Review: Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Black Label Premium Whiskey
Uncle Nearest will likely be catching its breath for a bit in 2023 after their rapid launch of new releases to close out 2022. We’ve already covered the trifecta of new rye whiskey offerings, the last of which was a single barrel distillery exclusive. As if to remind their adoring fans they hadn’t completely forgotten about whiskey of the non-rye variety, Uncle Nearest snuck in another distillery exclusive single barrel (a Black Friday/Cyber Monday release, no less). Single Barrel Black Label Premium Whiskey, unlike the rye offerings, has been distilled entirely at Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee and bottled at barrel strength. Let’s check it out.
Production specifics, as with most Uncle Nearest whiskeys, are somewhat scarce, but with both a straight bourbon and straight Tennessee whiskey designation (and no age statement on the bottle), we can presume this whiskey is at least four years old and that it has been filtered through sugar maple charcoal. On the nose, some of that maple wood influence shows itself with a dark, sugary sweetness and chocolaty barrel char. Nutty notes of praline and peanut brittle offer a nice contrast to more decadent fudge and chewy caramel. Citrus and a bit of cocktail cherry arrive with time in glass. The body is rich and viscous, almost syrupy. Notes of dark brown sugar, pie spice, and fruit cobbler offer up plenty of sweetness, but there’s also quite a bit of oak in the mix that builds with a burly intensity across the palate. At barrel proof, this whiskey is surprisingly approachable, at least until the finish arrives with a punchy, prickly warmth accented by RedHots, coffee grounds, and drying oak. Lots of spice and wood linger, but a silky cushion of dark caramels and black cherry provide a soft landing. This is a single barrel product, so of course your mileage may vary, but it’s far and away the best from Uncle Nearest I’ve tasted to date.
118 proof. Reviewed: Barrel #008.