goes around comes back around. What once was new
became old and then it became new again. That can actually
be said of practically everything and anything; food and fashion
come foremost to mind. I guess the old saying about history
repeating itself is more than true. And that goes for Rye
Whiskey and Moonshine as well.
believe the heyday of Rye was back in the early 1900's through
the 40's while moonshine was most popular during the years
of prohibition, 1920-1933. Well guess what, they're back with
a vengeance and being distilled by more companies than ever
before. Why in just the past few weeks I've come across 2
new moonshines or as they are legally called, white whiskey.
to the United States government, rye whiskey sold in the United
States must meet these requirements: it must be made from
a grain mixture that is at least 51% rye, aged in new charred-oak
barrels, distilled to no more than 160 proof, or 80% alcohol
by volume (ABV), entered into the barrel for aging at a proof
no higher than 125 (62.5% ABV) and finally bottled at no less
than 80 proof (40% ABV). Besides all that you just can't make
a proper Old Fashioned, Boulevard, Sazerac or Manhattan without
rye. I especially like the Sazerac as it's made with Rye and
Absinthe, what could possibly go wrong with that combination!!
Fog's End Monterey Rye is pale golden in
color and the bottle indicates that it is 90 proof. Wow, right
in the bottle the aroma of rye is most potent and quickly
followed by toffee and vanilla. In the glass the rye settles
down and mixes nicely with the vanilla and toffee and then
there is a hint of oak backing it all up. Well it certainly
has the spiciness and pepper on the palate of an American
whiskey. The rye along with an overall taste of grain comes
to the front accompanied by a good degree of sweetness. The
vanilla and toffee take a back seat. It is almost rum like
in that it is that sweet. I still get a hint of the oak but
it has receded even further. The finish is peppery but pleasant
and I am left with a very sweet taste of rye. It's light enough
and interesting enough to be a standalone sipper. On the rocks
with Ginger Ale, it settles down into a really nice and flavorful
mixer. But I do believe that in a Sazerac the Rye and Absinthe
becomes a match made in heaven.
up is California Moonshine from Fog's
End Distillery, made right on the left coast as they
like to put it. Of course, it is water clear and is 100 proof.
They're not kidding around here. Surprisingly, right out of
the bottle, I don't get a huge whiff of alcohol just grain
and sugar. In the glass, and only after a few deep inhalations,
I get the spice note I was expecting but not the alcohol.
On the palate the spice note is dominant but not overbearing
and followed by well balanced sweet grain. The finish is spicy
but not overly and the entire experience is well, unexpected.
After all this is moonshine! There should be some pain involved
if not downright agony. Dare I say it but this may be the
most civilized moonshine I have ever tasted. WTF! This ain't
no white lightning although it does come in a screw cap bottle.
Straight up it's not quite a sipper but on the rocks it becomes
downright friendly. If you've never tried moonshine before,
this just might make a hell of a nice introduction to the
category. If you're a good old boy from the backwoods of Tennessee
you might confuse it with momma's milk, either way it's not
all that bad but it is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Monterey Rye and California Moonshine
in 750 ML bottles are around $29.99.
more Rants & Raves click