What’s shakin, cocktail fans? Welcome to Episode 242 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast!
This time around, we’re joined by Victoria Eady Butler, Master Blender at Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, and the great-great granddaughter of Nearest Green – the former slave who taught Jack Daniel how to distill. Of course, this is our tribute to National Bourbon History Month, and what better way to celebrate our nation’s favorite spirit than to explore the figures who pioneered American whiskey, and those who are leading it into the future.
In this fascinating conversation with Victoria Eady Butler, Master Blender for Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, some of the topics we discuss include:
- How Victoria transitioned from a career in criminal justice fighting organized crime to her role as the Master Blender for Uncle Nearest, where she won back-to-back titles as Master Blender of the Year in 2021 and 2022.
- What happened when she teamed up with historian and Uncle Nearest CEO Fawn Weaver to unearth the living legacy of her great-great grandfather, Nearest Green who was touted during his lifetime as the best distiller in the region.
- The importance of the Lincoln County Process, which is the primary differentiator between Tennessee whiskey and bourbon, and which was perfected by Nearest as a signature production technique.
- Then, of course, we taste Uncle Nearest’s flagship product: 1884 Small Batch whiskey, which won Best American whiskey in 2021.
- We also investigate Victoria’s signature approach to blending, which involves specific techniques to protect her palate and ensure that she addresses the all-important “finish” of the whiskey.
- Along the way, we learn about the deeply important philanthropic work of the Nearest Green Foundation, why Tennessee Whiskey is “Bourbon plus one,” where you can go to drink at the longest bar in the world, and much, much more.