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AB1965

Moonshine (corn whiskey)

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22 hours ago, MGL said:

Anyone  legally making "moonshine" should be making plans of how they gunna liquidate there distillery when it goes out of business. Its the dumbest thing going on in our industry.  I'd at give someone a little respect if they said they were makin unaged whiskey or corn whiskey (i still question anyone who buys the stuff because its fing gross!)

Really?  Just one East Tenn Distillery sells over 3,000,000 jars per year and the last time I checked their sales were increasing year over year.   I don't think they are making any plans to liquidate their distillery any time soon.  How many bottles of Gin did you sell last year? The flavored moonshines are especially big sellers down here.  Country and small town folks love them.  Some of the best flavored spirits that I have tried were apple pie moonshine and peach pie moonshine, both flavored with real juice with slices of fruit floating in them.  No artificial flavors, Yumm!

  Moonshine is a novelty that sells extremely well in many areas of the US and that is an undeniable  fact. 

AB,    Personally I think that moonshine would sell well in Australia.  

It does okay in the UK.

https://www.cnn.com/2015/06/17/world/moonshine-legal-golden-age/index.html

 

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2 hours ago, MGL said:

I at least know what sells and what doesn't sell.  What sells: ...wine coolers. 

THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS!

You are all fools with this distilling silliness.  WINE COOLERS.  You are preaching to the choir, brother.  I'm cooling my wine as I type, I'M GOING TO BE RICH!!1!

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33 minutes ago, daveflintstone said:

THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS!

You are all fools with this distilling silliness.  WINE COOLERS.  You are preaching to the choir, brother.  I'm cooling my wine as I type, I'M GOING TO BE RICH!!1!

:lol: :lol::lol:

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6 hours ago, daveflintstone said:

THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS!

You are all fools with this distilling silliness.  WINE COOLERS.  You are preaching to the choir, brother.  I'm cooling my wine as I type, I'M GOING TO BE RICH!!1!

That big wine cooler company has there wine coolers in every liquor store across the country. They probably move more gallons of strawberry daiquiris than every product from every distiller in this thread. They r making money, hard to hate.

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10 hours ago, MGL said:

I guess the liquor stores and state warehouse around us are missing out on all the potential sales of "moonshine"?

Not a troll. Most liquor stores can't give the stuff away. I may not be the smartest most educated distiller but I at least know what sells and what doesn't sell.  What sells: aged whiskey,gin,vodka, rum,tequila,liqueur,beer,wine,wine coolers. What doesn't sell: unaged whiskey. Theres a reason whiskey is aged.

He makes a very valid point. if you are going to bring an unaged whiskey to market you need to design a different distillation procedure. Tighter heads and tails cuts, I would be pickier about my source materials, and yeast as well would be something I would do differently compared to a whiskey that was going to age longer. I think where you are missing his point in that he agrees w me that calling unaged whiskey moonshine is kinda kitschy and lame... Gin can drive bills if you can make a good gin, bitters is another one you can utilize to drive cash flow, but if you can't make good gin you probably can't make good bitters.......

 

On 4/14/2018 at 6:34 PM, indyspirits said:

I give up. You win.

 

I have a lot of respect for the contributions and advice you give on this forum- not just distillation but plant/process related as well. Although it appears we would not be able to work amicably in the same plant marketing the same products, I hope to share a dram with you one day. Cheers!

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Posted (edited)

Personally I love sweet mash corn whiskey with a nice buttery corn on the cob flavor.  Aging sweet mash corn whiskey does not improve it.  It is as good as it is ever going to be as soon as it settles out.  

Edited by Southernhighlander

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In general I would have to agree but I put some of my Corn whiskey and did some accelerated aging on some Brazillian woods and it came out very nicely, with some nice unusal flavours on top of a corn whiskey.    But if it was Oak I could only agree.   Still where I live I can experiment to my hearts content.  

