View Full Version : Conecuh Ridge Whiskey on NBC Nightly News

12-12-2002, 08:12
Looks like Kenny May's Alabama moonshine is going to get some big time national coverage:


NBC Nightly News is running a story about this on their 5:30 show, Friday evening.

This whiskey was supposedly going to be released around Father's Day this past June. Whatever reason for the delay, it was apparently placed on the shelves in 147 Alabama ABC stores yesterday!

For more information on this, you can also visit the Union Springs, AL website at www.unionspringsalabama.com (http://www.unionspringsalabama.com)

Well, time's a-wasting! I think I'll run out today and find me some of this stuff. If Conecuh Ridge is worth the hype than there may come a day when the powers that be see fit to add an Alabama whiskey forum to this site http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif !!


12-14-2002, 11:12
Well, a double letdown... http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

I have not been able to find Conecuh Ridge whiskey anywhere and there was no special segment on the NBC Friday evening news featuring it. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/mad.gif Me no understand.


12-14-2002, 22:37
I saw what was apparently the same segment on my local NBC station's local news (it looked too slick for a local production). They said that Conecuh Ridge had been distributed to "147 ABC stores" on Thursday. Today (Sat.) I tried to find some in my local ABC. The first guy I asked had never heard of it, but the manager heard me ask and he told me that the Mountain Brook store had gotten some on Friday. He said my store would probably get theirs on Monday.


12-18-2002, 17:57
I purchased a case of Conecuh Ridge today! My understanding is that most all of this was sold out yesterday as the stores opened! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif Don't ask me how I got it!....For the record, says is "hand-crafted" in Kentucky from the "secret" recipe from South Alabama's Clyde May. It claims to be "aged to perfection in re-used caramel- charred white-oak barrels. It is a dark, burnt?orange whiskey in a decent looking (Wathan-like) bottle. It has a Batch #001 on the front, listing 90 proof as well. I haven't tasted yet...promised my lady I'd wait on her to get home! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif My contact tried to find more while I was there, but her sources were empty as I stated earlier...she promised to continue looking for me. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/grin.gif I have got three takers, but if anyone is interested I have three bottles left that I'd be interested in trading, etc... I also found three more bottles of OFBB if anyone is interested. I need to know something by Monday evening. See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

12-18-2002, 18:26
>My understanding is that most all of this was sold out yesterday...

If anyone has a "spare bottle", I'd love to get my hands on it. I'll be
going up to Sam's in Chicago at the beginning of the year, so I'll trade
just about anything they carry... Van Winkle, Corner Creek Reserve,
Buffalo Trace, Elmer T. Lee, Maker's Mark VIP, Rowans Creek,
Kentucky Spirit, etc. Or if someone wants a cople of "ass-pocket"
(~200 mL) samples of a few things, I could do that, too.


12-18-2002, 20:39
Okay, preliminary tasting on this pour is excellent! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif This is INCREDIBLY SMOOTH! It says its 90 proof, but it seems much less. I mean you know it has the alcohol content, but the burn is next to zero. Very slight alcohol burn on the nose, and even less going down...slight tingle on the lips and tongue. It has a VERY buttery, sugar maple syrup smell and taste. A subtle taste of caramal and a HINT of shucked green corn as well. I like it very much...I'll post a little more in-depth later after I've had a chance to have another snifter or two! See ya H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

12-19-2002, 07:24
H'wood, you da man! Thanks for the heads up on availability and the first tasting notes for this whiskey. I hope it does well.

When you said it sold out, do you mean the Birmingham area or across the state? Surely there'd be a bottle or two floating around somewhere http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif

Anyway, I'll bide my time and hope Santa is good to me because, at present (no pun intended), I am a Staggless, OFBB-less, Conecuh Ridgeless bourbonite..... http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/frown.gif


12-19-2002, 08:10
Squeeze, There is probably "a bottle or two" around SOMEWHERE?! My contact was checking stores in this area as well as an hour south to Montgomery. Like I said the stores were almost sold-out after opening....the stores that received it numbered around 150 I think...I am almost positive this was state-wide. I've got a couple of bottles left, and I feel pretty good on getting a couple more http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif through my source...hopefully. I decided to keep one more bottle, after I tasted it! I had made a post a short time back....about good whiskies having a distinct taste of their own (as long as its distintively good!)...this has it! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

