WHISKEY DREAMS – Uncle Nearest 1856

Uncle Nearest 1856 has created a lot of stir over the last two years by winning multiple awards and having an ever growing number of sippers recommend it to their fellows, which is exactly how I ended up with a bottle in my hands. Several friends had mentioned Uncle nearest 1856 to me, but up until this week I’d never seen a bottle on a shelf, so when I did, I grabbed it, even though I was really looking for Brut for my wife to make mimosas on Kmiss morn.

2019 & 2020 Most-Awarded American Whiskey

Uncle Nearest 1856 is a blended Tennessee Whiskey with some big shoes to fill. According to their website:

Uncle Nearest is the most awarded new American premium whiskey brand in United States history, garnering 75 awards since its July 2017 debut, including being one of two brands named “World’s Best” at Whisky Magazine’s 2019 World Whiskies Awards, and earning 15 Best in Class. Cigar & Spirits Magazine also named Uncle Nearest one of the “Top 5 Whiskies in the World.”

Did it live up to the hype?

Let’s start with the nose. The first thing you will get when you put this Uncle Nearest 1856 to your nose is alcohol burn. You can really smell that 100 Proof, but the good news is that just beneath that is a swirling, complex nose that fills your olfactory nerves with sweet brown sugar, nutmeg, caramel, maple, and a hint of cut grass.

Just like the nose, you do get a rush of alcohol on the tongue on that first sip, but it quickly gets balanced by that brown sugar, caramel, and wood char, that is all perfectly balanced. This is a very smooth sipper. The mouth feel is light and yet complex, with the wood char mixing with the sweetness that switches between Maple and Brown sugar in a very delightful way before ending coasting to a long, smooth finish.

Uncle Nearest 1856 scored an 84/100, putting it ahead of most of its piers by a large measure. What cost it a few points? For me, that 100 Proof does balance out, but it may be too much for newcomers to the whiskey world, and while it is very smooth, the maple and brown sugar may be too sweet if you’re a Scotch lover.

Uncle nearest 1856 also made it into my Whiskey Safe, which means I will keep an untouched bottle safely stored away so I can enjoy it many years from now, and I only had to drive an hour to find my second bottle.

Pros

  • Wonderful nose that mixes maple, caramel, and nutmeg.
  • Perfectly blended char, maple, brown sugar, and nutmeg on the tongue.
  • Long, smooth finish on the palate.
  • Extremely smooth.
  • Uncle Nearest 1856 made it into my Whiskey Safe!

Cons:

  • That 100 proof can create a little burn on first touch.
  • That 100 proof can also hurt you the day after. It is very smooth and goes down easy, and that might leave you with a headache the next day, as it makes it easy to over indulge.
  • This may be for moderate to advanced sippers. It might just be “too much” for the new whiskey drinker.
  • Hard to find, at least by me.
BottleScorePrice
Redbreast 12 Year96$80 / 750ml
Jameson Distiller's Safe95$65 / 750ml
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750ml
Booker's "Sip Awhile" 2017-493$80 / 750ml
Knappogue Castle 14 Year92$68 / 750ml
Bib & Tucker91$75 / 750ml
Angels Envy90$65 / 750ml
Tyrconnel 16 Year88$95 / 750ml
Knappognue Castle 12 Year87$55 / 750ml
Powers Three Swallow87$38 / 750ml
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$49 / 750ml
Green Spot86$75/ 750ml
Jameson Triple Triple85$45 / 750ml
Tin Cup85$30 / 750ml
Uncle Nearest 185684$55 / 750ml
Kilbeggan Traditional Irish Whiskey84$30 / 750ml
Smooth Ambler Old Scout Whiskey84$40 / 750ml
Lambay Cognac Finish83$65 / 750ml
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition83$50 / 750ml
Jameson Blender's Dog82$67 / 750ml
Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year82$50 / 750ml
Jameson Black Barrel81$39 / 750ml
Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon81$45 / 750ml
Old Forester 187080$55 / 750ml
Jameson80$40 / 750ml
Don Julio 194280$160 / 750ml
Michters US 1 Small Batch79$45 / 750ml
Monkey Shoulder79$35 / 750ml
Old Forester 189779$55 / 750ml
Yellowstone78$35 / 750ml
Chestnut Farms Bourbon77$45 / 750ml
West Cork77$30 / 750ml
Basil Hayden's75$35 / 750ml
Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Bourbon75$35 / 750ml
Old Forester Statesman75$65 / 750ml
Hirsch Small Batch74$35 / 750ml
Glendalough Double Barrel Irish Whiskey74$45 / 750ml
Stillhouse Black Bourbon73$20 / 750ml
Tullamore D.E.W 12 Year73$50 / 750ml
Bushmills 10 Year72$50 / 750ml
Legent72$35 / 750ml
Clyde May's Original Alabama Style Whiskey72$33 / 750ml
Proper Twelve71$30 / 750ml
Teeling Whiskey70$50 / 750ml
Redbreast Lustau 12 Year Old70$80/ 750ml
Tullamore Dew Crock69$40 / 750ml
Bird Dog Kentucky Bourbon68$22 / 750ml
Death's Door68$40 / 750ml
Appleton Reserve Blend Jamaican Rum67$30 / 750ml
Cruzan No. 9 Spiced Rum67$20 / 750ml
McConnell’s Irish Whisky66$25 / 750ml
Four Roses Small Batch66$30 / 750ml
Kavanagh 16 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey66$50 / 750ml
Beer Barrel Bourbon66$35 / 750ml
Quiet Man Traditional65$40 / 750ml
Gentleman Jack65$35 / 750ml
Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey65$35 / 750ml
Kraken Rum64$25 / 750ml
Tullamore Dew63$25 / 750ml
Wild Turkey63$35 / 750ml
Bushmills Irish Whiskey62$31 / 750ml
Writers Tears61$35 / 750ml
Jefferson60$25/ 750ml
Maker's Mark60$25 / 750ml
Old Grand-Dad 11459$30 / 750ml
Fighting Cock58$18 / 750ml
Elijah Craig57$27 / 750ml
Bulleit Bourbon56$28 / 750ml
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750ml
The Sexton54$40 / 750ml
Fistful of Bourbon53$40 / 750ml
Kilbrin 10 Year Single Malt52$55 / 750ml
Jack Daniels`51$25 / 750ml
Agitator Kentucky Bourbon50$30 / 750ml
Knob Creek Small Batch49$30 / 750ml
Blade and Bow48$50 / 750ml
Widow Jane45$70 / 750ml
Teeling Single Malt43$65 / 750ml
GlenGoyne 12 Year42$75/ 750ml
Dogfish Head Alternate Takes41$55/ 750ml
Redemption40$30 / 750ml
Rowan's Creek39$30 / 750ml
Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon38$50 / 750ml
Woodford Reserve30$13 / 50ml
Breaker29$60 / 750ml
Pure Kentucky28$40 / 750ml
Stranahan's Single Malt27$65 / 750ml
Egan’s Fortitude Irish Whiskey26$50 / 750ml
Winchester Extra Smooth15$23 / 750ml
Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750ml
Hill Billy9$20 / 750ml
Fireball5$18 / 750ml
Kavanagh Single Malt Irish Whiskey3$35 / 750ml
Balvenie Caribbean Cask2$90 / 750ml
American XXX Born - Bourbon Whiskey1$26 / 750ml

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