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.

Uncle Nearest 1856
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?

The Nose

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.

The Palate

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.

The Score – Uncle Nearest 1856

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.

Color

Dark brown with hints of golden light flashing through.

Proof

50.0% ABV | 100 Proof

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.
BottleScorePriceType
Redbreast Cask Strength97$100 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
High N’ Wicked The Wild Rover Single Malt Irish Whiskey97$160 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon96$65 / 750mlBourbon
Redbreast 12 Years96$70 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson The Distiller’s Safe95$70 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750mlBourbon
Redbreast Lustau Edition92$65 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Redbreast 1591$115 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Dublin Liberties Copper Alley Irish Whiskey90$75 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
The Dubliner 10 Year89$70 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tyrconnel Irish Whiskey 16 Year88$95 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Powers Three Swallow Irish Whiskey87$40 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Knappognue Castle Irish Whiskey 12 Year87$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Smooth Ambler Contradiction Whiskey86$40 / 700mlBourbon
Fighting 69th Irish Whiskey86$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson Triple Triple Travel Exclusive85$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Uncle Nearest 185684$60 / 750mlWhiskey
Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey84$55 / 700mlBourbon
Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year82$45 / 750mlScotch
Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon81$50 / 750mlBourbon
Willett Pot Still Reserve Whiskey81$65 / 700mlBourbon
Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year81$65 / 700mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson 18 Year Irish Whiskey80$140 / 700mlIrish Whiskey
Dubliner Bourbon Cask Finished Irish Whiskey80$40 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson IPA Edition80$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Redbreast Kentucky Oak Edition Irish Whiskey80$125 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Don Julio 194280$190 / 750mlTequila
Monkey Shoulder Scotch79$30 / 750mlScotch
ChestNut Farms Bourbon77$70 / 750mlBourbon
Basil Hayden’s75$35 / 750mlBourbon
Jameson Irish Whiskey75$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Slane Irish Whiskey74$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tullamore D.E.W Irish Whiskey 12 Year73$55 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
John L. Sullivan Irish Whiskey72$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tullamore Dew Caribbean Rum Cask Finish Irish Whiskey72$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Bushmills 10 Year Irish Whiskey72$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Clyde May’s Original Alabama Style Whiskey71$35 / 750mlBourbon
Appleton Estate Reserve Blend Rum70$35 / 750mlRum
Mr. Whiskey70$20 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey70$40 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey70$20 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tito’s Vodka69$30 / 750mlVodka
The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey69$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Death’s Door68$40 / 750mlBourbon
Kavanagh 16 Year Irish Whiskey66$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
McConnell’s Irish Whisky66$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Kirkland Irish Whiskey65$18 / 1500mlIrish Whiskey
Wellsley Farms Irish Whiskey65$28 / 1500mlIrish Whiskey
Ha’Penny Irish Whiskey64$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Wild Turkey Bourbon63$30 / 750mlBourbon
Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey62$65 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Stillhouse Black Bourbon61$20 / 750mlBourbon
Maker’s Mark Bourbon60$30 / 750mlBourbon
Jameson Orange55$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750mlBourbon
Fistful Of Bourbon53$40 / 750mlBourbon
Kilbrin 10 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey52$55 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey51$30 / 750mlBourbon
Agitator Kentucky Bourbon50$35 / 750mlBourbon
Howler Head Whiskey50$25 / 700mlWhiskey
Knob Creek Small Batch49$35 / 750mlBourbon
Blade And Bow48$50 / 750mlBourbon
Proclamation Irish Whiskey44$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
The Temple Bar Irish Whiskey40$60 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Redemption Bourbon 40$30 / 750mlBourbon
Natterjack Irish Whiskey35$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Baha Founders Reserve30$65 / 700mlIrish Whiskey
Woodford Reserve29$35 / 750mlBourbon
Breaker29$65 / 750mlBourbon
Pure Kentucky28$35 / 750mlBourbon
Stranahan's27$60 / 750mlWhiskey
Egan’s Fortitude Irish Whiskey26$45 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Winchester Extra Smooth Bourbon Whiskey15$30 / 750mlBourbon
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750mlBourbon
Hill Billy Bourbon9$20 / 750mlBourbon
Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey5$25 / 750mlWhiskey
The Busker Irish Whiskey4$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Kavanagh Irish Whiskey3$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
The Balvenie 14 Years Caribbean Cask1$100 / 750mlScotch
American XXX Born Bourbon Whiskey1$25 / 750mlBourbon
Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch0$40 / 750mlScotch
Pops McCann0$40 / 750mlWhiskey
Silkie Irish Whiskey0$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey

Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey

This one is a mouthful.

Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey.

It’s a long name, but a good one. This Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey is made in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, and is both complex, rich, and smooth.

Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey
Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey

I’m actually a little confused as to what this Old Scout is. The bottle I have isn’t on their website, which could be just a change to the bottle packaging, but the fact that they took the “Bourbon” label off my bottle makes me wonder if the mash bill dropped below 51% corn. I’m not sure if that is to make the whiskey taste as good as it does – or due to some other cost factor. The cost piece doesn’t make sense though, as I’d guess that corn is fairly cheap?

The Score – Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey

In any case, this is an excellent sipper. It is 99 proof, but doesn’t have any alcohol burn. This looks like a very small distillery, but its definitely an up and comer, and there is a ton of buzz about this brand.

Why?

