honored with Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey so the his legacy lives on via a bottle of premium whiskey in perpetuity. He is also being remembered by the Nearest Green foundation that is building a memorial park and museum that includes his tale and overall how blacks and whites came together as a community.
Uncle Nearest Green- the greatest whiskey maker the world never knew now being honored and getting his name to be known via Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey

How to try Uncle Nearest yourself!

Drinks

Multiple bars and restaurants in Portland have created custom Uncle Nearest cocktails and will offer the cocktails on their menus throughout the summer. Here are some of where you can try the cocktail, or ask just to try Uncle Nearest neat if you’d like:
Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail The Fiddler's Punch with Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Aperol, Brutto Americano, Watermelon, Pineapple, Mint Uncle Nearest Whiskey drink cocktail called Brick & Mortar with Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Boysenberry, Molasses, Lemon
Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktails concocted by Bull In China: The Fiddler’s Punch with Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Aperol, Brutto Americano, Watermelon, Pineapple, Mint / Brick & Mortar with Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Boysenberry, Molasses, Lemon

Han Oak cocktail queen Michelle Ruocco created Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail Strike 3 with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Raspberry/gochujang syrup, Black tea, Lemon, Peychauds bitters
Price: $13
Han Oak cocktail queen Michelle Ruocco created Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail Strike 3 with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Raspberry/gochujang syrup, Black tea, Lemon, Peychauds bitters
Photo by ALOR Consulting

The Waiting Room/Lafitte’s Chazz Madrigal made Reverie with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Yzaguirre Rojo vermouth, Salmaikki Dala Scandinavian Fernet, Benedictine, Pinot Noir salt. Serve over large cube, orange twist garnish.
Price: $15
The Waiting Room Lafitte's Chazz Madrigal made an Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail called Reverie with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Yzaguirre Rojo vermouth, Salmaikki Dala Scandinavian Fernet, Benedictine, Pinot Noir salt. Serve over large cube, orange twist garnish., photo by ALOR Consulting
Photo by ALOR Consulting

St. Jack‘s Charlie Dorst created the Uncle Nearest whiskey cocktail Near to a Smash with Uncle Nearest Tennessee Whiskey, Lillet Rouge, Demerra Syrup, Lemon, Blueberries, Mint
Price: $14
St. Jack's Charlie Dorst created the Uncle Nearest whiskey cocktail Near to a Smash with Uncle Nearest Tennessee Whiskey, Lillet Rouge, Demerra Syrup, Lemon, Blueberries, Mint, photo by ALOR Consulting
Photo by ALOR Consulting

Park Kitchen‘s Curtis Day Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail Nearest the Sun with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Cocchi Americano, aperol, honey syrup, angostura, Scrappy’s firewater bitters
Price: $11
Park Kitchen's Curtis Day Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail Nearest the Sun with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Cocchi Americano, aperol, honey syrup, angostura, Scrappy’s firewater bitters, photo by ALOR Consulting
Photo by ALOR Consulting

Rue and Jon Lewis offer Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail Play Crack the Sky with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Punt e Mes, Génépy, orange bitters, Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters
Price: $12
Rue and Jon Lewis offer Uncle Nearest Whiskey cocktail Play Crack the Sky with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Wild Turkey 101 Rye, Punt e Mes, Génépy, orange bitters, Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters, photo by ALOR Consulting
Photo by ALOR Consulting

Radio Room Michelle Sumida presents My Nearest & Dearest, A Sarsaparilla Old Fashioned. Uncle Nearest Whiskey, house-infused sarsaparilla simple syrup, Angostura bitters, garnished with an orange peel and a Bordeaux cherry.
Price: $15
Radio Room Michelle Sumida presents My Nearest & Dearest, A Sarsaparilla Old Fashioned. Uncle Nearest Whiskey, house-infused sarsaparilla simple syrup, Angostura bitters, garnished with an orange peel and a Bordeaux cherry., photo by ALOR Consulting
Photo by ALOR Consulting

More local restaurants are crafting cocktails with Uncle Nearest Whiskey, coming soon are more special Uncle Nearest cocktails by Shift Drinks and Buckman Public House whose drinks will be featured on the menu soon!

And more!

Uncle Nearest - the greatest whiskey maker the world never knew now being honored and getting his name to be known via Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, and there are several special chocolates and candy from Xocolatl de David, Alma Chocolate, and Quin Candy

In addition, multiple craft producers have also created some collaboration products using Uncle Nearest Whiskey. Artisans include: Bull in China (who crafted all the Uncle Nearest cocktails you have seen in this post) plus

Uncle Nearest Whiskey, collaborations into other products varying from tea, smoked salt, hot sauce, chocolates and candy and more

  • Jacobsen Salt Co. has created a special Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey Salt.
  • Salt & Straw has created some special ice cream bars (Dilly Bars) with Mt Hood Strawberry Black Pepper ice cream in Peanut Butter Magic Shell and Uncle Nearest Whiskey Butter Caramel and Whiskey Banana Chip Toppings, available at Wiz Bang Bar

    Dessert game strong with @saltandstraw at our @unclenearest Whiskey launch tonight. #UncleNearest

    A post shared by Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey (@unclenearest) on

  • Steven Smith Teamaker,  has created Blend No. 1856, Tennessee Oolong, a barrel scented tea with Taiwanese milk oolong scented in a charred oak barrel from Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey that also imparts light caramel notes to the soft and creamy sweetness of the oolong.
  • Marshall’s Haute Sauce offers a Whiskey Smoked Ghost sauce that uses Bhut Jolokia Peppers (Ghost Chili) and Uncle Nearest 1856 Whiskey (Flambé)

Uncle Nearest - the greatest whiskey maker the world never knew now being honored and getting his name to be known via Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, and there are several special chocolates and candy from Xocolatl de David, Alma Chocolate, and Quin Candy

I hope you’ve found this helpful in understandng what is up with #UncleNearest. These are just PDX specials – shortly after the Portland debut there was also a Tennessee debut with their own special local collaborations if you go down there and try the Whiskey Trail!

Have you heard of Uncle Nearest before this and what way would you like to try the Uncle Nearest Whiskey?

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Comments

  1. Wow, what a great story about Uncle Nearest Whiskey, and that he was a mentor to none other than Jack Daniels! This is a tale that needs to be told and thank you for spelling it out for us. I’d love to try the Han Oak and Radio Room cocktails especially, and the Smith Teamaker Blend 1856 sounds intriguing. I’m going to look for this spirit on menus as I eat around town. Thanks, Pech, for the great, informative post!

  2. I could keep on reading about Uncle Nearest all day. Truly a history that deserves to be told. There’s no way I could pick just one incarnation of whiskey treat, but that ice cream sure does sound good on a hot day! And you know we’ve been having a bunch here in Portland. Thanks for opening my eyes to this new whiskey!

  3. I’ll take them all, thanks!! 🙂 Another event I was bummed to be out of town for. I love the story behind Uncle Nearest and I cannot wait to try it for myself! These cocktails look AMAZING!

  4. Another great product from Portland, love it! And what a great backs story!

  5. We were just down in Tennessee covering music destinations. Next time we go, we hope to do a tour of the Whiskey Trail. (And by “we,” I mostly mean Mr B, who loves a good whiskey. I will have to find some so he can try it. (BTW – Marshall’s Whiskey Smoked Ghost Haute Sauce is amazing!)

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