Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is starting 2022 with a big milestone – the shift from sourced whiskey to their own barrels in their bottles.
When a whiskey brand first hits the shelves, it is standard for them to buy fully aged barrels sourced from older distilleries to bottle for their first releases. Straight bourbon takes a minimum of two years to age, but waiting four or even six years ensures that the distillate will outgrow its grainy youth. And for Uncle Nearest, four years of using sourced whiskey have passed. Now that their own barrels have matured, 100% of whiskey in Uncle Nearest bottles will be distilled, aged, and bottled by the distillery.
“Since the inception of our brand, everything in our bottles was blended to perfection by our master blender, Victoria Eady Butler, but the whiskey was sourced. Our own whiskey began fully maturing last year, and what we have in our bottles now is what we believe is the best whiskey we’ve ever released,” said Fawn Weaver, founder and CEO.
They’re marking the shift with a bottle redesign featuring the Nearest Green Distillery logo, a whiskey glass encased by a horseshoe, signifying its Tennessee roots, and the note and signature of Victoria Eady Butler, fifth-generation Nearest Green descendant.
“Our first-generation Uncle Nearest bottles shared the history of my great-great-grandfather and his significance to the Tennessee Whiskey coming out of the hills and hollows around Lynchburg,” said Eady Butler. “Our new generation of bottles reflect the future of our brand and our Shelbyville distillery being what cements his legacy for my family and every future generation of whiskey lovers. This is 160 years in the making and damn it if we didn’t figure out how to perfect it! Nearest has always deserved this.”
And perhaps most excitingly for whiskey fans, they’re expanding their lineup to include a more readily available Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Bourbon as well as Uncle Nearest Rye and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye. (As those bottles hit shelves throughout the year, we’ll have more details for you on price and availability.)
These new names will join the distillery’s hugely popular flagship expressions, such as 1884, 1856, 1820, and our personal favorite, Master Blend Edition. The December 2021 distillery-only release of Master Blend Edition was the first from Nearest Green to use their own barrels – and it sold out instantly.
“Some call Uncle Nearest a straight bourbon whiskey, some call us straight Tennessee Whiskey,” says Weaver. “We don’t care, as our whiskey meets the legal requirement of both distinctions. What we do care is that you call us super-premium whiskey as that is what our namesake made, and it is what our team and partners have been working nonstop to make each and every day.”