Nearest Green Distillery releases new straight rye whiskey

Nearest Green Distillery released a new whiskey today, Uncle Nearest Straight Rye Whiskey. It’s one of three that will be added to their permanent portfolio by the end of 2022 including Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye. (Photo Courtesy of Nearest Green Distillery)

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. — It’s one of three new whiskey expressions being added to their national portfolio. Today, Nearest Green Distillery announced the official release of Uncle Nearest Straight Rye Whiskey. Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label will be available this Friday, November 25 and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye will hit shelves before the end of 2022.

Uncle Nearest Straight Rye Whiskey 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. The November 10 release follows the sold-out launch of the distillery exclusive Uncle Nearest Uncut/Unfiltered Rye Whiskey, which has already been met with rave reviews by critics and received awards from top competitions including being named Best in Class at The Drinks Business & The Spirits Business Autumn Tasting.

The 100-proof straight rye – hand-selected by four-time Master Blender of the Year and great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green, Victoria Eady Butler – features a bold, decadent nose and a palate brimming with light vanilla cream, caramelized sugar, and the unmistakable spice of rye, complimented by a long, rich finish.

“It took us a while to release our 100-proof straight rye whiskey. If we were going to add rye to our lineup, it had to be worthy of all the accolades and awards our other whiskeys receive,” said Master Blender Victoria Eady Butler. “My great-great-grandfather’s legacy of excellence requires us to take our time to do things differently. I’m confident he would have been so proud of this straight rye whiskey.”

According to the distillery, due to the challenges around growing rye in Tennessee, this whiskey originates in Canada – according to the exact American specifications required to be a straight rye whiskey – and is then aged in New York
for a minimum of four years before moving down to Tennessee, where it is then rested in used Uncle Nearest barrels for additional maturation. The liquid is then tasted, barrel by barrel, and blended by Victoria.

“When I was doing my research on Nearest Green, I came across a handwritten letter from President William Taft,” said 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 Whiskey will be available to purchase for $59 at Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville starting today. It will also be available online and will be rolling out nationally throughout November. The whiskey will be followed by the release of Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label ($79) on Black Friday, November 25, and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye ($89) on December 15.

These rollouts are part of the brand’s 12 Weeks of Christmas, which will include bottle signings at the distillery, and limited time offerings 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 starting on Monday, November 28 through the first half of 2023. The Single Barrel Rye will follow suit.

Nearest Green Distillery is the world’s first distillery to commemorate an African American and it’s got a storied history with Lynchburg. Founder Fawn Weaver launched the brand in 2017 to celebrate a Lynchburg legend, Nearest Green, the formerly enslaved Black man credited with teaching Jack Daniel how to make Tennessee whiskey using The Lincoln County Process in which whiskey is filtered through maple charcoal to remove impurities.

Located in Bedford County, the 323-acre Nearest Green Distillery has become known as a full-blown destination for whiskey lovers, history enthusiasts, and families. It pays tribute to the three things Tennessee is most known for: Tennessee Whiskey, Tennessee Walking Horses and Tennessee Music. For more information or to book a tour, visit their website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently-owned, community newspaper located in Lynchburg, Tennessee the home of The Jack Daniel Distillery. We focus on public service, non-partisan, rural journalism. We cover the Metro Moore County government, local tourism, Moore County schools, high school sports, Motlow State Community College, as well as whiskey industry news and regional and state stories that affect our readers.}