Uncle Nearest CEO Makes History On American Whiskey Magazine

American Whiskey Magazinethe quarterly publication celebrating whiskeys from around the USA from Paragraph Publishing Limited, the publishers of international best-seller, Whisky Magazine, announced the launch of its March 2019 issue with Fawn Weaver, CEO, Co-Founder and Chief Historian of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, on its cover. The occasion marks the first time in the publishing house’s more than 20-year history that an African-American is featured on the front of one of its publications. The issue hit newsstands this week.

The 8-page cover story, TAKING ON THE WORLD: The Rise of Uncle Nearest, is an update to the November 2017 article written by Jim Leggett for Whisky Magazine. “I recall wondering if this, the first spirit brand in history commemorating an African-American would, could, find a home among increasingly crowded store displays, even join the top shelf brands in upmarket clubs and bars,” said Leggett. “Well, now sold in almost 50 states and eight international markets later, the answer is a resounding yes! The upstart label is already selling in more than 4,000 locations around the world, London, Tokyo, Cape Town, Glasgow and Belfast included,” Leggett continued, outlining the extraordinary growth of a brand that is barely 18 months old.

Uncle Nearest was created to honor the whiskey-making process of the person many now refer to as the “godfather of Tennessee whiskey,” Nathan “Nearest” Green. As the first known African-American master distiller, the brand is the first in the spirit industry’s history to commemorate an African-American. “In this day and age, in what feels like an increasingly divided America, it’s nice to have at least one feel good story; a legacy lost, rediscovered, now shared with a world with all its problems, people not only embracing it…but cheering it on. Now who wouldn’t drink to that?” concludes Leggett.

“It’s great to be able to honor such a whiskey brand in this way,” said Rob Allanson, editor of American Whiskey Magazine. “The story behind Uncle Nearest is a rich and long one, that runs together with the legacy of American whiskey. When the story came in from Jim, it was clear this was a brand driven by history and a singular passion. The fact that the whiskey has been lauded by drinkers and connoisseurs from Tennessee to Tokyo and beyond is amazing, and a cover story we were proud to run.”

Weaver’s cover reinforces the contributions many minorities before her have made to the whiskey trade throughout history and illustrates the importance of bringing their oft lost stories to the forefront. Weaver chose to revive and celebrate Nearest Green’s story with his own namesake whiskey – seemingly 160 years in the making – which was one of two brands just named World’s Best at Whisky Magazine’s 2019 World Whiskies Awards in New York. This marks another historic milestone as Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is the first African-American founded and led brand to be honored as World’s Best.

“It may seem cliché to keep pushing the spotlight away from me and toward Nearest, his legacy, his family and the Uncle Nearest team, but it is the way it should be,” said Weaver. “Until last year, the vast majority of the world had no idea who Nearest was, and we have a long way to go before his name is more fully recognized. But it is because of the passion and hard work of the Uncle Nearest team that I have no doubt we are well on our way to making Nearest Green a household name around the world.”

It is that dedication and sense of purpose seen in the company’s first national television commercial, which was groundbreaking in the spirits industry due to its unscripted nature. The commercial, aptly titled “The Why,” follows Uncle Nearest team members to bars, restaurants and spirit shops around the country as they share this great American story and the brand inspired by it. “The Why” debuted following the Super Bowl and was narrated by Emmy Award-winning Westworld actor, Jeffrey Wright.

The March 2019 issue of American Whiskey Magazine is available for purchase from all great book stores, specialist whiskey retailers and distilleries, as well as on subscription from www.americanwhiskeymag.com.  

Source: American Whiskey Magazine

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