The Uncle Nearest distillery is located in Shelbyville, Tenn. The famously small town is where Nathan "Nearest" Green lived and made whiskey in what was then known as Lincoln County. The company now owns the 313-acre farm where the original Jack Daniel Distillery was located, and where Green taught Daniel the art of making Tennessee whiskey - a fascinating and illuminating nugget of whiskey history that had largely gone untold until recently. As their own whiskey ages, they are working with two local distilleries making Tennessee whiskey, barreling close to the same 110-proof Nearest was known for, and bottling at just the right age.
The third release from Uncle Nearest, the 1884 bottling sets itself apart from their flagship 1856 bottling by showcasing a lighter, less oak driven profile. Aged for 7 years, it is bottled at a slightly lower 93 proof, and goes through the same Lincoln County process of sugar maple charcoal filtration that Tennessee is famous for. On the nose, you are first hit with a recognizable hit of banana bread, a Tennessee signature to be sure. That is followed by notes of sweet corn, lemon custard, and floral notes. Taking a sip, your palate is gently welcomed with butterscotch, honey, graham cracker, apple skin, and a lovely hint of smoke. The finish touches on nutmeg, brown butter, and more of that classic banana. An elegant sip that is brandy-like in it's balance of full character but gentle approach.