Tennessee does a lot of things well; growing rye is not one of them. So, the Uncle Nearest Co. sought out the best from other states. Each of their inaugural barrels hails from New York, where they aged in new American oak for a minimum of four years after a short stint in British Columbia, where they were born. These barrels began as a lofty experiment in 2017. Was it possible to create an ultra-smooth whiskey made from 100% rye? That was the question. The answer took a while but was well worth the wait.
Uncle Nearest honors the world’s first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green. The brand is the fastest growing American whiskey in US history, and the portfolio is the Most Awarded American Whiskey or Bourbon of 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Their four whiskeys have garnered over 450 awards and accolades since the brand’s 2017 launch, with 54 Best in Class honors, including: Spirit Brand of the Year from Wine Enthusiast, two Chairman’s Trophies from Ultimate Spirits Challenge, back-to-back Master Blender of the Year awards from Whisky Magazine, Whisky of the Year from USA Spirits Ratings, and back-to-back honors of “World’s Best” at the 2019 and 2020 World Whiskies Awards.
Uncle Nearest is currently available in all 50 states and 12 countries, and is sold in more than 25,000 stores, bars, hotels, restaurants, as well as at its 323-acre distillery in Shelbyville, Tenn., dubbed as “Malt Disney World.”
GSN’s Remarks: This is remarkable considering the grain bill is comprised exclusively of rye. It is indeed full of spice, but there is almost a nuttiness and chewiness that comes through more so than the barrel character. A fairly heavy mouthfeel makes you take a moment to reflect on the gift of distilling and just how skilled master distiller Victoria Eady Butler is at her craft. Of the three releases last year, this just may be their best. Despite the high proof (121 ABV), it goes down exceptionally smoothly. A nice long finish adds the final touch with a mischevious cooling sensation. Keep them coming Ms. Butler! GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Uncle Nearest