Carrying on the Family Legacy with America’s Fastest-Growing Whiskey Brand
While Victoria Eady Butler may be a new face in the spirits world, whiskey is in her blood. Now the celebrated and multiple award-winning master blender of Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey – the fasted growing whiskey brand in America – Butler is carrying on her family’s legacy first-hand. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green, the brand’s namesake and the first known African American master distiller. In this riveting talk, she shares the astounding journey that led her to the top of her industry, and what it means to play a role in cementing her ancestor’s name in history.
Building a Brand with Impact in the Market and the Community
As the master blender for Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey and the director of the company’s nonprofit, the Uncle Nearest Foundation, Victoria Eady Butler has an unmatched perspective on how companies can build their brand by focusing on impact in the market as well as in the community. Butler shares her action-oriented insights in this engaging talk.
Victoria Eady Butler is a relatively new face in the spirits world, but whiskey is definitely in her blood. The great-great-granddaughter of Nearest Green, the first known African American master distiller, Butler is the Master Blender of the award-winning Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey. There she oversees the blending process of its core and Master Blend portfolios, along with the selection of all Single Barrels. In 2021, Victoria was named Master Blender of the Year three times, by Whisky Magazine, VinePair and The Spirits Business, followed by a second award by Whisky Magazine in 2022. She is the first person in history to receive this honor two years in a row. Butler also serves as a member of Uncle Nearest’s executive team and oversees the Nearest Green Foundation, a 501(s)(3) non-profit organization that provides scholarships to Nearest Green’s descendants, which is funded by the sales of Uncle Nearest whiskeys.
Butler blended the very first batch of 1884 Small Batch Whiskey, which launched in July 2019, and was appointed Master Blender in November 2019 after the immense success of the first two batches, which earned numerous awards including Double Gold medals at the China Wine & Spirits Awards and the Sommelier Challenge. Since then, Butler has taken many courses to hone her skills, including becoming an Executive Bourbon Steward through Stave & Thief Society in Louisville, KY, the first bourbon certification program recognized by the bourbon industry.
Prior to joining the Uncle Nearest team in March 2019, Butler worked as an Analytical Manager with the Regional Organized Crime Information Center in Nashville, which she joined upon graduating Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Butler had just retired from a more than 31-year tenure when Fawn Weaver, Founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest, approached her about becoming involved in the Uncle Nearest brand. The opportunity to carry on her family legacy first-hand and to help to cement Nearest’s name in history was one that she couldn’t pass up.
Butler is a mother, grandmother and a Tennessee native. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and volunteering with several non-profit organizations. She’s also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.