The biddies are on summer break! But, don’t worry — we know there’s no rest for the wine and spirits 🙂

This is one of our all time most listened to episodes: the story of Uncle Nearest, Godfather of Tennessee Whiskey, born Nathan Green – an enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to distill. He also made his own delicious whiskeys and his recipes and style has been resurrected by the Uncle Nearest label. Tune in for all the details!

Spirit Featured

Both Calla and Kara drink Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch Whiskey



Photo credit: Uncle Nearest

Study Notes

*Please note: Study notes may be directly copy and pasted from the sources above


  • Winning ALL THE AWARDS
    • Spirit brand of the year
    • International Wine & Spirits Bourbon Trophy
    • World’s Best 2020 @ World Whiskies Awards
    • To name a few… “three ultra-premium whiskeys have garnered more than 150 awards and accolades throughout the world since the brand’s July 2017 debut” 


  • Godfather of Tennessee Whiskey Uncle Nearest, born Nathan Green – a slave who taught Jack Daniel how to distill
  • A 2016 NYT article about Jack Daniel’s whiskey, revealed that Jack Daniel did not learn to distill from local preacher Dan Call, but from a slave working as the master distiller on Dan Call’s property
  • The 2016 story inspired Fawn Weaver to investigate Nearest’s story – she was looking for a historical story to turn into a book and then adapt as a movie
  • She started with a Jack Daniel’s biography by Ben Green, and learned that Jack Daniel’s mother had died when he was four months old, and when he was about 7 he started working as a chore boy on Dan Call’s property. She saw Nearest Green and his children’s names mentioned many times
  • She and her husband then go down to Lynchburg Tennessee public library to continue her research
    • On day 1, oldest living descendent of Jack Daniel walks in – the librarian had tipped off the family that a black author and movie producer were investigating the Jack Daniel family – upon meeting Dawn and her husband, she agreed to help them investigate the origin story
    • Then they realize the farm where Nearest was a distiller and Jack grew up was for sale and they call up the realtor and go see it
    • Weaver put in an offer and bought the farm, leading to a year of intensive research
    • When she asked Nearest’s descendents how they’d like to honor his legacy, they thought that he should have his own brand of whiskey – gave birth to the whiskey brand 


  • Unlike many contemporary whiskey brands, Uncle Nearest started with the story and then had to create a product that did it justice
  • Weaver had toyed with the idea of releasing a whiskey, but money kept proving to be an obstacle
    • Sherrie Moore had recently retired from the family business at Jack Daniel’s – she offered to come out of retirement to help Weaver make a whiskey, Weaver told Moore: “If you come out of retirement to make sure we get this right, I will raise the money.”
    • Sherrie is the first woman to oversee operations for a major whiskey brand – first at Jack Daniel’s and now at Uncle Nearest
  • Since its release, Uncle Nearest has become the fastest‐growing independent premium American whiskey brand in US history.
  • The great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green, Victoria Eady Butler, is the master blender – the first African-American blender in the industry
    • Weaver had a plan to have all remaining relatives of Nearest to release a whiskey. Victoria was the first and her 1884 whiskey won a ton of awards so they asked her for a second which did even better – so she now oversees all blending
  • Uncle Nearest also has an all-woman executive team and an all-minority executive-board
  • Partnership with Jack Daniels to launch a $5M fund to support minority-owned businesses: The Nearest & Jack Investment Initiative

TECHNICAL NOTES – 1884 Premium Small Batch

  • Lincoln County Process
  • A minimum seven-year-old whiskey, drawn from barrels that were handpicked by Fawn Weaver, co-founder of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey; Mash bill of at least 51% corn; Aged in new, charred oak barrels; Priced about $50 for a 750 ml bottle; 93 proof


  • In June 2021, Fawn Weaver went a step further towards diversifying and industry long dominated by white men as the company announced the creation of a $50 million investment fund aimed at helping minority owned spirits business grow
  • This announcement was timed to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre
    • Prosperous Black neighborhood in Tulsa, Okla was destroyed and hundreds of residents were killed by a white mob
  • The fund is owned be overseen by a board of seven directors, including Fawn Weaver, Carolyn Feinstein (former chief marketing officer of Dropbox) and Mark McCallum, chief brand officer for Brown Forman, the company that owns Jack Daniels
  • Black own spirits are the first investment priority but the fund will consider any brand founded or led by a woman or a person of color
  • First two investments include – Jack From Brooklyn
    • In 2012 became the first known Black-owned distillery to open in the United States since Prohibition but ran out of money and closed
      • Money to relaunch of Sorel, a sweet, spiced hibiscus liqueur with Caribbean roots developed by distillery’s founder Jackie Summers
    • Second is Equiano Rum Company – a British rum brand named for Olaudah Equiano who was prominent in abolitionist scene
      • Born in Africa and enslaved in the Caribbean and then brought to freedom in 1766


Courtesy of

  • Appearance: Golden amber, like the sun slowly rising on a warm, summer morning. A translucent, light yellow glow; like a healing citrine gemstone filling your heart with love and light.
  • Nose: Waves of fresh churned butter and honey on toast fill my nose. I can smell butter browning on the stove, bringing back memories of homemade rice crispy treats cooling on the counter at grandma’s house.
  • Palate: A little harsh and dry, with a mild burn and flashes of smoked wood. The sugar maple process gives it a crisp, smooth, agave-like sweetness. Almost like vanilla cupcakes baking in the oven or fresh, fragrant flower fields on a warm, spring day.