Hidden deep within the hills above Lynchburg, Tennessee, was a story waiting to be told — and a whiskey to be discovered.

When Uncle Nearest premium whiskey approached Pollinate, asking if we could deliver a launch campaign defining its unique position in the land of distinctive high-end whiskeys … well, there was no way we could say no. The story was and is riveting, and with one taste, you knew: the whiskey had legs. Award-winning legs.

In a category where drinkers value authenticity, we launched this ultra-premium brand in a way that was true to the man, his incredible story — and his legendary whiskey-making skills.

The Story

After more than 150 years, it came to light that a formerly enslaved man named Nathan “Nearest” Green was the first master distiller for a certain local whiskey salesman whose name we can’t use. (Hint: It rhymes with Zack Janiel’s.) Uncle Nearest, as he was known, is believed to have perfected the charcoal-filtering process and many of the techniques still followed today.

Uncle Nearest holding up test bottle
Uncle Nearest Launch Book – Closed - it is a dark brown leather book with gold embossing that reads
Uncle Nearest Launch Book – Open - which depicts a painting of Nathan Nearest Green from behind as he examines the color of the whiskey while standing in front of a copper whiskey distiller
Uncle Nearest Launch Book – Open with Bottle showing, - the seonc page of the book is open and shows that is a full sized whiskey bottle cut out and fitted inside the book. There is a red ribbon tucked behind the whiksey bottle neck to pull the bottle out of the book. On the opposite page is reads

One for the books

Step one: a launch strategy. And that was simple: With an irreplaceable spot in history, Uncle Nearest’s story needed to be told. So, we wrote a limited-edition book, which then became the thread tying all of the deliverables together, with the first edition ending up where it belongs: in the Smithsonian.

Uncle Nearest whiskey bottle and the hand tag around the neck of the bottle that depicts the story of Nathan Nearest Green
Uncle Nearest Print Ad that shows an antique book opened to a page that has a painting of Nathan Nearest Green from behind as he examine the color of the whiskey in a glass as he stand in front of a copper whiskey still. The other page of the book reads
Uncle Nearest Invites to launch parties, one side is black with gold foil that reads
Uncle Nearest Coasters from the launch campaign, one side have the Uncle Nearest logo, the other side is a recipe for the Uncle Nearest Tennessee Gold cocktail. The ingredients 2 oz. of Uncle Nearest, 3/4th oz fresh lemon juice, 3/4 oz honey syrup. Put all ingredients in a shaker tin with ice and shake well for ten seconds. Stir into a rocks glass over ice
An Uncle Nearest Whiskey billboard, the text reads, The Best Whiskey Maker the World Never Knew along with the two whiskey bottles and cocktails. It also depicts a painting of Nearest Green looking at a glass of whiskey near a copper whiskey still
Uncle Nearest Website image of the two original bottles Uncle Nearest launched with - Tennessee aged whiskey and silver whiskey. There is an award for a Gold model showing, along with a screen grab from their first video commercial
Uncle Nearest Whiskey Process which shows a charcoal drawing of a whiskey barrel with the three Tennessee stars. Around the barrel the process is written out in depth with Superior Ingredients, Fermentation, Double Distillation, Charcoal Mellowing, Barrel Aging, Final Filtration and to the Bottle being the full list of the Uncle Nearest Whiskey process
An image from the Uncle Nearest website that includes and antique book open up to a page that reads
Uncle Nearest Portland Monthly Website Take Over that shows an old book with text that reads
Uncle Nearest mobile add that has the two bottles of whiskey along with the line
Uncle Nearest ad that shows a painting of the back of Nearest Green holding up a whiskey glass to examine the color of the whiskey. Can also see an old copper whiskey still in in the background
Uncle Nearest mobile ad of the Brick and Mortar cocktail, along with the Uncle Nearest whiskey logo

For our media approach, we focused on raising awareness in key markets (Louisville, Chattanooga, Memphis, Knoxville, Portland, and Nashville) to drive product demand with our core audience and spur sales at liquor stores, bars, and restaurants.

Uncle Nearest mobile banner ads that say




site visitors across all markets


increase in site visitors