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Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey to construct distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee

DBR Staff Writer Published 26 December 2017

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is planning to construct a distillery at Tennessee Walking Horse Site in Shelbyville.

Plans also include country music venue and 100 acres of planted corn, named Field of Dreams.

Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green, is popularly known as Uncle Nearest, is considered to be one of the first distilleries to have the first African-American master distiller on record in the US.

Uncle Nearest Whiskey sales and marketing vice president Kate Jerkens stated that the company expects to build at the historic Dan Call Farm, planning away from Lynchburg for few reasons.

One of the main reasons for moving is claimed to tap into the opportunity to broaden regional economic benefits by creating new opportunities in the neighboring community in Shelbyville.

Uncle Nearest currently distills its Premium Silver whiskey, which it claims is made using a 19th century recipe, saved from a fire in Lynchburg.

The company also owns a piece of 313 acre farm where the original Jack Daniel Distillery was located until May 31, 1881 and where is claimed to have Nearest Green taught a young entrepreneur named Jack Daniel the fine art of making Tennessee Whiskey.

After conducting a public hearing and a unanimous approval of all 18 commissioners for the chief legislative body in Bedford County, along with a unanimous approval from three additional commissions, Sand Creek Farms was rezoned on 12 December 2017.

Nearest Green plans to build at the 270-acre Sand Creek Farms. In 100 acres of land, corn will be planted. The site also includes walking paths throughout and wells that deliver natural spring water.

Uncle Nearest’s recipe includes corn malt and there could be a malt house built at the site. Local vendors and contractors will be hired for the revitalization efforts. Several of the current buildings on the property will be converted for the distillery operations.

Presently, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is being made in concert with a whiskey-maker in Nashville and will continue as such until the new distillery is complete. Its inventory of barrels that were previously sourced from two Tennessee distilleries will continue to serve as the base for its whiskey.

The final filtration step, which is claimed to produce the ultra-smooth taste, will be brought in-house, after the distillery’s construction is completed.

Jerkens said: “When a writer for Whisky Magazine does a blind taste test of a slew of 100-proof whiskeys with a group of whiskey connoisseurs and your whiskey ‘wins hands down,’ you know it’s time to start planning for the brand to grow and put quality assurances in place to ensure that, as we get bigger, our product just gets better.

“Not to mention, two of our vendors have already told us that, at our current pace, we’re going to outgrow their capacity much sooner than forecast.”


Image: Uncle Nearest to build distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Photo: Courtesy of Business Wire.