Uncle Nearest Releases Straight Rye Whiskey

The fast-growing, woman-led brand whiskey brand Uncle Nearest has announced three new permanent expressions to its national portfolio before the end of 2022.

Those are: Uncle Nearest Straight Rye Whiskey, Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye.

Uncle Nearest Straight Rye, now available, is the brand’s first new whiskey available to purchase online and at retailers across the country since the 2019 release of its 1884 Small Batch Whiskey.

This 100-proof straight rye was put together by Victoria Eady Butler, Master Blender and great-great-granddaughter of the brand’s namesake, Nearest Green. (In the 19th century, Nearest became the first African American master distiller on record in the U.S., and mentored a young Jack Daniel, including lessons on the charcoal-filtering process — a specialty of Green’s.)

On the palate of this rye is light vanilla cream, caramelized sugar and spice of rye, the company says.

Due to challenges around growing rye in Tennessee, where Uncle Nearest operates, this straight rye whiskey originated in Canada. It then aged in New York for a minimum of four years before moving down to Tennessee, where it rested in used Uncle Nearest barrels for additional maturation.


Motivation for this new product comes from a piece of Green’s past.

“When I was doing my research on Nearest Green, I came across a handwritten letter from President William Taft,” says Fawn Weaver, Founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest. “The letter was dated May 16, 1911, and was addressed to his U.S. Secretary of War, Jacob M. Dickinson, thanking him for sending his favorite rye whiskey ‘of the Lincoln County variety.’ This letter led me to believe rye whiskeys were being made in this area, so after I found that letter there was no doubt in my mind a straight rye whiskey would one day be added to our portfolio of whiskeys.”

Uncle Nearest Straight Rye Whisky is available to purchase for $59 at Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, TN. It will also be available online, and roll out nationally throughout November.

The whiskey will be followed by the release of Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label ($79) on Black Friday, Nov. 25, and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye ($89) on December 15. These rollouts are part of the brand’s “12 Weeks of Christmas,” which includes special promotions for Uncle Nearest fans, such as bottle signings at the distillery, and limited-time offerings like the Legacy Collection Ultimate Gift Set, containing all seven Uncle Nearest whiskeys, available to purchase at the distillery the weekend of December 22.

Following the launch of the Single Barrel Black Label at Nearest Green Distillery, it will be solely available at the distillery and on Reservebar.com starting on Monday, November 28 through the first half of 2023. The Single Barrel Rye will follow suit.

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