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Tasting Notes: Georgia Moon brand Corn Whiskey


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Or perhaps like a grappa as Chuck Cowdery suggested. Flowery examples were cited as an index of quality in mountain shine in a circa 1918 study of Appalachia and its customs by a British ethnographer. No doubt many different flavors abounded in shine depending onhow it was made, where, by whom. Today Georgia Moon is perhaps the sole surviving (legal!) example of something that might taste like some moonshine did back then. Some of the new small-scale distillers are producing white whiskey from rye and other cereals that offer a different take, e.g. that company in West Virginia (can't recall the name at the moment).

Gary

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Thanks Gary and Ed. Makes sense that there has to be some difference in the regs, but hadn't thought of the lack of char. So I guess the Mellow Corn is four years in new wood. I'll have to remember that the next time I take a drink of it.

Bob

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I would hazard a guess here, assuming someone else hasn't said otherwise, that Mellow Corn is aged in used cooperage. Seems to me that HH would have plenty sitting around that're already paid for, rather than ordering in some uncharred barrels.

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I would hazard a guess ... that Mellow Corn is aged in used cooperage.

I believe that that is true.

I've just done a little tasting of Mellow Corn that I picked up in Bardstown in 1998 (?) I still have a quarter bottle left.

It has a spicy attractiveness on the palate - cinnamon/wintergreen/sassafrass - wish I could be more definitive on this, but it triggers sensations in the primative brainstem, which has very poor connections to the verbal matrix.

At any rate, this is, as I have posted before, a genuinely attractive whiskey, though not at all in the style of a bourbon. It is, as others have noted, remarkably oily on the palate, with those spicy elements.

Not content with tasting it as is, I added about an equal amount of Jim Beam rye (those who have followed my posts here before will know that I enjoy young spirits).

All right! This brings the oily, rich, spicy spirit more into balance. Kind of like a young, feisty bourbon. The way I like 'em. (Although I like mature ones as well.)

A touch of Old Forester Bib adds some depth, but I'm not at all sure that it is an improvement. It is a change, to be sure, bringing more maturity. But I rather like the 50/50 Mellow Corn/JB rye for its in-your-face audacity.

OK. I've been playing around enough with these ratios all evening to be somewhat impaired (that doesn't happen to any of the rest of you, does it?).

But, per the parallel thread on white dog, I think that there is something to be said for young spirits. And I think that this is a (preliminary) winner.

Cheers for now, as I have to go to work (making 80 lbs (35 kg) of bread dough for tomorrow).

Jeff

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Well done, Jeff the one thing I haven't done is blend my Mellow Corn with anything else but what you've done makes a lot of sense. I may try the same with Old Overholt.

I agree with you about young whiskey, at its best it has a charm of its own. But it has to be good whiskey, not too denatured of its essence. The regular Ancient Age is a very good young whiskey, or was when I last had it some years ago. In blending, I like to combine old and young whiskey, I don't believe in the concept of a minimum age expression. Even Early Times, say, might be combined well with medium and much older whiskey and maybe with good corn whiskey too.

Blending/vatting is in my opinion, in its relative infancy. It would benefit from today's advanced techniques in software and computer analysis, in fact I believe models can be developed to predict a range of whiskey flavours and this would assist both in blending and new product development.

I've got two rums I'm proud of that (I know I keep saying this) might end up soon on the Gazebo table. Some 30-40 Caribbean rums of from no age to 23 years old and the blending is suave and very flavourful.

Gary

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I went to a tasting last night hosted by Julian Van Winkle. They poured ORVW 10/107, Pappy 20 & 23. Julian also happened to bring with him a bottle of Fresh Make ORVW. It had spent a total of 1 and 1/2 months in the barrel and then was bottled. He used it to show the group the difference that aging makes on his bourbon. The point I'm trying to make is that after tasting it, it smelled and tasted just like Georgia Moon. It was all corn and then some more corn. Same bitter bite to it and since it was about 114 proof it just burned. We watered it down and it reminded me of GM even more. I was able to bring home a 50 ml bottle of it and I'm gonna do a comparison between the Raw ORVW and Georgia Moon.

It was a great time considering for 25 dollars they were pouring the 10,12,20 and 23 like it was water. They also gave everyone a Glencain Whisky glass with OLD RIP VAN WINKLE DISTILERY etched on it.

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Very interesting Joe, thanks.

I wonder why Julian aged the new make 6 weeks before abstracting it as a sample. Why not take it right off the still?

The reason may be he was not at Buffalo Trace when it was taken off so he waited until he could get to a new filled barrel. Anyway 6 weeks in barrel shouldn't make too much of a difference.

Doesn't surprise me it tastes like Georgia Moon.

It might resemble some new double distilled whiskey sold in the 1800's.

I always said, the prevalence of such new whiskey on the frontier and elsewhere in America in the 1800's and earlier caused the idea of white spirit to be retained in the American folk memory; and this resulted ultimately in the surprise success of vodka in the late 1940's, 50's and after.

Why would a RUSSIAN product in this era take off like it did? It is counter-intuitive. It is (I believe) because Americans never forgot the clean bracing taste of double-distilled new spirit. True, a bourbon mash drunk young would be feistier in taste than a high rectified spirit like vodka. But we should recall that clean vodka-like beverages were available in the 1800's too, it was called "spirit" as opposed to "whiskey" or "rectified spirit".

