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Let’s be clear

December 19, 2011

Picture this:  You are out shopping this week with your two whiskey lover gift guides in tow (here and here). You find yourself perusing the liquor store looking for something new, or out of the ordinary. You stumble upon the whiskey shelves and your eyes are affixed on the variety of brands, bottles, and browns. You stop and admire the Hudson Baby Bourbon for it’s beautiful bottle and then confusion sets in. What the hell is this…

Okay, in defense of Hudson, they aren’t the only one capitalizing on this frustrating liquor trend. See, the beauty of whiskey, both in flavor and in appearance comes in large part from the barrel aging process which we’ve been over before (here and here). But “white whiskey” or “moonshine” or “white lightning” however you prefer it, forgoes that often lengthy aging process leaving you with a clear, somewhat flavorless, yet seemingly highly marketable booze. And I get it. With all the energy and interest around the Prohibition (see: The Nobler Experiment), picking up a bottle of moonshine must feel kind of cool.

But don’t be mistaken. What you are popping into isn’t that different from vodka. Great for mixing, not so great on it’s own. So should you avoid these “white whiskeys” altogether? Well, that’s up to you. But maybe don’t go out of your way to drop up to $40 on a bottle. All clear?

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