12-19-2002, 08:40
I believe that its a requirement that you either ship a bottle to every member of this board or agree to bring one to the Bourbon Festival next year. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/shocked.gif

12-19-2002, 18:03
Okay, update! Everyone by now knows that I shoot it straight, and don't pull many punches! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif The Conecuh Ridge is delicious, but must only be enjoyed neat. It is very, very, smooth. Almost too smooth, if you can believe that! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif I like a thick, thick, pour...and this is average on thickness. The taste is tremendous, but with a cube or cut with water its not the same. Enjoyed in a snifter the following ratings apply: Nose A, Taste A-, Thickness C (I'm very tough here!). The packaging..bottle,attractiveness,etc.....which don't count for much to me B+. See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

12-20-2002, 11:09
You mentioned this whiskey being very buttery and perversely smooth at 90 proof. Reminded me of George Dickel No. 12, white label.

Do you notice any similarities between the two?


12-20-2002, 13:26
Squeeze, I do drink Dickel #12 at times, but the answer is..No. Although D12 is fairly smooth, it isn't in Conecuh's class in that way. However, D12 is a little thicker pour. Conecuh has a hugh nose...you LITERALLY think you're smelling pancakes on Sunday morning with MELTED butter and Mrs. Butterworth's syrup to boot! In all seriousness, this whiskey should always be enjoyed neat in a snifter. A rocks glass will not do it justice http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/laugh.gif Alot of difference between them..I think D12 is much more subtle. See ya, H'wood http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

12-21-2002, 21:52
I second Hollywood's impressions of Conecuh Ridge. I was finally able to get a taste of this stuff after locating a supply of it in an ABC store in Huntsville. A store employee pointed me to their stash and said that it had just arrived earlier that day. There was a small number of bottles sitting removed from the whiskey section of the store next to one of the cash registers. Not as conspicuous as you might guess. I never would have spotted them had I not been shown point blank where they were.

Two of the employees seemed really curious about this whiskey after I had asked them about it. They actually knew nothing about it and began asking me questions...they were even clueless that it was a new whiskey.

Anyway, the Conecuh Ridge bottle does not even come close to resembling the bottle's "image" that was illustrated in a Union Springs article earlier this year. Instead of a rounded bottle displaying the state of Alabama and a whiskey still, the bottle has a rectangular shape with a medium neck and an orange/amber and grey label. The label states "Clyde May's Conecuh Ridge Whiskey" with a note below it which reads "Made from Mr. Clyde's Famous Alabama Recipe, closely guarded and handed down for generations". Another note refers to the Conecuh Ridge Distillery being located (at least for the present) in Bardstown Kentucky. Could this mean that Barton is involved in making this whiskey? Heaven Hill no longer has distilling operations based in Bardstown since the '96 fire do they? The label states that this whiskey has been handcrafted in small batches with the current bottle being from batch #001, 90 proof.

Hollywood's impression of butter and pancakes is right on the money. The nose of this whiskey has a country sweetness that is unique. Something akin to hot buttered blue-berry pancakes that slowly develops into a rich butterscotch with hints of toffey. The body is light to medium with a taste which is sweet and similar to the nose but not as penetrating or intense. As Hollywood said, this stuff is incredibly smooth which actually disappointed me slightly. The smoothness seems to result from a body and finish which are somewhat thin (watery, maybe?) and simple. Nevertheless, this whiskey has merit, especially in the nose. Maybe the taste will open up with time. But it seems a little more age and refinement could really produce a humdinger; then again, that might defeat Kenny May's purpose in keeping with the taste profile of his dad's whiskey.

All in all, a welcome newcomer and a respectable little brother to our family of Kentucky bourbons and Tennessee whiskies.


12-22-2002, 06:03
Remember the TV news article I watched? There seemed to be a concerted effort to relate Conecuh Ridge to the moonshine that was produced, say, 50 or 60 years ago. That would be a very simple taste profile. On the other hand, they ended up saying this is a very refined whiskey, comparing it to single-malt scotch. All in all, a very confusing message.


12-23-2002, 15:14
</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Another note refers to the Conecuh Ridge Distillery being located (at least for the present) in Bardstown Kentucky. Could this mean that Barton is involved in making this whiskey? Heaven Hill no longer has distilling operations based in Bardstown since the '96 fire do they? The label states that this whiskey has been handcrafted in small batches with the current bottle being from batch #001, 90 proof.

