Jack Daniels wasn’t born knowing how to make whiskey. Someone had to teach him and that someone isn’t who you’d expect. Uncle Nearest, born Nathan Green, was a slave in Tennessee who first taught a young Jack Daniels how to distill. The two worked together when Green was rented to a farmer named Dan Call, who’d also hired a teenage Daniels. Green mentored Daniels in the ways of whiskey and when Green was freed following the Civil War, Daniels remembered his first teacher and brought Green into a newly established distillery. The New York Times has an excellent article about Green’s role in creating Jack Daniels and the rediscovery of that role and they go into far more detail than we can here.
Beyond that, Uncle Nearest is getting some additional recognition in the release of a new whiskey bearing his name. It’s made using the same techniques as Uncle Nearest would have used and is as close to his own personal recipe as people can get. This whiskey has some of the most unusual tasting notes we’ve ever seen, with bales of hay and pumpkin seeds featuring prominently, so we’re looking as hard as we can to get our hands on a whiskey this special. Both in origin and in taste.