The latest whiskey out of the US not only comes with an amazing story but is launching a competition to give UK bartenders the chance to visit their new distillery early next year.
Some of you may have seen Uncle Nearest over the last few weeks either at Imbibe Live or someone visiting your bar, however for those that aren’t aware of the brand let us give you a quick potted history (a more detailed story on the brand can be found here).
Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey is made in Tennessee in small batches and maple charcoal filtered, coming in at 50% ABV. However it is the history behind the brand, as well as the taste of course, that really makes Uncle Nearest stand out.
It all starts with the most famous Tennessee whiskey maker, the man with the marvellous moustache, Jack Daniel. You see Jack didn’t wake up one morning with the sudden knowledge of how to make whiskey, he learnt it. His teacher? A certain Nathan Green otherwise known as Uncle Nearest.
Nathan Green was an enslaved African-American and Master Distiller and it was with him that the teenage Jack worked to learn the skills which would become his legacy. In fact it was Nathan who was to become the first Master Distiller at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
For many years Nathan Green was a forgotten man, lost in the annuals of American Whiskey folklore. In recent times he has been recognised not only by Jack Daniel’s but by the larger community as a whole as the first ever African-American master distiller in the US.
To continue his legacy Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey was launched in 2017 and now you get to play with it and get yourself over the pond to soak up all that history.
Tennessee Shake Up
First up, importantly, this competition is only open to bartenders working in London bars. Don’t fret our lovely friends outside the home of the Donald Trump blimp, this is only the beginning of this competition and we have been assured that it will be rolled out to the rest of the UK next year, you’ll just have to be patient.
Your task is to create a drink using Uncle Nearest and enter it using the form below. There are a few caveats which we will get to shortly but for now that is your focus.
The twist with this competition is the format will see bartenders going head to head (inspired by the US tradition of March Madness) in a series of knockout rounds to decide our ultimate winner. In amongst these round will be some curveballs and plenty to keep you on your toes. By the end our winner will have had all of their skills tested and beaten some of the best drink slingers in the capital.
The beauty of this format is you don’t have to beat a room full of other bartenders to advance, you just have to beat the person you are up against.
All of that is for another day, to get to that stage you need a drink, a drink to wow the judges that fits into these criteria:
- At least 35ml of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey used
- A maximum of 6 ingredients (not including garnish or ice)
- No homemade ingredients
- Your bar must stock at least one bottle of Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey
To make that last point a little easier to swallow Uncle Nearest are offering a discounted price including free postage via this website using discount code UNTSU. If you want to try the product you can also pop to Stillwater Bar in Wandsworth on any given Wednesday where you will find the companies Brand Ambassador Dan Priseman who will be offering a free tasting of the liquid plus a complimentary cocktail. He can also answer any questions on the brand itself.
The reason for the lack of homemade ingredients in this round is that rather than the classic paper judging every drink entered will be made and judged at Stillwater behind closed doors by Dan and BarLifeUK. From here our top 32 will advance to the first of the head to head rounds where they will be asked to make their drink.
From there the 16 will be asked to…… ahhhh where’s the fun in telling you that now? Let’s just say the winner will have deserved it.
The deadline for entries is Friday September 7th but with a trip to Tennessee up for grabs I’m sure none of you will leave it to the last minute!