Today I have crossed the line from wine to spirits. At 100 proof the Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine is definitely turning up the volume (ABV 50%).
"Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly...The word "moonshine" is believed to derive from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey." Source Wikipedia
My family is no stranger to Moonshine.
That is, my great-grandfather and grandfather were not strangers. Evidently the family occasionally produced their own spirits on their Oregon ranch. My grandfather told me about his younger brother getting into his dads stash with predictable results. Grandmother also told me stories about midnight runs and secretive deliveries during the 1930's. Times were tough and they did what they needed to survive.
I don't drink shine. At least not until I received a sample of Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine. White Lightnin'. This unaged corn whiskey was made from corn grown by local farmers in East Tennessee. Their recipe proclaims a grain bill of 80% corn, with the remaining 20% a secret. They suggest drinking straight from the glass.
How to approach drinking from the mason jar? Okay, I refused to drink straight from the jar. When opening this Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine, you need to take care removing the lid. My mason jar was full to the rim. I stared and sniffed at the Moonshine. Nope, not drinking straight from the jar. Instead I oh, so gently, tipped the jar and poured into a highball glass. I did not spill as much as I feared.
Tasting notes Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine White Lightnin'Color: Clear.
Nose: Clean, vanilla, caramel.
Palate: Reminded me of premium Vodka. Smooth, with vanilla, slightly nutty. My first impression was a whiskey perfect for cocktails.
Thoughts: Not bad straight and on the rocks. Especially since I enjoy vodka that way too. I did a little modest mixing at home. My tastes are fairly simple when it comes to cocktails. As far as mixed drinks go, this Tennessee whiskey is a winner for me.
Drinks I made at home:
"Moon Rocks" - Serve this whiskey on the rocks in a rocks glass. Long exhale after first sip.
"Moonshine Driver" - Just add OJ to the "Moon Rocks" to make a very tasty drink. It had a light pepper finish. A classic that will please OJ fans. Normally I use Vodka or Tequila, this my friends is a great alternative.
"Lightnin' Lemonade" - In a cocktail shaker combine two ounces of this whiskey, add ice, plus one cup lemonade. Shake well. Pour into a martini glass, garnish with lemon peel. Very good and a fun kick too.
Ole Smokey has a well designed website has several suggested recipes for their White Lightnin' and other whiskey products.
* Note: If you are looking for especially tasty cocktail recipes, you have to visit Beautiful Booze. She is a Seattle based mixologist extraordinaire! Her seasonal recipes are truly special. I am a fan.
Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine White Lightnin'ABV: 50% 100 Proof
Mountain made neutral spirits
Sample provided by the distillery
Ole Smoky Distillery, LLC
903 Parkway • Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler • Gatlinburg, TN 37738
• 865-436-6995 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Distillery hours: Monday - Saturday 10am - 10pm • Sundays Open 10AM - 10PM (moonshine sales from 12pm - 7pm