Nearest Green Distillery, makers of the most-awarded American Whiskey or Bourbon of 2019, 2020, and 2021, has announced that it will add three permanent expressions to its national portfolio before the end of 2022: Uncle Nearest Straight Rye Whiskey, Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye. Uncle Nearest Straight Rye, which just launched, is the brand's first new whiskey available to purchase since the 2019 release of its 1884 Small Batch Whiskey. SRP: $59.
The whiskey will be followed by the release of Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label ($79) on Black Friday, Nov. 25, and Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye ($89) on Dec. 15.
"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."
Due to the challenges of 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/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."