Monday, January 21, 2013

Midnight Moon Moonshine, Apple Pie Flavor

I have to admit it.  I have been watching the television show Moonshiners, since it started.  I don't know if it is "real" or not.  At this point, since some of the folks on it make me laugh, I decided that I don't need to know how real, or scripted, the show is.  I have already been to the location that distills Virginia Lightning, and I enjoyed their product.  I have to admit that they did not think this web site worth their time to post on their web site, but neglect sometimes hits the alphageek.  Do you suppose the good folks at Virginia Lightning mentioned me when they were on Moonshiners?  I suppose that part got edited out.

Sometimes Moonshiners shows the distribution end of the business.  While I cannot believe a guy would let himself be filmed while running moonshine, I guess I cannot be certain.  As a part of the running the hooch, the guy takes the moonshine and mixes up a drink called Apple Pie.  Basically, he takes some moonshine, adds some apple juice and some cinnamon sticks.  He passed it around for people to sample before making a purchase.  This business model appeals to the alphageek, enough to perhaps give this unusual combination a try.  I have to admit, even though I am a bourbon guy, that drink looks pretty good.  Besides, living in Virginia almost my entire life means I need to try some moonshine.

Midnight Moon
Midnight Moon, Apple Pie Moonshine (click to enlarge)
So, I take a look at my purchase after I get home.  The drink is attractively packaged in a jar shaped like a mason jar, complete with a lid.  Think old school mayonnaise jar. The jar and labels are actually attractive in a simple sort of way.  There is another picture at the end of the article, but I liked the jar so much, I took a series of about ten picture that you can see at this link.

I will say I did not research this product before buying.  Edit: Piedmont Distillers makes this fine product. (Since they actually contacted me via Facebook, I thought I could at least let you know.)  If you want to know about the background, I suggest you go to google and type moonshine jimmie Junior johnson apple pie, or some other such attempt.  I do not just take other posts from other sites, and put them on here.  I promise all original content and nothing more.  If you want a site that recycles other people's work, they are out there.  After all some really big bourbon sites have stolen my pictures.  You know who you are!  Buy a camera!

I sat down to take a sample.  When I opened the bottle, I decided to sample the aroma.  While the moonshine did not smell bad, it smelled sort of medicinal and made me a little hesitant to sip a little.  After a minute or so, I gave in and tried it. I could not have been more wrong, this is a great flavor!  No wonder the runner was giving a sample away,  the stuff sells itself.  The apple juice and cinnamon work together, giving a taste somewhat like apple pie with a kick.  I tried a little more, and decided that this drink was going to get a place on the shelf, along with my bourbon.  The flavors taste anything but medicinal.  I had a flashback to some "grain punch" I sampled once or twice.  In both cases, the flavors cover up the bite of the alcohol and allow for a smooth and pleasant drinking experience.  Just be careful not to over enjoy because I suspect these flavors could sneak up on you.

Midnight Moon
It really is Apple Pie (click to enlarge)
Now that I am enlightened  I am tempted to try to make my own apple pie.  Of course, I will have to use the legal moonshine, and leave the running to someone else.  Don't ask me how to make apple pie.  Try that new thing on the internet, google, and see if you can find a recipe.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Other Red Stag Flavors

I received some Red Stag mini bottles as part of a holiday set in October.  Yes, I know it is no longer October, but I am posting this review anyway.  Don't like the rules?  Go start your own site.

Before I decided to enjoy the Red Stag Cherry, I decided to try out the two varieties  that were in the mini bottles.

I decided to try the Honey Tea. I was not really sure what to expect, but try it I will. I have to admit, Honey Tea just sounds like something to pass on.  Honey Tea and bourbon makes me think of cough syrup, which is not really what I am looking to sip while I am watching football on tv.

Red Stag Mini
Red Stag Honey Tea (click to enlarge)
I take a sip of the honey tea, and I am honestly not certain what the difference is between this, and the Red Stag Cherry. There is a little more of a bitter aftertaste, but not much else. I did not care for the bitter aftertaste, but you might be into that sort of thing.  There is that good Jim Beam taste, and a little hint of flavor, but not much more. Stick with the Cherry one so far.

Red Stag Mini
Red Stag Spiced with Cinnamon (click to enlarge)

Red Stag Spiced with Cinnamon is a little more interesting. It hits with that classic Jim Beam bourbon taste, and then finishes with some cinnamon, making for an interesting taste.  Since I like cinnamon, this one went down pretty well, especially in comparison to the Honey Tea.

I recommend the Spiced with Cinnamon, but I have to say stay away from the Honey Tea.  That funny aftertaste really just was not very good.  While the Cinnamon variety is a good drink, I am not sure I can recommend it over the Red Stag with Cherry.

Do you like what you see?  Don't forget to check out more great information on food from the alphageek at alphageek Talks Food.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Kopper Kettle

Usually, this site is purely about bourbon and bourbon only.  This is not the kind of site that posts other trendy liquors, like vodka.  There is plenty of press for stuff like vodka.  I even like vodka sometimes, but not on this site.  All bourbon, all the time.

This motto makes the article you are about to read difficult to place. Yet again, I have found one of those more than whiskey, less than bourbon liquors that are out there. The Kopper Kettle pictured below is one of those drinks. Big Dick picked up this bottle several years ago, when we toured the distillery where it is produced. You can read about our adventures at this link.  While I am on the subject, the distiller of the product here makes an appearance on the television show Moonshiners.  Before that show existed, Mr. Miller first appeared here on Alphageek's Thoughts.  He may have been on other sites, but I am a little jealous I don't get any credit.

