Apparently, Conecuh Ridge is being rebooted as Clyde May Whiskey and there seems to be some money behind it.
Did he ever get his Alabama distillery up?
A few years ago, I would occasionally see Conecuh Ridge at Alabama ABC stores, but I never bought it because it cost as much as Blanton's or something. I wasn't going to pay that much just to find out if it was good.
Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur
Based on the little bit of information I've gotten from the Facebook page and under-construction web site I would say no. They are still a non-distiller producer. Probably a good chance it's LDI whiskey. That would be a good choice for them, since they don't want to say 'Kentucky' on the label.
I don't know who's producing it but the publicity is being handled by Savvy Drinks, which is a substantial outfit.
I can confirm Kenny May is no longer in the mix. He called me about 6 months ago begging me to help him get a distillery going in Alabama. Kind of hushed him up when I mentioned i knew about the trouble he got into. I was not interested in the slightest.
Last I heard it is still just flat-out illegal to distill in Alabama. I would love for that to change, by whatever means.
Conecuh Ridge was originally alleged to be made (in Kentucky) with water trucked up from Alabama. I don't know if that will hold true for the new designation.
You can distill in Alabama legally. I was well on my way to setting one up till I found out my water was contaminated. All you have to do is get your federal dsp and pay a 500 dollar fee to the abc board. The only thing is, you have to go through the abc board to sell your products. Which a lot of people have to do.
I'm disgusted by the way they're marketing this, trying to position Clyde May as some sort of hero, romanticizing crime and criminals for commercial gain. An industry that's constantly under seige from neo-Prohibitionists should be careful about embracing such associations so, naturally, the WSWA gave Clyde May's Whiskey a gold medal at its recent convention.
Especially considering how son Kenny's bootlegging blew the thing up last time.
The story before, I think, is that it was young Heaven Hill bourbon, bottled in Alabama and thus diluted for bottling with Alabama water.
But, yeah, I assume it's still overpriced young whiskey being sold on a gimmick.
Kenny was telling at one time that the water was trucked to Ky from Union Springs, Alabama and they made mash with it. Another big lie I am sure of.
Templeton once claimed they added some Iowa-grown rye to the rye bins at LDI. What? One bushel out of a thousand?
I doubt they even bottled it in Alabama, but it's possible. Maybe they trucked some water to Kentucky once, just to say they did it, but I doubt it. For one thing, Heaven Hill didn't make a special batch just for them. They sold them some existing bulk whiskey.
Anyway, it's a bad product with a bad reputation, but apparently enough sales for somebody to sink some money into it. Perhaps it's very much like Templeton in that they have enough people believing it's a local product to stimulate local pride. I recently had a very irate guy accost me in a bar after he heard me tell a group that Templeton is not now and never has been made in Iowa.
Because he had been there and saw the still!