American Whiskey - Flavored
Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Apple Pie Moonshine
This is a Tier 3 score in the Whiskey category. It means critics recommended the spirit but it will be a value brand or have an exotic taste.
Ole Smoky Tennessee Apple Pie Moonshine is made from the same corn-based spirit as their flagship un-aged whiskey but flavored with "pure apple juice," cinnamon, and other spices. It is blended to 40 proof, which is quite light for any whiskey. They say the recipe was "loved for ages" in the Appalachians.
Because it is made from a base of grain neutral spirits and bottled at a low proof, this could perhaps be considered a fruit liqueur, we have opted to classify this as a flavored whiskey--in spite of the lack of aging--in deference to their labeling the spirit as "moonshine."
In their 2012 review, the Beverage Testing Institute noted several pleasing aromas and flavors such as unbaked apple pie, saffron, and roasted nuts but also noted an aroma of "gym bag."
Ole Smoky whiskeys are made in Tennessee at the Ole Smoky Distillery. They claim a heritage of "true moonshining" where their ancestors first settled the Smoky Mountains and got by with a little help from illicit distilling. Ole Smoky claims title the first licensed distillery in Tennessee and has responded by offering products featuring the "experience of local families who have made moonshine in the mountains for the last two hundred years." The whiskey is made from Tennessee-grown corn. The whiskeys are offered in mason jars and "best drunk from the jar."
In a compelling article from Drink Spirits (Geoff Kleinman), they point out a significant equity investment and expansion of their bottling facility to 20,000 square feet... events that call attention to the fact the label points out is "bottled" by Ole Smoky and not "distilled." For the record, the federal Tax and Trade Bureau still shows Ole Smoky as the source in Gaitlinburg, Tennessee.