Uncle Nearest 1884 vs 1856 Whiskey Comparison (2023)

Last Updated on August 22, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey has become the most-awarded American whiskey brand, with over 380 awards since 2017.

The 1856 and 1884 are two of the most prominent expressions lauded by Whisky Magazine, World Whiskies Awards, and Cigar & Spirits Magazine.

Today, let’s discover the difference between Uncle Nearest 1884 vs 1865 and see which is the better premium whiskey.

Uncle Nearest 1884 & 1856 In-Depth Comparison 

Uncle Nearest 1884 and 1856 Tennessee Whiskey bottles

Uncle Nearest 1856 is one of the three ultra-premium whiskies of the line, an award-winning blend of whiskies (8-14 years old). It was launched earlier than 1884, containing higher alcohol content. 

Uncle Nearest 1856 is an acquired whiskey, while 1884 is crafted at the Uncle Nearest Distillery. 

Uncle Nearest 1884 is a small batch whiskey curated by fifth-generation Master Blender Victoria Butler. It is aged for at least seven years and priced cheaper than the Uncle Nearest 1856. 

Fawn Weaver owns the company, and both spirits have received awards in Ultimate Spirits Challenge and SIP Awards, like the Double Gold, Best American Whiskey, and Chairman’s Trophy. 

Head To Head Battle 

History & Origin

Uncle Nearest 1856 was launched last 2017 in the United States, while 1884 joined the line-up of the most-awarded premium American whiskey in 2019. 

The premium aged whiskeys have become a crowd favorite because of their rich tasting notes and great flavor. The signature taste on each bottle of Uncle Nearest made them the fast-paced American distilled spirits.  

The distillery crafted 1856 to honor the first African-American Master Distiller, Nathan “Uncle Nearest” Green, and the premium whiskey swiftly rolled out worldwide.

The Award-winning Uncle Nearest 1884 is hand-selected by its founder, Fawn Weaver, and curated by their Master Blender, Victoria Butler. It is a legacy of Nathan Green, the man who helped Jack Daniel learn how to make Jack Daniel’s whiskey

Distillation & Production

Uncle Nearest 1884 whisky and a glass

1856 is an acquired whiskey, a blend of 8-14-year-old barrels. On the other hand, the 1884 small batch whiskey was exclusively selected by Fawn Weaver and curated by Victoria Eady Butler. 

The premium aged whiskeys are made to honor the legacy of the Godfather of Tennessee whiskey, who taught Jack Daniel to distill Jack Daniel’s.

Nathan “Nearest” Green is a former slave and was not given much credit for his contribution to the whiskey world and Jack Daniel’s.


Uncle Nearest Oak Barrels

Uncle Nearest 1856 is at least one to seven years older than 1856. 1856 is a blend of 8-14-year-old whiskies. On the other hand, 1884 small batch whiskey is aged for at least seven years. 

With longer aging, 1856 becomes a solid whiskey with a nice blend of sweet corn and peppery spice. It has a bourbon-like flavor profile and the mellowness of Tennessee whiskey. 

Mash Bills & Alcohol Proof

The 1884 small batch whiskey and 1856’s mash bills are not disclosed. However, all of the Uncle Nearest whiskeys (including the Uncle Nearest 1820) met the legal requirement of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey [1]. 

The 1884 small batch whiskey is bottled at 93 proof (46.5% ABV), while 1856 is bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV). The premium aged whiskeys can be enjoyed neat, with ice, or as a favorite whiskey or bourbon cocktail. 

Tasting Notes

toasting a glasses of whisky

Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey

Palate: Corn, vanilla, caramel, pepper spice, almond, and toasted oak 

Nose: Roasted nuts, caramel, char 

Color: Light amber

Finish: Medium to long with notes of maple charcoal and caramel

Uncle Nearest 1884 Small Batch

Palate: Cinnamon, vanilla, oak, and honey

Nose: Smooth, roasted nuts, cherry, and vanilla

Color: Golden amber

Finish: Medium with notes of oak spice, caramel, and cinnamon

Ownership & Distillery 

Grant Sidney, Inc owns Uncle Nearest’s 1884 and 1856, and Fawn Weaver is the company’s sole owner. While 1856 is an acquired whiskey, 1884 is made in the Uncle Nearest Distillery, and the CEO hand selects the small batch whiskeys. 

Price Point & Value

woman holding Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Whiskey

1884 is cheaper by roughly $10 than 1856 on Drizly online. A bottle of 1884 costs roughly $49.99, while 1856 costs around $59.99. 

Both whiskeys are fairly priced, given that they meet the legal requirement of both distinctions (Tennessee whiskey and bourbon whiskey). Just drink whiskey and bourbon moderately because it may increase cancer risk and cause birth defects (if pregnant). 


Is Uncle Nearest black-owned?

Yes, Uncle Nearest whiskey is black-owned. The whiskey brand is owned by Fawn Weaver, an entrepreneur, historian, and author. She is the first black person who owns a significant liquor brand. 

Which is smoother, Uncle Nearest 1884 or 1856?

Uncle Nearest 1856 is smoother than 1884. While both whiskeys did a good job of being smooth and well-balanced spirits, 1856 is astonishingly smooth. The blend of the premium aged whiskeys complements each other. 

Final Verdict

Based on our team’s blind tastings and extensive research, Uncle Nearest 1856 is the clear winner in the battle between Uncle Nearest 1884 vs 1856 premium-aged whiskeys. 

Aside from Uncle Nearest’s smooth and remarkable flavor profile, it is more rewarding in texture and body. 1856 is a smooth-sipping whiskey and a versatile spirit; you can drink it neat, with ice, or with angostura bitters or other mixers. 

On the other hand, 1884 can be a good choice for some who want a light, sweet, but slightly peppery whiskey.  



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.

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