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The flavor profile of sour mash corn whiskey is much more suited for the barrel than sweet mash.  Traditionally, good white moonshine was made from sweet mash and charter shine was made from sour mash and aged in an oak barrel.  Charter refers to the char in the barrel. We will be producing both a white sweet mash corn whiskey moonshine made from 100% malted white Hickory King Corn and a charter shine (barrel aged)  made from a 100% White Hickory King Malted, Corn Sour Mashed.    For several generations Hickory King and Hickory Cane corn were the only varieties that the mountain people of the Appalachians would use to make white moonshine and charter shine.  They believed that yellow corn made inferior whiskey and bourbon so they did not use it to make their good likker.  Also many of them used malted corn and Hickory Cane and Hickory King malt well, while Yellow Dent does not.  I'm surprised that the malt houses don't seem to know that.  Jack Daniels only used Hickory King Corn or Hickory Cane Corn until Lem Motlow came along.  Lem switched to yellow dent because of the price and availability.  

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I must say, this is one of the most interesting chains in a while 

It's appears to be a question from a distillery in Australia that makes Bourbon there, which is illegal, asking about moonshine sales over here, which is illegal, and he want to know "how are sales".

Perhaps the question is instead: We make whiskey in Australia in the manner that you make Bourbon in the US, and we are wondering, how sales are in the US for Distilled Spirits Specialties, that are essentially fruit flavored cocktails sold in jars with screw on lids ?

Is that the question ?

 

 

 

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Southernhighlander. 

Thanks for the comment and clarification. I didnt know barrel aged moonshine was called Charter Shine.  Great explaination.   I think thats what I might call my barrel aged moonshine when I finally finish building my distillery. Until then i will just have to sell it illegally.  

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AB,

 

I just checked out your web site.  Congratulations on the Gold Medal and other awards that you received for your moonshine!  Your bottles and especially your labels are well done.  I love the fact that you are using real peaches, cinnamon and other natural flavorings.   With all of the outlets that you already have for your spirits, it looks like you are well on your way to success.  One of the oldest names for Bourbon is Charter Whiskey.  That name was coined by the people who invented it.  My Scots Irish ancestors were making bourbon  in the Southern Highlands of the US and calling it Charter Whiskey long before Elijah Craig came along.  It is certainly legal to make Bourbon anywhere in the world but you just can't call it Bourbon.  Labeling it Charter Whiskey may be a good alternative.  Maybe you could have a short explanation on the bottle of what it means. 

  I grew up in The Great Smokey Mountains of Eastern Tenn.  I go back to the first settlers that came to the Smokies in the seventeen hundreds. Many of my ancestors before that were southern planters who's families came to the colonies in the 1600s.  One landed at New Amsterdam (New York City) in 1664 as a Lt of British Royal Marines.  I have ancestors who served in the French and Indian war,  revolutionary war and the civil war.   My 4th great uncle was the Post  Master General and later the Secretary of the Treasury Pro Temp for the Confederate States of America.  Before that he was a US Congressman.  My 4th great grandfather enlisted with Fighting Joe Wheeler's Cavalry in 1861 and he rode with Joe Wheeler until the end of the war.  He was 49 years old when he enlisted.  Later Joe Wheeler was the US Major General in Command of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders when they charged up San Juan Hill in the Spanish American war.  General Wheeler had Malaria and became confused and yelled "lets go boys, we have the damn yankees on the run again".   My father served in WWII and my brother served in Vietnam.  

There was no tax on whiskey making in the US from 1817 up until the end of the Civil war.  Southern whiskey makers hated the tax.  Since they used their own agricultural products and labor to produce their whiskey, it did not seem right to them that they had to pay the government to make it, especially since it had been legal for them to do so before the end of the war.  The federal government sent revenuers down south to put a stop to it, but most of the moonshiners then were Confederate Veterans and many of the revenuers were killed or tarred and feathered and sent back up North.  Finally when the fed government could no get anyone else to do the job, they resorted to offering prisoners their freedom if they would become revanuers and go into the southern highlands to enforce the whiskey blockade.  These people, many of which were thieves and other types of scoundrels took the job, but they were brutal and nasty people and so the mountain people of that period hated revanours with a passion.

What moonshine means to me.  It is part of my heritage. It is tradition.  It's the little man sticking it to the government. It represents  individualism.  It represents a people who would not give up their whiskey making tradition no matter who demanded it of them.  It is the drink of the down to earth, rural people who are called Rednecks, Hicks and Hillbillies by those who think that they are better.  I am proud of my heritage and the distilling traditions of my people.  After all, it was my peoples whiskey making traditions that gave the rest of the US and the world Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey. 

