Named after Nathan “Nearest” Green, the former slave who’s credited with teaching Jack Daniels how to distill, Uncle Nearest 1856 is a sourced Tennessee whiskey – which they’ve been upfront in disclosing. They have some of their own whiskey which is their Silver Whiskey that they, or someone they’re contracting with, has distilled and will be on the market in the future, but for now they’re an undisclosed NDP.
In Uncle Nearest’s Words: Uncle Nearest 1856
“It is our Silver whiskey that will become our Aged after a minimum of seven years. As we still have time before our silver turns to gold, we are working with two local distilleries still making Tennessee whiskey the way Nearest made it intricately by hand, placing it in the barrel close to the same 110-proof Nearest was known for, and pouring it out at just the right age, taste and color for a surprisingly smooth finish.”
When it comes to a place like Tennessee you don’t exactly have too many options of where you can get fully matured whisky at scale. Your options are really George Dickel (which this definitely tastes like), Prichard’s (which I’ve never had) and Jack Daniels (which doesn’t sell it’s barrels to NDPs). Looking at this playing field it looks like Uncle Nearest 1856 is likely a combination of Dickel and Prichard’s. Though based on the experience outlined in the Uncle Nearest 1856 review below I’d say it’s mostly Dickel.
Uncle Nearest 1856 Info
Region: Tennessee, USA
Distiller: George Dickel & possibly Prichard’s… but definitely Dickel
Bottler: Uncle Nearest
Mashbill: 84% corn, 8% rye & 8% malted barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Uncle Nearest 1856 Review
Toasted sesame seeds, oak, corn, caramel, cinnamon, vanilla and a bit of olde candy.
Toasted sesame seeds, oak, toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, nuts and some olde candy.
Medium fade of toasted sesame seeds, cinnamon, oak and vanilla sweetness.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Ok balance, round body and a soft easy feel.
I really enjoy the toasted sesame note in this Uncle Nearest 1856, but I wish it was a bit less. It’s one of my favorite flavors when I’m cooking and to get it in a whiskey is fun, I just wish it didn’t dominate the way it does. By no means is there anything massively wrong with the whiskey, but if this is indeed a blend of two distilleries like they state then it’s a bit of an odd blend for sure.
The dominant character of the whiskey is toasted sesame seeds, to a surprising degree, but the underlying structure and corn driven character is undeniably George Dickel. This is a good whiskey for what it is, but I have to wonder why they mixed Dickel and another – likely Prichard’s – whiskies together. Could be a reason of supply or could be a reason of trying to make something different or new. If it’s the latter they definitely succeeded there.
SCORE: 84/100 (B)
*Disclosure: This Uncle Nearest 1856 was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.