Gary

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I went to a tasting last night hosted by Julian Van Winkle. They poured ORVW 10/107, Pappy 20 & 23. Julian also happened to bring with him a bottle of Fresh Make ORVW. It had spent a total of 1 and 1/2 months in the barrel and then was bottled. He used it to show the group the difference that aging makes on his bourbon. The point I'm trying to make is that after tasting it, it smelled and tasted just like Georgia Moon. It was all corn and then some more corn. Same bitter bite to it and since it was about 114 proof it just burned. We watered it down and it reminded me of GM even more. I was able to bring home a 50 ml bottle of it and I'm gonna do a comparison between the Raw ORVW and Georgia Moon.

It was a great time considering for 25 dollars they were pouring the 10,12,20 and 23 like it was water. They also gave everyone a Glencain Whisky glass with OLD RIP VAN WINKLE DISTILERY etched on it.

Joe,

What surprises me is that he aged it for 6 weeks. Doesn’t that mean that the barrels aren’t possible to use for straight American whiskey anymore due to legal reasons. It seems like bad economy to ship them to Europe after that short time.

Leif

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Edward_call_me_Ed

Joe, correct me if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that Julian only took a sample from a barrel and then hammered the bung back in to let the remainer age for 10 or more years.

Ed

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Of course Joe will answer but I too read him as saying Julian put some new whiskey in one bottle only, just for demonstration purposes to show people what new spirit tastes like. But again I think it is a valuable exercise, and here it seemed to show even a wheat-recipe bourbon mash can have a marked grainy flavor.

Gary

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He didnt bottle the whole barrel. Just a bottle for the tastings he does.

By the way Gary, your 100% right as to why he took a sample in the barrel for 6 weeks already. It was the youngest barrel he could find when he went to BT. At least thats what he told us.

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I'd long wanted to try Georgia Moon but I was leery, but based on this latest discussion I picked up a jar. It's interesting, but not in a drinkable way. It's pretty clear that it's intended to be what city dwellers think moonshine is/was, notwithstanding that, pre-Prohibition, some moonshine was actually made to be affirmatively good.

I've actually read quite a bit about moonshine distilling. In one prominent book, Mountain Spirits, the author mentions a shine-based drink called "cherry bounce" that has always intrigued me; I'm going to see if I can mix up something potable from Georgia Moon and some sort of cherry flavoring that might have what I imagine as the character of that concoction.

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Cherry bounce is an old English drink, it came over with the Mayflower. I believe the word bounce is a corruption of "ponche", or "ponce", the French word for "Punch", itself an Anglo-Indian word. The original in India (I think in Hindi) means a mixture of elements. Cherry bounce can be made with whisky, bourbon or 'shine - evidently it scaled the social register and beyond. I'll try to find some recipes for you. Chuck are you still coming to Sampler? I've got that Port Ellen 1979, 57.3% abv which I'll bring if you do.

Gary

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Cherry bounce can be made with whisky, bourbon or 'shine - evidently it scaled the social register and beyond. I'll try to find some recipes for you.

It's mentioned in the Philadelphia Inquirer article on the legendary Louisiana moonshiner Coe Dupuis. I posted the article in its entirety last December (page down to it). I just reread it and enjoyed it again.

BTW, OED surprisingly doesn't show any definition of "bounce" for a drink. The word "punch" as a drink (and perhaps derived from Hindi) it documents to as early as 1632 - just after the Mayflower.

OED:

[Origin uncertain; stated by Fryer, who travelled in Western India 1672-81, to be the Marathi (and Hindi) word panch (Skr. panchan, Pers. panj) five, from its five ingredients, which may show an explanation then current in the East ...]

Jeff

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That's interesting Jeff, thanks. The term punch would have entered British and American usage from very early days deriving from Far Eastern Maritime trade or even earlier (the trans-European (landed mostly) trade routes reaching over to the Levant and beyond might have brought the term in Britain well before 1600). I think dictionary definitions always post-date the first usages, but I can't prove it of course. Bounce is kind of a dialectical or informal term, that is why it is not in the OED, I think. I will try to find a citation from a British book, I know I've seen them in the past.

Gary

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Cherry bounce ... I'll try to find some recipes for you.

A Google search for "cherry bounce" gets some good ones, including a little essay and recipe by Emeril. Many of the recipes use bourbon. It seems that it is traditional in Cajun country in Louisiana.

Sounds interesting. Something to do when wild cherries ripen in the summer.

Jeff

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Chuck are you still coming to Sampler? I've got that Port Ellen 1979, 57.3% abv which I'll bring if you do.

Alas, I'm afraid those plans have fallen through. The trip was intended to be a gift for my father, but he's had something else come up that weekend and can't go. And furthermore, he's asked me to take part in this other event he's involved in, so it doesn't look like I'll even be able to just come myself or with someone else. (Which may be for the best: my wife was okay with the idea of me coming to Kentucky to drink bourbon for several days as long as it was part of a father-son bonding experience, but I don't think I could come by myself and still preserve domestic tranquility. And unfortunately she is not interested herself.)

Hopefully next year. :smil41df29a15fb35:

Chuck

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I'll hang to the Port Ellen, Chuck, another time (possibly in Chicago with Mr. Cowdery).

Gary

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