American Whiskey - Unaged/Moonshine

Death's Door Whiskey

From: Wisconsin, United States Liquor Review Category: Unaged/Moonshine American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 2
This is a Tier 2 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics have highly recommended the spirit as a benchmark in the category.
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San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2011

Wine Enthusiast

  • This bottle has not been rated by this competition.

Proof66 Notes

Death's Door whiskey is an unaged whiskey and is therefor more commonly known as "moonshine," "white lightning," or "white dog" depending upon what part of the country you're from. The marketers prefer to call it "Artisanal Moonshine." It is made from hard red winter wheat and malted barley (80% and 20% respectively), aged quite briefly for "less than 72 hours" in oak.

Jeffries mentioned that many white whiskeys on the market are simply pre-aged distillate blended down and bottled while Death's Door is specifically designed to be bottled without aging. This is the reason for the lack of corn in the mashbill, which they feel comes across as harsh and bitter before aging.

Death's Door as a brand was founded in 2005 but opened their own distillery in 2012 under the direction of Brian Ellison with a 2,000 liter 46-stage column still in 25,000 square feet. This completes their plan of moving from contract label work (formerly done by the Wisconsin-based Yahara Bay) and opening their own distillery. Death's Door Spirits is named in honor of the treacherous waters between Washington Island and the Door Peninsula in Lake Michigan near Green Bay. Their stated mission is to use local, fine ingredients grown without pesticide or herbicide. Washington Island wheat forms the basis for many of their spirits selected in cooperation with the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and local Washington Island wheat farmers Tom and Ken Koyen. They signed a marketing and distribution partnership with Seralles, the distillery behind Don Q rums (see the press release at Night Club). In an interview with Master Distiller John Jeffries (February, 2013), we learned the new distillery sprang from a desire to exert quality control over all aspects of production during growth. For the $3.5 million investment they will have a capacity of producing 225,000 cases annually. Their operation includes a $100,000 laboratory replete with spectroscopy and chromatography capabilities to meticulously calibrate to the flavors they're looking for.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 4 ratings and 4 reviews.
joelbarrett joelbarrett (58) (2013-03-21)
Tasted like corn which it should since it is legal moonshine. Good stuff
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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thebeardedweiss thebeardedweiss (19) (2013-01-29)
Its a very sweet white whiskey and a little too harsh to drink neat. I find that I like this one much better on the rocks.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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danurdan danurdan (18) (2012-04-16)
I first tried this at the Distill America whiskey tasting in Madison, WI and it was, by far, my favorite of the night.  It has a fresh, rye nose, smooth taste and sweet finish.  The pleasant taste lingers on the tongue well after your last sip.  I introduced my family and friends to this spirit and they love it. 
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Phizbin Phizbin (204) (2011-03-31)
Big aroma of grain... Corn I think. Tastes of a sweet, earthy that finishes almost like wine. A little water cools this down quite a bit. I had trouble drinking this as a whiskey; seems more like a replacement for vodka to change things up in cocktails. Really interesting in a Cosmopolitan.
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  • 892060002809
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