Embedded within this country’s fine history of supporting whiskey-loving palates is the moonshiner. These underground distillers worked tirelessly and inconspicuously for the people, and in opposition to the law.
In absence of reading a few books, an abstract concept summary of moonshining…
The big bully government says, “no one makes booze or they get a knuckle sandwich.” But EVERYONE wants booze! So, there’s that one cavalier dude brave enough to start making booze for everyone’s pleasure. That dude is EVERYONE’s best friend and the bully has no idea. The bully is pissed off and endlessly searches to hand out knuckle sandwiches to the unknown dude. Repeat this scenario 1000 times across the Appalachian region and you have the history moonshining, BOOM!
Moonshiners, aka illegal distlillers, made moonshine. It had a few well-deserved aliases as well…white lightning, white dog, hooch. I’ve may have observed a friend lose his voice after a wild date with the stuff!
Similar to the growth of whiskey, as corn was the accessible grain in the region it became the dominant base in the spirit. In theory, one could taste the same spirit from two different distillers but “moonshine” was known as the illegal, unaged version. There were no rules with moonshine and thus a creative freedom to add accordingly. Apples, peaches, blackberries? Sure! Why the hell not?!
Over the past decade, there was an emergence of Moonshine spirits in bars and liquor stores. Are these bottles of moonshine, whiskey? In short, no.
Of the 41 different types of whiskey as listed by the U.S. government, moonshine is not one of them. Some of the brands may be unaged whiskey (using some marketing mumbo jumbo) but it is not held to the same standards as whiskey.
Boom! Another shot of knowledge!