White lightening, mountain dew, hooch, moonshine. These terms conjure up images of back-country hideaways, secret stills, and an alcohol with a burn that makes all but the most hardened of drinkers cringe. Yet, according to Troy Ball — owner of Troy & Sons, a craft whiskey distillery located in Asheville, North Carolina — that’s not the whole truth behind moonshine. Troy told The Daily Meal that the terrible stuff that most people associate with the word moonshine is, “The cheap stuff, made in a hurry to sell to outsiders, and sure to turn a good night into a bad idea. Old timers kept their best whiskey for themselves and this white spirit was often of remarkable quality.”
Ball certainly is in a position to know what she’s talking about. In fact, all of Troy & Sons' premium whiskeys have their roots in moonshine; Troy learned the art of distilling from bonafide, back hills, North Carolina moonshiners. She then took the best of what she’d learned and put it into practice at Troy and Sons. “At Troy & Sons, we produce ‘Keeper’ whiskey, true small batch handcrafted spirits that any credible moonshiner would drink himself.” Troy says.
One taste of any of the three Troy & Sons spirits backs up Ball’s story. The Platinum, a true pure clear moonshine, is all flavor and no burn. The Oak Reserve, which is mellowed in bourbon barrels, is a golden shade, has carmel undertones, and a nicely developed richness. The Blonde Whiskey has a wonderfully fruity scent, and is incredibly smooth, with hints of vanilla in the finish. All three products are well worth drinking on there own, but, also make an excellent base for cocktails.
Like any great craft product, the secret behind Troy & Sons, is quality ingredients and an instance on producing a high quality final product. All three of Troy & Sons products are made from Crooked Creek Corn, an heirloom strain of white corn that has been grown on the same family farm for over 120 years. The Blond also has the addition of an heirloom strain of Turkey Red Wheat; both are grown exclusively for Troy & Sons. Equally important, only the “hearts;” the middle and high quality part of a distillation run, make it into the final product. This is what makes the final product taste so good, and go down smooth. According to Troy, “Major distillers use the entire run, but we feel that discarding the Heads and the Tails and using only the Hearts gives us, and you, the best spirits available.”
Once only available in North Carolina, Troy & Sons products are making their way to liquor store shelves in the Denver area this July. The plans are for a 750ml bottle to retail for under $30, a great price for a premium product; so be sure to snap up a bottle if you get a chance!
Moonshine might have a bit of an image problem, but Troy & Sons might just be the one to fix it. Troy & Sons produces the real deal, and it won’t be long before it’s a Denver favorite.