As Saturday mornings go, this was a good one.
Although the Nearest Green Distillery is still in its opening stages of building, its doors were opened to the public for its first ever official distillery hard hat tour and tasting and some of the American Whiskey Magazine team went along for the experience.
It would be safe to say that the first thing to hit you upon driving up to the well-loved old home of Sand Creek Farms walking horse farm, is the sheer size of it. Spread across 270 acres, it is whiskey as far as the eye can see.
The tour began with a talk from Fawn Weaver co-founder and CEO, and the woman behind bringing the story of Nearest Green, affectionately known as Uncle Nearest, back to life. Leaving us with the final opening statement before the tour began, Fawn added that they couldn’t wait to get the gates open because, quite frankly, “Nearest waited long enough.”
It’s clear that the concept of family is at the heart of the Uncle Nearest brand and the planning that has gone into creating the distillery, from the impact Nathan Green’s descendants have had on the whiskey making process (with each bottle signed by those involved) to the creation of Heritage Hall, a family friendly spot on the grounds that will bring the spirit of Tennessee to life with walking horses, great food and great whiskey.
From Heritage Hall, through to what will go on to become one of the distillery bars – housed in the old stables – we looked on to the spot in which the whiskey distillation will take place in purpose-built Vendome stills. Then next to it, the Sensory Lab, which will be home to the legendary Sherrie Moore, director of whiskey production, who previously worked for more than 30 years at Jack Daniel Distillery.
Moving back towards the Welcome House, it was time for the pièce de résistance that is of course, the whiskey tasting. Among the tastings were the Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey, Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch Whiskey and what I must say is a personal favourite, the Uncle Nearest 1820 Premium Whiskey while learning a little more about the history that came before the brand.
Hard hat tours and tastings are available here.