I'm trying to get ya'll an answer. I've called the attorney for the Kentucky Distillers Assoc. but don't expect to hear much anytime soon, it is Christmas... http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/crazy.gif
I dunno but, I'm beginning to smell Evan Kulsveen here. What if this is something he bought from them before the fire?
I know we've had this conversation before, and I'm pretty sure the larger part of his warehouse space is sitting un-used. However, he still has more than enough space in the buildings close to his bottling line and warehouse to hold a few hundred barrels of something.
Just a hunch,

12-24-2002, 09:51
Thanks Beej! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/cool.gif

Your "X-files" handiwork is appreciated by one and all in bourbonia.

01-01-2003, 17:04
I just saw this piece on NBC Nightly News tonight. Interesting look at Conecuh Ridge Whiskey. I believe they said it was aged one year. Is this right?


01-01-2003, 17:17
I just caught that piece myself. Yeah, the "aged 1 year" has me wondering too. There's no age statement on the bottle. But the whiskey is so smooth and the nose is so sweet and mellow, it's hard to believe it's anything less than 4 years old.

Here's a pic of the bottle below.....a WT 101 bottle is sitting behind it, so that's why you have the word "WILD" floating around in the Conecuh Ridge bottle.

01-01-2003, 17:23
here's a description I found for it on a website advertising it... In it it says that it is aged for a year or more...

Just a few years ago only a select few could taste the smooth, mellow whiskey Clyde May brewed in South Alabama. Take just one sip and you'll understand why folks from miles around risked a brush with the law for a bottle of Mr. Clyde's Alabama Moonshine Bourbon. Using a recipe passed down for generations, Conecuh Ridge is made with the purest spring water and the best whole grains. Aged to perfection in caramel-charred white oak barrels, Clyde May's famous whiskey is now available, legally, for you to enjoy.

In the hills and hollows of South Alabama, Clyde May made the best moonshine bourbon in the South. Consumed by quality and attention to the craft, Mr. Clyde spent his life perfecting the art of small-batch whiskey making. His famous product was admired by not only the fans of his masterful Alabama Moonshine Bourbon, but also by the federal revenue officers duty-bound to chase him across the Alabama's red-clay roads.

Conecuh Ridge takes pride in keeping true to Clyde's original recipe for fine whiskey. Clyde May's core values live on in the product today. Good whiskey starts with the purest water and finest ingredients. Conecoh Ridge is committed to the expensive and time-consuming process of making whiskey in small batches, using master distillers, not automated machines. And they believe that sophisticated taste can only be achieved with time. Good whiskey can't be rushed. The result is a warm amber whiskey with rich finish. Each sip will make you want to linger just a little longer and savor its purity, just as Mr. Clyde intended.

If you drive down deep in the heart of Conecuh Ridge, you'll soon find that the flat black-belt, so famous for its rich soil and cotton-spotted history, gives way to a sandy rise. This is what it's all about an enormous natural deviation of pure sand. Spring heads and artesian wells abound in this region of the state, gushing forth the cleanest, brightest spring water in the South. You simply can't find a purer water source. And that's how we start a bottle of Clyde May's Conecuh Ridge.

One taste of this rich amber whiskey, and you'll know how pre-prohibition bourbon made its mark on the American South. Conecuh Ridge is carefully crafted to 90 proof, using whole-grains to create a southern sour mash that can't be beat. Once fermented and distilled the resulting clear liquid is poured into charred white oak barrels where it is aged for a year or more. While that may not sound like a lot of time to a Scot or a Canadian whiskey maker, our aging process is naturally enhanced by Alabama's hot summers.

The rich golden result is as mellow and gentle a whiskey as we believe you'll find.

01-02-2003, 03:52
I find the repeated references to "bourbon" in the article a bit misleading. http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/confused.gif Since this isn't a straight whiskey, couldn't they be taking it off the still at a much higher proof (than bourbon). If so, the more substantial amount of water needed for dilution to bottling strength, might result in a lighter, more approachable spirit despite its youth?

01-26-2003, 23:52
Ok my interest is aroused..... any more info on this refreshment after your initial tasting? Is this only being offered in AL?

