This black owned whiskey company started many years ago in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Uncle Nearest Whiskey is a well sought out liquor that had history ties with a former slave. A slave in Tennessee became a master distiller that rose to fame with Uncle Nearest. Uncle Nearest given name is Nathen Green.
The Tennessee man made whiskey behind his farmhouse near a dirt wagon road church. After officials notice his popularity, they were not pleased to see a black man owning an enterprise with alcohol. Thus, the distillery had to hand over their operations to a white associate.
Uncle Nearest History
Though Uncle Nathan Green was kicked out of his position in the distillery, he continued to be heavily involved. It was here where the great whiskey fans were aware of Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green who was now the head distiller. After the area went under the abolition law, Nearest chose to continue working as a free man and provided his family with a home in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
After major success of Uncle Nearest whiskey, people would come into town from the lengths of Nashville. The key behind the initial success of the whiskey company was their process in filtering the whiskey. This process is called the Lincoln County Process which is when the whiskey is filtered through sugar maple charcoal before placed into oak barrels. The barrels were charred and Uncle Nearest made this process perfect.
Though there is not many photos available of Uncle Nearest, the stories lasted a lifetime. The old distillery is long gone for generations now but the name has not been forgotten. Now, there is a distillery to celebrate Uncle Nearest at Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, TN. You may visit the Nearest Green for tours and tastings on their 270 acre land.
Uncle Nearest Whiskey CEO Fawn Weaver
CEO of Uncle Nearest Whiskey is Fawn Weaver who is a black woman entrepreneur. As a historian, she greatly took the company under her wing and founded the Nearest Green Foundation. Fawn is now a Tennessee whiskey legend for memorializing the classic story. Uncle Nearest Whiskey can now be found in over 7,000 stores, bars, and restaurants. Fawn has managed to also get this whiskey across all the 50 states of America, including 10 other countries.
In an interview she says, “We’ve really never seen anything like this in the whiskey business—most whiskey brands would hope to be in their home state and maybe an adjoining state within two years, but we’re not most brands,” she continued, “What was amazing when I first started in the whiskey business is that I didn’t realize that this was the first American spirit ever to commemorate an African-American. Ever. Can you imagine? We’ve been here 400 years, and ours is the very first.”
Fawn Weaver has took the whiskey company to new heights as it went back to reclaim the land where Nathen Green lived in as a slave. It is said that Nathen Green taught Jack Daniels the process of filtering distillate through sugar maple charcoal. The brand has also restored and renovated the African American cemetery where Nathan Green was buried.
After trying out the Uncle Nearest Whiskey 1884, I am very pleased on how the whiskey tastes. It feels as if you are drinking a part of history when you learn what Fawn Weaver has done. The stories that come with this whiskey brand is beyond your typical alcohol beverages. I would definitely recommend visiting the Nathan Green Distillery in Tennessee for a great time and tour. What do you guys think of the women owned whiskey brand?