Nathan “Nearest” Green is a name that is not as well-known as Jack Daniels, but his legacy and contribution to the world of whiskey is just as significant. Born into slavery in the early 19th century, Green was a skilled distiller who had a passion for creating high-quality spirits. His talents caught the attention of Jack Daniels, a young white man who was looking to learn the craft of distillation. Green took Daniels under his wing and taught him everything he knew about the art of making whiskey.
One of the most important contributions that Green made to the world of whiskey was the creation of the Lincoln County Process. This process, which involves filtering the whiskey through sugar maple charcoal, is a hallmark of Tennessee whiskey and is what gives it its unique character and flavor. The Lincoln County Process was developed by Green and passed down to Jack Daniels, and it is still used today to make some of the best whiskey in the world.
Green’s role in the whiskey industry did not stop there. He was also a master distiller at Jack Daniel's Distillery for many years and played a crucial role in the creation of the Old No. 7 brand, which is still one of the most popular whiskey brands in the world today.
Despite his many contributions to the world of whiskey, Green’s story has not been widely known or recognized. However, in recent years, there has been a renewed interest in his legacy and his role in the history of whiskey. Today, there are efforts to acknowledge and honor his contributions, with companies like Jack Daniel's recognizing him as a master distiller and even launching a brand in his honor.