Episode 124: Uncle Nearest

Patrice, Marleah, and Courtney drink Old Fashioneds while Patrice tells us the tale of the true father of Tennessee’s most famous whiskey and the woman who resurrected his legacy.

Listen up, whiskey lovers! Nathan “Nearest” Green was a pioneering African-American distiller who is widely credited with teaching Jack Daniel, the founder of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, how to make the famous spirit. Born into slavery in Maryland in 1820, Green was sold to a farm in Tennessee, where he developed his skills in distilling. Green’s reputation as a skilled and knowledgeable distiller quickly grew, and he was soon recruited to work for the fledgling Jack Daniel’s distillery. Over the years, Green became an instrumental figure in the company’s development, helping to create the unique charcoal-mellowing process that is used to this day. Despite his significant contributions, Green’s story was largely unknown and unrecognized outside of Lynchburg, Tennessee, until New York Times bestselling author Fawn Weaver uncovered it in 2016. Weaver’s research led her to found the Nearest Green Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving Green’s legacy and supporting the education and empowerment of African-American distillers. Today, Nathan “Nearest” Green’s story serves as a testament to the important contributions of African-Americans to the whiskey industry and to the enduring legacy of the Jack Daniel’s brand. Today, we raise a glass to Nathan “Nearest” Green, a true whiskey trailblazer.



Uncle Nearest Old Fasioned


  • 1.5 oz Uncle Nearest 1856
  • 2 bar spoons simple syrup
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 blood orange peel


  • Add simple syrup, bitters, whiskey, and a squeeze of orange peel to a large rocks glass.
  • Add ice.
  • Stir gently until the level of the ice and liquid equalize.
  • Zest an orange peel over the glass then add the peel to the drink as a garnish.
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