Is moonshine just un-aged whiskey? We get asked this question almost every day and the answer depends on where you live.
There actually is no definition for the word moonshine. Today, moonshine is associated with illegally made alcohol because back in the day the people who were making illegal alcohol did it by the light-of-the-moon and so they were called "moonshiners" and what ever they made was called Moonshine. Now if you're in the business of making illegal alcohol you would probably use ingredients that were readily available to you - in other parts of the country you might use sugar cane, fruit, beets, potatoes or sugar; and these ingredients make alcohol but it's not whiskey. Here in Indiana we're surrounded by cornfields, so the "moonshine" they were making around here actually was corn whiskey. And yes, moonshine would also always have been un-aged, crystal clear and fresh off the still - why store the evidence in barrels for the revenue agents to find? This is why we call our legally made Hidden Holler and Hoosier Hooch Corn Whiskey's Moonshine.
CORN WHISKEY MOONSHINE
80 Proof | 85% corn and 15% malted barley
100% INDIANA CORN WHISKEY MOONSHINE
100 Proof | 100% Corn
BARREL STRENGTH WHITE WHISKEY
120 Proof | 65% corn, 25% wheat and 10% malted barley (this is our un-aged bourbon)
We call our Corn Whiskey, Moonshine because the kind of Moonshine they were making around here in Indiana before prohibition was un-aged Corn Whiskey. It’s nice and smooth with a sweet corn taste (but not overly corny) softened and mellowed by the high amount of malted barley, great for sipping and smooth enough for mixing in any cocktail.
Hidden Holler can be a substitute for vodka, rum, tequila or gin in cocktails. We use this in all of our Moonshine Shake-ups and it’s perfect in our Bloody Moonshine Mary (we won the Bloody Mary Battle sponsored by the Indianapolis Star in 2015).
For almost 2 years people have been telling us that our Hidden Holler 80 proof corn whiskey was too smooth and not strong enough, so introduced a new “Moonshine” line called Hoosier Hooch. If Indiana was going to have a signature whiskey it would be Hoosier Hooch, which is 100% Indiana Corn and 100 Proof. It’s a stiff drink at 100 proof and has full corn flavor, the people who buy it drink it straight because they like the strong corn taste. Some have said that we should serve it with a side of butter and a toothpick - it’s that corny.
Hoosier Hooch is for those who like the fresh un-aged corny taste of whiskey as it does not not mix well because of the corniness. The only drink that we serve it in at our distillery is in the Bloody Mary and it’s great over ice when you want a taste of Indiana.
We barrel all our aged spirits at 120 proof and we bottled Bear Trap at the full barrel strength. Bear Trap is made with wheat and is very smooth and creamy sweet. When people come into the distillery and ask us what the smoothest whiskey we make is, we tell them Bear Trap. However, Bear Trap is also the highest proof whiskey we sell so you have to be prepared for the flash of that high proof. When we do our tastings we compare the Bear Trap Whiskey (un-aged) to the Gnaw Bone Straight Bourbon (aged in new American White Oak Charred Barrels) because they are the same spirit and then you can really tell what the barrel does to the spirit during the aging process.
Bear Trap Whiskey is very popular and provides a smooth creamy sweet taste from the wheat and barley which really warms you up from within, it’s great for sipping or on ice and mixes really well in cocktails when you want the extra strength from the 120 proof.