Review: Uncle Nearest 1884 Whiskey

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.


Uncle Nearest 1884 Whiskey




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


  1. Walker Veal on November 22, 2019 at 2:06 am

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

    • Christopher Null on November 22, 2019 at 8:48 am

      Thanks you for the correction!

  2. Dale Strother on January 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm

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

    • Shannon Nicholson on December 4, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      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.

    • Christopher Null on December 4, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      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.

    • R.J. Hairston, Jr. on July 19, 2021 at 9:40 pm

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

  3. David on April 26, 2020 at 10:50 am

    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 on February 12, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Horrible Review. This is very inaccurate.

  5. Anon on October 29, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Why do you use the word “reportedly” here: “Uncle Nearest, the man who reportedly taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey”

    Are you saying that this is not true?

    • Christopher Null on October 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      “Reportedly” means simply that it has been reported by others. I presume it to be true. It sounds like you are confusing the term with “allegedly.”

  6. JLK on April 13, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    I actually got the 1856 from article on black women owned business and not the other. I was impressed s were several friends. The other I have to agree is a disappointment but no longer can get 1856 at least in tx so will move to different one.

  7. Virginia Thomas on May 13, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    I personally enjoyed it. Being a Cognac drinker this was a nice change of pace. It wasn’t overly sweet as you suggested and I drink mine neat or on the rocks. I was very disappointed in your assessment of this product but like they say to each his own

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