you know that if it wasn't for moonshine there would
be no NASCAR? It's the truth. Back in the day, thanks to prohibition,
moonshine was king, it was also illegal. In order for the
moonshiners to get their white lighting to market, most times
they needed to outrun the law that was always right behind
them. So they started to tinker with their cars and beef up
the suspensions in order to carry more spirits and tweak the
engines so they could outrun the feds.
wouldn't you know it but those good old boys wildly careening
their souped up sedans around backwoods roads would eventually
evolve into those good old boys carefully careening their
stock cars around oval race tracks.
reason I mention all this is because I just received a bottle
of Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey
which is in fact the legal descendant of that illegal moonshine
and it is made from Popcorn Sutton's secret recipe. Yes, there
really was a moonshiner named Popcorn Sutton and his recipe
was perfected over four generations. Popcorn was a third generation
moonshiner who lived and distilled his whiskey in Cocke County,
Tennessee. And true to his moonshiner heritage on March 16,
2009, while facing 18 months in federal prison for making
moonshine (not paying taxes on his whiskey), he decided to
take his own life rather than go to prison.
he shared his secret recipe, along with the tradition and
craft that made his whiskey famous with his friend Jamey Grosser
who, under the America's Rebel Spirit Company, distills Popcorn's
Whiskey exactly the same way Popcorn made it. Let's
dive in and see if it lives up to its legend.
comes in a jet black bottle with white lettering with a design
that makes both the front and back labels appear to be both
front labels, neat idea. WHOA, this is alcohol! The nose is
full of grain, I do believe they use corn, and it has an underlying
dash of sweetness from the accompanying sugar. However the
alcohol is front and center and I made the mistake of taking
in a deep breath and singed all the hairs in my nose. I have
had moonshine before and I can vouch that this is definitely
moonshine. It eventually settles down in the glass and the
alcohol dissipates and leaves a clean scent of grain.
the palate it begins with a pronounced tingle that builds
and then evens out. I get a taste of malted grain followed
by subdued sweetness that seems to balance nicely with the
grain. The finish starts with a very peppery feel in my throat
that is short and eventually just leaves the taste of the
grain in my mouth and a tingle around my tongue.
mellows right out on the rocks and the edges smooth over and
the earthy grains come out from behind the alcohol and take
center stage. It mixes it up quite nicely with lemonade or
coke but does not lose its identity.
Tennessee White Whiskey is really a prime example of its type
of spirit; moonshine AKA white lightning. It is not for the
faint of heart, but if you are the adventurous sort you really
ought to try this. It is 93 proof so drink with caution.
is available in limited distribution but worth looking for
at only $25.00 to $30.00 per 750ml bottle.
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