*A Tennessee whiskey named after the former slave who mentored Jack Daniel is now the best-selling minority owned and founded spirit of all time.
According to Tennessean.com, launching a whiskey brand was not on the mind of author Fawn Weaver when she came across a New York Times article about Nathan “Nearest” Green and the formation of the Jack Daniel Distillery several years ago. She was so intrigued that she and her husband traveled from Los Angeles to Lynchburg, Tennessee, with the goal of writing a story about Green and making him a household name.
“That’s the story I was chasing,” she said. “Whiskey wasn’t a part of it.”
Four years later, Weaver’s award-winning American whiskey brand, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, is the best-selling African-American owned and founded spirit brand in history, the company announced Tuesday. The product has sold nearly 1.5 million bottles and netted more than 160 awards since its 2017 launch. Its bottles are available in more than 21,000 bars, restaurants and stores in all 50 states and 12 countries.
In 2020, the company saw its ninth quarter in a row of triple-digit growth, and its gross revenue increased 94%. Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is on track to sell 250,000 cases of whiskey in 2021.
“The spirits industry has never seen anything like this in all the years data has been tracked through Nielsen, the International Wine and Spirits Record, or the Information Resources Inc., the three major data collection agencies for the (spirits) industry,” said Don Bichsel, founder of spirits data collection and analysis company 3 Tier Beverages.
“No African-American founded and led spirit brand has ever come close to what the Uncle Nearest brand and team have done,” Bichsel stated in a news release. “We analyzed every piece of credible data and Uncle Nearest is undoubtedly the top seller of all time, with the rest of the top 10 being so far behind that they barely registered on Nielsen’s.”
Watch the incredible story of Nathan “Nearest” Green, Fawn Weaver’s mission and the birth of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey below: