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Before You Go Any Further, What is your Value Proposition?

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In the market we reside in if a company makes a clear whiskey they are doomed to fail.  Nobody buys it. Distributors don't take them seriously. Liquor stores simply will not carry it. I read this once, and it's true: "There's a reason all whiskey in liquor stores is brown."

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Thanks Roger,

 

i understand what you are talking about.  I have tasted some pretty sorry spirits, both from distilleries and moonshiners.  I was taught to never taste anything that doesn't smell right and I smell everything first and if it doesn't smell right I only pretend to taste it, to be polite.  I hate the taste of heads and or fusal oil, and you are right some of the worst of these spirits have moonshine on the label, but at the same time I have smelled and tasted some barrel aged spirits that where really awful. 

My grandfather referred to what most moonshiners in our area called corn whiskey as corn flavored rum.   Some of the worst of the moonshiners there would leave in the heads and they would proof by running tails into the receiving tank until their tamping jar told them that it was 100 proof but it really wasn't 100 proof, because the fusal oils would screw up the way that the liquor would bead, so their proof would be off.  This stuff was awful and it would give you the most horrible hang over and skull busting headache.  i think for the most part these idiots just did not know what they were doing and the ones who did know what they were doing were extremely secretive.  This still goes on today.

Even my dad made "corn flavored rum" from cane sugar and corn meal.  All of the ethanol came from the sugar, because the starch in the corn was never converted.  He actually used very little corn meal in his. He had a recipe called Money Maker which mainly involved ways of boosting the ABV of the wash.  By using certain strains of yeast along with canned tomatoes, other yeast nutrients,  aquarium bubblers, nitrogen, phosphorous, certain vitamins and adding more sugar at different points during the fermentation, he could get washes with abvs of 24% and higher in just 3 or 4 days, but even though he would do the cuts just right, this stuff never tasted that great.  It had off flavors in it, that I think came from his yeast nutrients and that particularr  yeast strain.  He was always trying to improve the flavor, but he could never seem to do that without removing some of the things that gave him the really high abvs   My dad could and did make some really great whiskeys and Brandies just like my Grandpa, but the "money maker recipe always gave him more income due to reasons that I won't go into.  Also it was a good clean spirit that would not give you a skull busting head ache or horrible hang over.  However it is not something that i would make.

Sorry i know that I moved way off the point with the above, but the way that i grew up gave me the passion that I have today for all aspects of distilling.

Thinking about it I would agree that there are probably more low quality spirits being sold with moonshine on the label than rum or corn whiskey,  however I personally would never let that keep me from labeling a product moonshine.  And to again make my most important point.  In certain areas of the US the moonshine moniker may cause you to sell less but in my area and many others it will help you sell more.  A craft distillery selling good hand crafted moonshine will please the masses here and in many other places.  Of course  my product line will involve a great deal more than moonshine.

 

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