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Review: Uncle Nearest 1884 Whiskey


The Uncle Nearest brand only got its start in late 2018 with the launch of Uncle Nearest 1856, but the brand has already launched a second and third expression. We missed #2, Uncle Nearest 1820, and we’re skipping ahead to #3: Uncle Nearest 1884. Like 1856, it’s a sourced, Tennessee-distilled whiskey that doesn’t formally carry the “Tennessee whiskey” identifier. The new expression is billed as a small batch whiskey that is aged for 7 years (though there’s no age statement on the label). It’s bottled at a lower proof than the 100 proof 1856, and is being marketed as being lighter in body.

And that, my friends, is an understatement. Uncle Nearest 1884 is a veritable mess, and here’s why.

The nose sets the stage: Impossibly sweet, it offers aromas of pure cane sugar and cotton candy, with hints of citrus and vanilla. The overall effect is akin to a freshly opened box of breakfast cereal, that massive punch of sugar dominating everything. The palate takes no major detours: There’s a highly sweetened iced tea note here, followed by notes of brown butter and canned peaches, but otherwise it’s a showcase for sugar. The finish is borderline cloying, an aggressive dosing of sweetness lingering for ages on the tongue, to the point where it significantly outstays its welcome.

Uncle Nearest, the man who reportedly taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey, is said to have put his final barrels down in 1884, hence the name. I sure hope it didn’t taste like this.

93 proof.

C- / $50 / unclenearest.com [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

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Uncle Nearest 1884 Whiskey



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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  1. Walker Veal November 22, 2019

    1884 is Uncle Nearest’s third release. First came 1856 then there was 1820 in early 2019. Then followed the 1884 release.

    1. Christopher Null November 22, 2019

      Thanks you for the correction!

  2. Dale Strother January 23, 2020

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment. Though I did taste and smell some sweetness it was not overpowering or unwelcome. It was pleasant.

    1. Shannon Nicholson December 4, 2020

      Agreed. Christopher’s reviews are usually spot on, but this one is way off. It’s a pleasant sipper and even better in an old fashioned.

    2. Christopher Null December 4, 2020

      I keep trying Uncle Nearest whiskeys and they just don’t do it for me. All are so so sweet. It’s just too much. Happy it’s found an audience, though.

    3. R.J. Hairston, Jr. July 19, 2021

      Your review is obvious. Your tone is obvious. Thus your review doesn’t seem genuine.

  3. David April 26, 2020

    What a terrible review. I wonder what the author ate before tasting this whiskey. First time trying it was last night as an avid bourbon drinker this was a nice change up. I Highly recommend

  4. Anonymous February 12, 2021

    Horrible Review. This is very inaccurate.


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