Take the first sip. This is an amazingly earthy, rich dram that balances leather, earth, spice, and sweetness into something that is really impressive. Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey earned every point of its 84/100.

I’ve ordered a bottle to put in my Whiskey Safe so I always have a Bottle On Hand.

Pros

  • Subtly sweet.
  • Complex swirling flavors that mix earth, leather, cinnamon, and cherry pipe tobacco.
  • Amazingly smooth which is doubly impressive given its 99 proof statement.

Cons:

  • I liked it so much, and was worried they will run out that I bottle a bottle for my “Whiskey Safe”. Which means I don’t get to drink it until its really old, or I am.
  • You may not be able to get it as it is a small distillery.
BottleScorePriceType
Redbreast Cask Strength97$100 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
High N’ Wicked The Wild Rover Single Malt Irish Whiskey97$160 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon96$65 / 750mlBourbon
Redbreast 12 Years96$70 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson The Distiller’s Safe95$70 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch Bourbon94$45 / 750mlBourbon
Redbreast Lustau Edition92$65 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Redbreast 1591$115 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Dublin Liberties Copper Alley Irish Whiskey90$75 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
The Dubliner 10 Year89$70 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tyrconnel Irish Whiskey 16 Year88$95 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Powers Three Swallow Irish Whiskey87$40 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tyrconnel Single Malt87$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Knappognue Castle Irish Whiskey 12 Year87$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Smooth Ambler Contradiction Whiskey86$40 / 700mlBourbon
Fighting 69th Irish Whiskey86$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson Triple Triple Travel Exclusive85$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Uncle Nearest 185684$60 / 750mlWhiskey
Smooth Ambler Old Scout American Whiskey84$55 / 700mlBourbon
Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year82$45 / 750mlScotch
Redwood Empire Pipe Dream Bourbon81$50 / 750mlBourbon
Willett Pot Still Reserve Whiskey81$65 / 700mlBourbon
Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year81$65 / 700mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson 18 Year Irish Whiskey80$140 / 700mlIrish Whiskey
Dubliner Bourbon Cask Finished Irish Whiskey80$40 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jameson IPA Edition80$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Redbreast Kentucky Oak Edition Irish Whiskey80$125 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Don Julio 194280$190 / 750mlTequila
Monkey Shoulder Scotch79$30 / 750mlScotch
ChestNut Farms Bourbon77$70 / 750mlBourbon
Basil Hayden’s75$35 / 750mlBourbon
Jameson Irish Whiskey75$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Slane Irish Whiskey74$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tullamore D.E.W Irish Whiskey 12 Year73$55 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
John L. Sullivan Irish Whiskey72$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tullamore Dew Caribbean Rum Cask Finish Irish Whiskey72$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Bushmills 10 Year Irish Whiskey72$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Clyde May’s Original Alabama Style Whiskey71$35 / 750mlBourbon
Appleton Estate Reserve Blend Rum70$35 / 750mlRum
Mr. Whiskey70$20 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Teeling Small Batch Irish Whiskey70$40 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Paddy’s Old Irish Whiskey70$20 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Tito’s Vodka69$30 / 750mlVodka
The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey69$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Death’s Door68$40 / 750mlBourbon
Kavanagh 16 Year Irish Whiskey66$50 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
McConnell’s Irish Whisky66$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Kirkland Irish Whiskey65$18 / 1500mlIrish Whiskey
Wellsley Farms Irish Whiskey65$28 / 1500mlIrish Whiskey
Ha’Penny Irish Whiskey64$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Wild Turkey Bourbon63$30 / 750mlBourbon
Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey62$65 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Stillhouse Black Bourbon61$20 / 750mlBourbon
Maker’s Mark Bourbon60$30 / 750mlBourbon
Jameson Orange55$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Buffalo Trace55$25 / 750mlBourbon
Fistful Of Bourbon53$40 / 750mlBourbon
Kilbrin 10 Year Single Malt Irish Whiskey52$55 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey51$30 / 750mlBourbon
Agitator Kentucky Bourbon50$35 / 750mlBourbon
Howler Head Whiskey50$25 / 700mlWhiskey
Knob Creek Small Batch49$35 / 750mlBourbon
Blade And Bow48$50 / 750mlBourbon
Proclamation Irish Whiskey44$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
The Temple Bar Irish Whiskey40$60 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Redemption Bourbon 40$30 / 750mlBourbon
Natterjack Irish Whiskey35$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Baha Founders Reserve30$65 / 700mlIrish Whiskey
Woodford Reserve29$35 / 750mlBourbon
Breaker29$65 / 750mlBourbon
Pure Kentucky28$35 / 750mlBourbon
Stranahan's27$60 / 750mlWhiskey
Egan’s Fortitude Irish Whiskey26$45 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Winchester Extra Smooth Bourbon Whiskey15$30 / 750mlBourbon
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey10$20 / 750mlBourbon
Hill Billy Bourbon9$20 / 750mlBourbon
Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey5$25 / 750mlWhiskey
The Busker Irish Whiskey4$35 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
Kavanagh Irish Whiskey3$25 / 750mlIrish Whiskey
The Balvenie 14 Years Caribbean Cask1$100 / 750mlScotch
American XXX Born Bourbon Whiskey1$25 / 750mlBourbon
Highland Park Magnus Single Malt Scotch0$40 / 750mlScotch
Pops McCann0$40 / 750mlWhiskey
Silkie Irish Whiskey0$30 / 750mlIrish Whiskey

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