What Moonshine means today.  Those who make legal moonshine and those who drink it are carrying on the traditions of individualism and the right to liberty.  They are throwing dirt in the face of those who want to dictate rules for the rest of us and tell us what we should and should not be calling the spirits that we create in our own distilleries.  They are telling the snobs and those who think that they are better than us, that they can go to hell.  Shine on brothers and sisters in the North, West and South and all over the world.  Shine on!!!

  • Thanks 1

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Got me to refresh my history knowledge, I had thought the Whiskey Rebellion being put down had settled taxation on liquor permanently. Jefferson repealed the specific tax that the Whiskey Rebellion was fought over in 1802, but there is probably another tax I'm not aware of that went until 1817. Congress set a tax on whiskey in 1862 to fund their half of the Civil War, which then wasn't felt in the South until after it ended. I can only find the barest overview (and only the perspective of the moonshiners being the nastier side) of those early days of the IRS.

@Southernhighlander, do you have a book or documentary you recommend for moonshiners vs government at the birth of the IRS? What little I can find says that it will be a great read.

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Robert,

 

You are correct.  Jefferson did repeal the whiskey tax in 1802 but you are incorrect about it being settled permanently.  It was brought back during the war of 1812 in 1814 and was repealed in 1817. https://www.accountingschoolguide.com/sin-taxes/

As far as the nastier side.  Yes the revenuers that came down after the civil war were really nasty.  Especially after they started using released prisoners.  I don't have any particular book that I recommend.  I am a reenactor and living historian.  Mostly I get my historical info from books, newspapers, periodicals, government records and autobiographies from whatever period that I am interested in..  I also learn a great deal by immersing myself in historical periods at historical reenactments.  There is nothing like standing shoulder to shoulder in a line of infantry, following the orders of your officers, firing your musket while the cannons roar behind and in front of you.  The camp life is just as extraordinary. I generally take historical suppositions written by people who were not there with a grain of salt.  "Trust but verify".

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Below are pics of a still and thumper that we are building for a distillery in OK that will be primarily making legal moonshine.  It is a 250 gallon jacketed electric baine marie, but it can be switched over to low pressure steam.  In many ways it is a recreation of a still from the 1880s.  I will post some better pics in a couple of days once we finish it.

P4170292.JPG

P4170293.JPG

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You are welcome Don Mateo.  When you are ready to start your distillery let me know and I will quote you for equipment.  We currently have equipment in distilleries in Mexico, Peru and Ecuador.   The one in Ecuador has a capacity of 1,000 gallons. paul@distillery-equipment.com

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@southernhighlander 

Here are our stills.

We do not call our Whiskey "Bourbon" for obvious reasons and the Charter naming might be a go, thank you for the bit of history and your kind comments :)

@Roger 

Yes, it would have been better described as  "We make whiskey in Australia in the manner that you make Bourbon in the US, and we are wondering, how sales are in the US for Distilled Spirits Specialties, that are essentially fruit flavored cocktails sold in jars with screw on lids ?" ;) 

 

IMG_0754.JPG

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On ‎16‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 12:54 PM, SlickFloss said:

He makes a very valid point. if you are going to bring an unaged whiskey to market you need to design a different distillation procedure. Tighter heads and tails cuts, I would be pickier about my source materials, and yeast as well would be something I would do differently compared to a whiskey that was going to age longer. I think where you are missing his point in that he agrees w me that calling unaged whiskey moonshine is kinda kitschy and lame... Gin can drive bills if you can make a good gin, bitters is another one you can utilize to drive cash flow, but if you can't make good gin you probably can't make good bitters.......

 

We don't change our distillation procedure between our Whiskey and Corn Whiskey. The heads and tails cuts are tighter than a fishes ahole and that is our normal operating procedure. Our raw materials (in this case corn) is a premium Australian variety so we get a consistent profile every time. 

We don't make anything we are not passionate about and personally I hate the taste of gin and we did consider bitters but the market here for them is very small.

