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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Uncle Nearest Announces Grand Opening of New Distillery - First-Ever Whiskey Distillery to Honor an African-American

Tennessee based Uncle Nearest has announced the grand opening of phase one of their new distillery that is aptly named the Nearest Green Distillery, named after the first known African-American master distiller, Nearest Green.

This new distillery sits on a 270-acre property with new buildings and experiences scheduled to be built and created in the coming years. The first phase includes the following:
  • A Tennessee Walking Horse experience where visitors will not only learn the history of the Walking Horse. Additionally, visitors will see where more than 50 championship walking horses, and horses they sire, will continue to reside at the property. 
  • The Welcome House, complete with a custom-made horseshoe bar where visitors will learn about and sample Uncle Nearest's award-winning whiskeys. It will be the only place in the world with tastings of all four expressions: Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey, Uncle Nearest 1884 Premium Small Batch Whiskey, Uncle Nearest 1820 Premium Single Barrel Whiskey and Nathan Green 1870 Premium Single Barrel Whiskey, an expression previously sold only in the U.K. A second-story Awards Mezzanine was built out to showcase some of the more than 50 awards the brand has already won. 
  • A Copper Skies Experience where guests can sit in rocking chairs under a covered patio to see the most beautiful sunset in Tennessee. Visitors can sip on Uncle Nearest cocktails from Toppy's, a connecting bar named after the CEO's own horse, while watching the colors of the sunset. 
  • A Full Retail Store, where visitors can purchase custom apparel, rare bottles of Uncle Nearest, and just about anything else Uncle Nearest makes. 
  • The Bottling House open to the public, allowing visitors to take part in labeling the whiskey sold in the retail store. All four Uncle Nearest offerings will be bottled here. 
  • A Hard Hat Tour, offered with every premium tasting. This experience walks visitors through the spaces under construction that will open in 2020, such as the single barrel warehouse and tasting room, as well as the Heritage Hall, an impressive collection of all things invented in Tennessee such as NASCAR, miniature golf, Moon Pies and Mountain Dew, with a special focus on Tennessee Whiskey, Walking Horses and country music.
Fawn Weaver, co-founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest says:
"When I went to write the invitations for the distillery opening, tears began to stream down my face. I'm not a person who cries often, but something about this history just chokes me up. When I wrote the opening line, 'If Nearest Green could have owned his own distillery, would he have?' I could only think of this incredible master distiller that likely never had the chance. And posthumously, we are working to ensure his name is cemented in the hearts and minds of people around the world for generations to come. The Nearest Green Distillery is his legacy and that of his descendants. Being able to bring that to life, quite frankly, still blows my mind."
There is a special preview grand opening event on Thursday, September 5. You can RSVP for the opening celebration, book a tasting and hard hat tour. To learn more head to

Our Take

First of all, this is really cool to have a distillery honoring Uncle Nearest and more importantly, a distillery that has an African-American female co-founder and CEO. I think we can agree that most of what we see in the bourbon and whiskey industry are white males (look at every master distiller of every major brand).

I had a taste of the Uncle Nearest bourbon recently at The Great Southern Whiskey Bar (which is an amazing bar people in Columbus should check out) and came away impressed. I'm excited for what's to come and will have the Uncle Nearest Distillery as a stop if I make it south of Kentucky on a distillery tour.

Source: Uncle Nearest

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