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Moonshine question

This is a discussion on Moonshine question within the Food, Wine, & Spirits Forum forums, part of the Non Cigar Related Specialty Forums category; So I was flipping channels yesterday and came across some documentary-style show about moonshine. I watched because I like shows ...

  
  1. #1

    Tampa! pdisme's Avatar


     

    Moonshine question

    So I was flipping channels yesterday and came across some documentary-style show about moonshine. I watched because I like shows about brewing beer, distilling spirits, etc. but what caught my attention is something one of the guys said as they're loading gallon water jugs of the stuff into the back of a pickup truck; he mentioned 'these babies are worth $100/each.' I started digging around online and found similar references to these prices. Here's a price list from just last November on a site that sells stills:

    Honey shine = $200 per gallon

    Agave = $180 per gallon
    Blackberrry brandy = $160 per gallon
    Blueberry brandy = $160 per gallon

    Strawberry brandy = $160 per gallon
    Rye whiskey = $80 to $120 per gallon

    Apple brandy = $60 to $120 per gallon
    Rum =$70 to $120 per gallon

    Peach brandy = $60 to $120 per gallon
    Corn whiskey = $45 to $120 per gallon
    This got me curious about why it would be worth that much? I can buy a gallon of legal high quality rum for a lot less than $120; why would anyone want to buy a water jug of rum made in someone's back yard in equipment of questionable construction/materials? I don't drink the other types of alcohol listed but pretty sure brandy can be had for less than those prices.

  2. #2

    Alpha Puffer Fish Damselnotindistress's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    I'm not an expert on Moonshine (despite being a Kentucky native), but I can comment on homemade wine I had while at Fort Dix in 1983... stuff wasn't playin' as far as true POTENCY!!!

  3. #3

    Tampa! pdisme's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Hmm, but when it gets that high in alcohol content I don't think you can really taste anything? And if that's the case, I can buy a gallon of Everclear 151 proof for $50 legally. Hell in New Orleans you can buy a bottle of 190 proof lol.

  4. #4

    Joe beercritic's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Hand crafted stuff can be amazing. Ever try home made beer? If the brewer knows his stuff (and they generally do), it beats hell out of store bought. Pssst... words to the wise; get a taste before buying, and ask 'em for some "Strawberry Panty Dropper."

    I judge. I know.


    Joe
    Last edited by beercritic; 01-06-2012 at 06:34 PM.
    Gurkha is the main reason I have trust issues.

  5. #5

    Puffer Fish with some spikes smburnette's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Genuine Appalachian Kentucky moonshine costs 15 dollars per quart. The flavored variety(apple pie, blueberry cobbler, peach cobbler, etc) is 15 dollars per pint... I am right in the heart of it and can tell you that while entertaining, that show is far from the truth. It makes us look like redneck idiots..

  6. #6

    Tampa! pdisme's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Well on the plus side, the show was in Virginia I think.

    That's interesting though; if there's something inherently better about this stuff, I don't understand why legal distilleries aren't lining up to produce it? I read there's only a few places that legally produce 'white whiskey'.

  7. #7

    One day at a time Scott W.'s Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    I make apple pie moonshine at home using ever clear, apple cider,apple juice, cinnamon and whipped cream vodka. It's 60 proof and I can make 2 gallons for 60 bucks. It's like when that one dude cut the shine with apple juice. 2 pints and your good.

  8. #8

    Puffer Fish with some spikes smburnette's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    An interesting side note. Charred shine is normally faked most of the time. Put a tablespoon of Pepsi in a quart of clear shine and it will sell as aged, charred shine to the tourists for a higher price.

  9. #9

    Puffer Fish with some spikes smburnette's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Quote Originally Posted by scottw View Post
    I make apple pie moonshine at home using ever clear, apple cider,apple juice, cinnamon and whipped cream vodka. It's 60 proof and I can make 2 gallons for 60 bucks. It's like when that one dude cut the shine with apple juice. 2 pints and your good.

    Replace the apple with peach juice, jar with half a peach, and you have peach cobbler..

  10. #10

    One day at a time Scott W.'s Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Quote Originally Posted by smburnette View Post
    Replace the apple with peach juice, jar with half a peach, and you have peach cobbler..
    I'll try that next. My brother and our wives drank a gallon of shine in one night, good stuff.

  11. #11

    Disillusioned Freethinker AStateJB's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Quote Originally Posted by pdisme View Post
    Hmm, but when it gets that high in alcohol content I don't think you can really taste anything? And if that's the case, I can buy a gallon of Everclear 151 proof for $50 legally. Hell in New Orleans you can buy a bottle of 190 proof lol.
    Believe it or not... true moonshine when made correctly is INCREDIBLY smooth! I've had homemade apple pie moonshine that was somewhere in the neighborhood of 130 proof and I could easily drink it straight. No burn, no rubbing alcohol flavor... just sweet apple pie goodness!
    Hangin' out with Friends

  12. #12

    Tampa! pdisme's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Interesting; sounds like there's more to it than meets the eye in that case. And I guess the illegal aspect is simply the proof is too high to sell and/or liquor license costs are too high or impossible to obtain in the state in question?

  13. #13

    One day at a time Scott W.'s Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    The illegal aspect is the fact that the moonshiners do not pay taxes on the liquor they sell nor to they conform to the regulations other distillers do. The liquid itself is not illegal in any way.

  14. #14

    Full grown Puffer Fish Beer Alchemist's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Quote Originally Posted by scottw View Post
    The illegal aspect is the fact that the moonshiners do not pay taxes on the liquor they sell nor to they conform to the regulations other distillers do. The liquid itself is not illegal in any way.
    And the slew of regulations that are broken. Of course like you said, that is all about the protection of tax revenue. What makes me laugh is my homebrew shop, like many, sell distillation equipment along with books on it and all the ingredients, but of course it's only for water distillation. I still haven't figured out what one would need turbo yeast and an oak barrel for water distillation though.

    I don't see why the price would be so high other than the illegal aspect of it. Then it gets into supply/demand. Perhaps those are prices in dry counties.
    Sneaky Squid

  15. #15

    Tampa! pdisme's Avatar


     

    Re: Moonshine question

    Quote Originally Posted by Beer Alchemist View Post
    I don't see why the price would be so high other than the illegal aspect of it. Then it gets into supply/demand. Perhaps those are prices in dry counties.
    That's what I don't understand. If they're avoiding taxes and licensing, their costs are lower than legit distilleries. I can of course see charging more for a better product, and I'm sure there exists illegally produced moonshine that is very high in quality and worth some premium, but why would something made clandestinely, in questionable equipment and without the added expense of aging, tax, licenses, etc. also be worth five to ten times what legal booze of the same type costs?

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