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2 hours ago, AB1965 said:

 

@Roger 

Yes, it would have been better described as  "We make whiskey in Australia in the manner that you make Bourbon in the US, and we are wondering, how sales are in the US for Distilled Spirits Specialties, that are essentially fruit flavored cocktails sold in jars with screw on lids ?" ;) 

 

 

Below are some links to the kind of info that I think you are looking for:

http://business.time.com/2013/05/27/moonshine-is-growing-in-the-u-s-and-big-whiskey-wants-a-taste/

https://www.bevindustry.com/articles/87323-moonshine-sales-grow-triple-digits?v=preview

https://www.cnn.com/2015/06/17/world/moonshine-legal-golden-age/index.html

http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/ole-smoky-moonshine-sheds-hillbilly-roots/299533/

All of the links above are to articles that are very positive.  I couldn't find any that were negative.  People love those essentially fruit flavored cocktails where I live, especially women.  Vodkas flavored with all of that unnatural stuff don't even compare to good naturally flavored moonshines.  I would much rather have something that tastes like Grandma's apple pie and there are a great many just like me in that regard.  Also what would my man cave be without some white lightning on the shelves and some peach flavored shine in the fridge?  All perfectly legal of course.

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41 minutes ago, Southernhighlander said:

Below are some links to the kind of info that I think you are looking for:

http://business.time.com/2013/05/27/moonshine-is-growing-in-the-u-s-and-big-whiskey-wants-a-taste/

https://www.bevindustry.com/articles/87323-moonshine-sales-grow-triple-digits?v=preview

https://www.cnn.com/2015/06/17/world/moonshine-legal-golden-age/index.html

http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/ole-smoky-moonshine-sheds-hillbilly-roots/299533/

All of the links above are to articles that are very positive.  I couldn't find any that were negative.  People love those essentially fruit flavored cocktails where I live, especially women.  Vodkas flavored with all of that unnatural stuff don't even compare to good naturally flavored moonshines.  I would much rather have something that tastes like Grandma's apple pie and there are a great many just like me in that regard.  Also what would my man cave be without some white lightning on the shelves and some peach flavored shine in the fridge?  All perfectly legal of course.

How about u post some relevant content from recent years instead of articles from 3-5 years ago? Heres one from 2 months ago. 5 years ago the worst distiller with the worst business plan coud open up and make the worst liquor and still make a bunch of money. NOT SO MUCH IN 2018!
https://thewhiskeywash.com/lifestyle/american-whiskey-continues-boom-rye-leads-way/

Quote

There was good news for pretty much every category of American whiskey (except white/corn whiskey, which was down -0.5%)

If white whiskey was such a good seller then why woud anyone make the brown stuff?

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30 minutes ago, MGL said:

 

If white whiskey was such a good seller then why woud anyone make the brown stuff?

Personally I think the smart thing to do is to make all the above, or whatever sells best for you.  You sell what works best for you and I'll sell what works best for me.  That's a win win situation right?  Or, it's at the very least a winning situation for me.;)

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Great posts southern Highlander. And AB1965 great set up in your distillery mate.  When I grow up one day I want a set of boilers like that.  

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14 hours ago, AB1965 said:

We don't change our distillation procedure between our Whiskey and Corn Whiskey. The heads and tails cuts are tighter than a fishes ahole and that is our normal operating procedure. Our raw materials (in this case corn) is a premium Australian variety so we get a consistent profile every time. 

We don't make anything we are not passionate about and personally I hate the taste of gin and we did consider bitters but the market here for them is very small.

Define "the taste of gin". It is a blank canvas waiting for you to steam infuse or macerate any expression onto it. If you don't like juniper hide it in the botanical bill completely or use it as a minority complement. Or don't make it its your distillery.

 

How long are you aging your whiskeys for? You can be more lenient on your heads cut on certain whiskeys depending on your plan for aging. i.e. when we lay down our malt whiskeys in vintage cooperage and know that we are going to let those barrels really get gray in the beard (9, 10, and 12 year minimum plans) you can be more lenient on your heads cut because those are going to volatilize out first. Just something to keep in mind

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I always hated gin.  Gin is not something that is very popular down here in the south.  A few people drink it, but Southerners in general do not like it, which is why you see very little Gin but a lot of Bourbon, Whiskey, Rum, Brandy and  moonshine being made in distilleries in the south.  To most of us Southerners drinking beefeater or tanqueray or any of those traditional Gins is like trying to drink a cedar tree.  It just does not taste good.  I will say however that I have had 1 craft Gin that I liked.  It did not seem to have any juniper at all.  You could taste orange peel and cinnamon but none of that awful, horrible, paint peeling juniper flavor.  If I were going to sell something with infused flavors such as cinnamon and orange peel.  I would certainly call it flavored moonshine instead of gin, because the moonshine would sell much better here, than Gin.  If I were in New England or the midwest or west, I would be more apt to sell Gin, because you have to cater to your market.

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