Enough whining.  This is whiskey, that much is certain.  However, some charred chunks of wood have been added to the aging tanks, to give this a taste somewhat like bourbon.  I think he uses some applewood and some oak, because I purchased some used chunks of wood for my smoker while I was there.

So, I opened up the bottle and poured out a little taste. I found this to be a pleasant surprise. I was expecting harsh flavors, like I have received from other legal moonshines in the past. Kopper Kettle did not do that at all. Instead, it has a smooth, sophisticated flavor that goes down easily. No need to add peaches, or any of the other moonshine customs that are out there. Instead, you can enjoy this as you would enjoy a bourbon. While I did not try it, I imagine it would mix well in any bourbon or whiskey recipe.

Kopper Kettle
Kopper Kettle (click to enlarge)
While going through some old pictures, I found what I think is Kopper Kettle being made.  The bag shown in the picture below contains chunks of charred wood that flavor the whiskey.  I thought you might like to see the behind the scenes stuff that Moonshiners did not show you, but that I have here.

Virginia Moonshine
Chunks of Charred Wood (click to enlarge)

The next time you are considering a bourbon purchase, you might want to consider Kopper Kettle, bourbon or not.  It is a great flavor that you cannot get in any other liquor.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Old Weller Antique

Things have been quiet over on this web site.  With all of the other projects going on in the alphageek world, this site needs a little love.  Tonight, that love arrives.

We are making some photographic upgrades.  This will be the last bottle shot with the old light setup.  The pictures are starting to look strange, when you can see the reflection of the camera in them.  The lights bouncing around don't help either.  If you zoom in on the picture like I did, you can clearly see reflections of just about everything in the glass.  We are going to take some steps to try to fix that.  We used this shot so that you can see just how hard getting a great shot is.  Or, you can ignore this rant.  Until that time, you will have to settle for the witty insight into bourbon.

Old Weller Antique Bourbon
Old Weller Antique (click to enlarge)
It was a good thing I zoomed in on this shot.  Despite the simple and straightforward labeling, that gives the basics about the bourbon, I noticed for the first time that this bourbon claims to be the "Original Wheated Bourbon".  Take a look at the bottom of the label, the writing is down there.  This is great, because I am usually a fan of wheated bourbon and whiskey.  I am going to crack this bottle open, and see just what I have here.

I pour a little in, and notice that it has a mild nose, not at all spicy.  I take a sip, and notice that it is very balanced and smooth.   This smoothness is remarkable, considering that it is 107 proof.  It breaks gently across my tongue, and goes down very easily.  I am debating if this bourbon even needs any ice.  A second sip does not clear the ice debate.  Deciding I can always have more bourbon, I add a single ice cube.  I wait a short period and try again.  The additional water from the ice melting surprisingly adds another layer of flavor.  The ice is a good thing to try with this mild, yet strong bourbon.  As usual, it is a wheated bourbon that appeals to the alphageek.  I would say this is one worth trying on your own,  but more so if you either like wheated bourbon, or are just looking for something smooth to sip while doing you favorite quiet activity.

There you have it, another expert review.  The next time you read a new review here, I hope to have some improved pictures.  Until then, tell us what you think in the comments section.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Buffalo Trace White Dog

Recently, we went to one of my favorite liquor stores, Greens.  Greens is located in Greenville, SC, so at least it is easy to remember where the store is.  Well, at least what city is in.  I think there are Greens in other cities, but I can't remember.  See how helpful the Greens in Greenville is?

We stopped in, and I decided to get something unique, that I have never seen before, and review it, just for you.  Sure, I could have recycled some stuff, but I am the alphageek, and I don't recycle.  Well, I don't recycle writing.  The bottles always go in the recycling because Mrs. alphgeek says so.

This bottle caught my eye, because it lists all of the ingredients of bourbon, but is says nothing about being bourbon, or even whiskey, on the label.  It just says "Mash #1".  The label also says "corn, rye and malted barley".  I suspect this is what goes into the barrels.  I know I could look that up on google, but that would just be recycling someone else's work.  Do I recycle?

I decided this would be interesting to try, because of an experience I had while touring a distillery several years ago.  The tour guide passed around some jars, one of which had the liquor that goes into the barrels.  The liquor was clear and colorless   I decided that the alcohol would kill any germs, so I dunked my finger in and took a tasted.  What I tasted was recognizable as bourbon, but not very smooth, and no smokey taste, which seems obvious.  I wondered if Buffalo Trace White Dog would taste similarly?

I opened the bottle and beheld the aroma that is Buffalo Trace White Dog.  Much like my experience before, it has the hints of the smell of bourbon, but also (dare I say) moonshine.  At least, what I was told is moonshine.  I have never seen a still anywhere except a museum.  As I continue to smell, I notice that the aroma grows stronger toward the moonshine and less toward bourbon.

Buffalo Trace
Buffalo Trace White Dog (click to enlarge)

As I take a taste, my experience is much the same as before.  I recognize it as bourbon.  Well, I recognize the the liquor will become bourbon.  It is a somewhat harsh taste, but not bad.  Certainly, one notices right away that the proof is 125!  It is much stronger than many other drinks out there.  Imagine yelling SMOOOTH, and beating ones chest sort of strong.

While interesting to try, I am not sure Buffalo Trace White Dog is for everyone.  I would recommend it for a "bourbon person" that is looking to try something new. How about someone who only drinks for medicinal purposes? Better yet, you can come have a sip of mine, and save the expense.  Have something to say?  Why not leave some feedback?