The Whiskey Brand Story Time Forgot: Weekend #Wordpour
The art of phenomenal copywriting and content writing centers around being able to share a great story. The most successful brands know this full well and capitalize on telling their brand story in a way that captivates and demands loyalty.
So I was shocked as a copywriter and whiskey enthusiast for this story to have only come out recently about one of the most historic whiskey brands/companies in the United States. Which story you might ask? The story of one of the greatest master distillers you've likely never heard of before.
My story this weekend seems only fitting as we come to the close of Black History Month. It centers around an African American slave by the name of Nathan "Nearest" Green. In the mid-1800's, Nearest found himself working on a farm in Lynchburg, Tennessee owned by the Reverend Dan Call...a preacher who also was known to produce whiskey. Nearest was a skilled distiller, and is believed to have been the first to introduce the process of sugar maple charcoal filtering. This process was one that was used to filter water in West Africa and was particularly important in smoothing and mellowing the rough spirit that was being produced on the Call farm.
Somewhere around 1856, a young boy in the area who had lost his mother and needed to help his family make ends meet came to work at the Call farm. Young Jasper Newton was hired as a chore boy to take care of the livestock. Little did anyone know that Newton and Green would go on to make whiskey history.
Call introduced Newton to Green as "the best whiskey maker" he knew, and asked Green to teach Newton his skills as a distiller. The only difference between bourbon and the whiskey that was being produced on the farm was the charcoal filtration method. What Green was teaching Newton how to make was our modern day Tennessee Whiskey.
When the Civil War ended, Newton found himself an orphan at 15 and began a business selling the whiskey he made to provide himself a living. His whiskey became incredibly popular in the area. He partnered with Call for a time before buying out his shares of the distillery. Green was a free man at this time, and Newton approached him to become his master distiller. "Uncle Nearest" became the first master distiller for Jasper "Jack" Newton's new distillery...better known as the Jack Daniels distillery.
Nearest was not only the first master distiller at Jack Daniels, but the first documented African American master distiller recorded in the United States. He is regarded as the creator of true Tennessee Whiskey.
When Jack moved the distillery to the new location, Nearest retired, but his sons went to work side by side with Jack, carrying on the tradition. To this day, there have been seven full generations of Nearest Green's descendants working at the Jack Daniels distillery or those owned by the company.
To celebrate Uncle Nearest's legacy, the Nearest Green Foundation was established as a non-profit organization involved in many projects including providing full college scholarships for the Green family descendants. The original 1856 Uncle Nearest distillery has been purchased and dedicated as an educational tourist destination. And he is honored with the captivating whiskey that is currently flowing into my glass, much like the captivating voice of this brand story...Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey.
So, is this whiskey as special as it's namesake? Let's dig into this amber liquid tale.
On the nose, it's almost yeasty but sweet...like a coffee cake or a sweetbread...cinnamon bread, perhaps? Definitely citrusy, but more lemony than orange. Faint smells of damp earth and white pepper. Crushed walnut shells are there as well. Reminds me of having to crack nuts at my grandfather's farm as a young girl. In fact, all of those smells stir up the image of being back at the family farm. Those scents wafting together melodiously in grandma's kitchen while she baked on a fall day with the windows open after a rain. So far so good.
On the tongue, you definitely taste the charred oak from the barrels up front, strong hit of spice mid-palate, and then it makes you say "hmmm...but in the best of ways." Burnt brown sugar, and that spicy something I couldn't quite figure out on the nose. What is that spice? Call me crazy, but it reminds me a bit of sassafrass: lemony, earthy, anise, and that sweetness like root beer. That sounds really odd, but it's delicious! Nice, warmness on the finish all the way down the throat. This could become an absolute go-to for a whiskey enthusiast and copywriter alike. I feel like this should be what Hemingway drank rather than frozen daiquiris (yes, Hemingway drank daiquiris).
So much history in a simple pour...a simple #wordpour. A brand story worthy of being told. Uncle Nearest's brand voice is one that should be shouted from the rooftops and celebrated. Pour yourself a glass of Uncle Nearest 1856 and maybe you, too, will make history with your own brand story.
Sheral~ Owner/Founder C3 Specialties.
*I do not receive compensation from the products or brands mentioned in my blog posts. The opinions and commentary are solely my own.