01-28-2003, 07:18
It should be available very soon through Internet Wines and Spirits. See: http://www.internetwines.com/rws27434.html

But several forum members have voiced their disappointment in dealing with this particular supplier. So, proceed with caution! http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/images/icons/smirk.gif


03-04-2003, 00:44
Recieved a Bottle of this today in a tobacco trade. The reviews so far are right on. I might add that this is smooth enough to reach up and slap ya when you least expect it. After a couple of drinks I set it aside because I was drinking it like it was a nice punch at a wedding reception and I want to savor every last drop. Definately worth trying but the price through barter or an outright buy will make it a novelty rather than a staple.

06-22-2004, 17:34
I found this product to be very sweet with a sort of "Mrs. Buttersworth" flavor. Come to find out there may very well be a historical reason for this sweet flavor. In the same book that has a recipe for rectified bourbon and Monogahela rye recipes is this recipe for "Tuscaloosa Whiskey".

"Neutral spirits, four pints; honey, three pints, disolved in water, four pints; solution of starch, five pints; oil of wintergreen, four drops, dissolved in half ounce of acetic ether: color with four ounces of burnt sugar."

This would make a very sweet "whiskey" so they must be trying to duplicate a very sweet Alabama whiskey which was popular in the 1860's.

Mike Veach

06-23-2004, 09:41
Which book are you referring to?

In the back of my head, I've been thinking about trying to put
together a list of various historic American whiskey styles...
names that meant something in the past, and the styles that
went along with those names. Things like Monongahela rye,
Towse wheat whiskey, etc.

Tuscaloosa Whiskey is a new one to me. I like the idea of
looking at old rectifying recipes to get a clue about what
kind of taste profile was expected for each style.

Tim Dellinger

06-23-2004, 12:34
One assumes that rectified whiskey recipes were always intended to duplicate straight whiskey styles. (I know you're not saying this, Tim, but it is a natural assumption.) However, it's probably more accurate to say that such a book of recipes simply describes popular or regional styles, some of which may exist in a straight whiskey form, but some of which only exist as compounds. Just a thought.

06-23-2004, 14:41
I agree. There were straight whiskeys flavoured with fruited or other substances (e.g. Rock and Rye), compounds of straight whiskey and GNS, minglings of all-straight whiskeys, and likely other variations on this theme. Some areas probably favoured one or the other version depending on taste, locally available ingredients, and (especially) cost. Still, straight whiskey was regarded as superior: in Joseph Fleishman's 1885 manual on whiskey blending, large extracts of which are reproduced at www.pre-pro.com (http://www.pre-pro.com), his top-most grade of blended whiskey was a combination of all bourbon or all-rye whiskeys lightly dosed with a fruit extract such as prune juice. He said when the customer could "get it" this superior blend was preferred to all other grades. He gives a gradation in which the price rises in strict proportion to the amount of true whiskey in the product. Cocktails were another version of flavouring straight whiskey. By cutting it with soda or other drinks (vermouth) this is a kind of compound too. In fact, when I read old ads in books such as Sam Cecil's, whiskey is rarely if ever shown as being taken neat. Less rarely, it is shown taken with rocks only, but usually (I mean up to the 1960's, say) it is shown in Manhattans or Old-Fashioneds or highballs. I think, though, this was a genteel way of presenting whiskey. I think many people, then as now, enjoyed whiskey on the rocks or neat, but the ads possibly regarded such practices as too "earthy", not worthy of being shown in colour ads in glossy magazines which earnestly portrayed (idealised) scenes of haute bourgeois or upper-class life. Such is the way (is it not?) with all advertising, even the inverted snobbery-laced advertising of our time..


06-28-2004, 16:21
This book is in the collection at the Oscar Getz Museum. It is titled "The Manufacture of Liquors, Wines and Cordials Without the Aid of Distillation." by Pierre Lacour Published by Dick &amp; Fitzgerald, New York. I did not copy the page with the publish date but if I recall correctly it was 1862.

Mike Veach

07-04-2004, 06:40
How much is a bottle of this whiskey?

07-04-2004, 06:53
I think internetwines.com has them for ordering for $35 a bottle. I got mine from there when they had their 25% off sale a few months back.

07-04-2004, 17:43
In AL, an ABC state, I think it is about $39 or 40. I would love to try some, but not at that price.


07-08-2004, 13:10
I had one distributor here in NY bring a sample by and mentioned they were considering bringing it in. Unfortunately, last I checked, they decided against it. Darn it!