Last Updated on October 13, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Moonshine represents around 1% of American whiskey sales, but it does not necessarily refer to the illegal distillation of alcoholic drinks. The term is now used as a marketing strategy for most unaged white whiskey distillers.
This article is our quick guide to the best white whiskey brands our team has ever tried.
Top 15 Must-Try White Whiskey Brands
15. Platte Valley Moonshine
This product is the only aged white whiskey on our list uniquely presented in a ceramic crock. Although unnecessary, Platte Valley Moonshine has aged for three years using bourbon casks. It has the minimum 40% ABV for a whiskey with surprisingly smooth and exceptional corn flavor.
Drinking it straight with its vanilla, fruity, and light spice flavors is an enjoyable experience, but you can also experiment and have it on your favorite cocktail.
14. Pinckney Bend American Corn Whiskey
This award-winning Pinckney Bend American Corn Whiskey gives an idea of what working people in the 19th century used to drink. It goes through a small-batch-making process and uses Ozark Plateau limestone aquifer water to bring its alcohol content down to 41.5% ABV.
It constantly works on maintaining the traditional white dog whiskey tradition while utilizing a combination of corn, rye, and barley mash. This corn whiskey has a pure and adaptable flavor profile.
13. Popcorn Sutton
This product honors the name of Cocke County’s legendary moonshiner, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. Before his death in 2009, Popcorn Sutton sold his moonshine recipe to Jamey Grosser, a former racer who plans to establish a legal distillery .
Popcorn Sutton Whiskey has balanced sweet and spicy flavors resulting from a century-old moonshine recipe passed down through a generation of moonshiners. It is a clean and good liquor that can replace vodka and gin in your favorite cocktails.
12. Virginia Lightning
At 100-proof alcohol, Virginia Lightning Corn Whiskey makes a wonderful sipping whiskey that incorporates an old family recipe in its making process. The Belmont Farm Distillery prides itself on using a genuine solid copper pot still for its products, preserving the flavor of a fine fresh whiskey.
It is syrupy with no overwhelming alcohol smell that continues to the palate. The smooth and slight burn in the finish makes it an excellent mixer that goes well with various juice types.
11. Death’s Door
This product is an 80-proof alcoholic drink that is one of the easiest white whiskeys to try for beginners. It utilizes a combination of 80% hard red winter wheat and 20% barley malt on its mash bill.
This product starts with grains fermentation and uses champagne yeast. It is a double-distilled spirit that finishes in Minnesota oak barrels. The taste includes tequila, gin, and vodka traces with dark cherry flavor notes.
10. Ole Smoky Mountain
Ole Smoky set their legal distillery in Tennessee, particularly at the Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, after years of making moonshine. One of their products is the White Lightnin’ Moonshine presented in a mason jar.
Its sweetness from the distilled corn used during production makes it easy to drink straight or mix on a cocktail. The 100-proof alcohol will hit your mid-palate but finishes on a clean side, leaving a pleasurable experience.
9. XXX Shine Whiskey
This product from Philadelphia Distilling is a triple-distilled corn whiskey containing 44.4% ABV. It is an easy-to-drink white whiskey that meticulously cuts all the strong alcohol and astringent flavors from its distillation process.
The drink has an unmistakable well-distilled corn smell, almost buttery and creamy to the nose. It comes as a pleasant drink that has a sweet entry to the palate with little spice and citrus hints.
8. Ole Smoky Blue Flame
Ole Smoky Blue Flame is not for the faint of heart. Bottled at cask strength, it features a 64% ABV that you may want to dilute with a few ice cubes before drinking. Despite its smooth sweet corn flavor, the drink still goes down with a hot burn.
It tastes like the original moonshine mash recipe but still mixes well in a modern summer cocktail.
7. Bib & Tucker
This white whiskey from Kentucky utilizes the usual mash bill of bourbon, with corn, rye, and malted barley as its raw ingredients. It rested for 24 hours in ex-bourbon casks, then bottled at 46% ABV, giving you the pleasant fruity notes of the bourbon without the strong wood hints.
It is a smooth white whiskey that you can drink straight with honeysuckle, raspberry, corn sweetness, and spicy hints on the palate.
6. George Dickel
George Dickel White Corn Whisky is one of the finest unaged whiskies on the market. It features the classic mash bill of 84% corn, 8% malted barley, and 8% rye with a bottle of 91-proof alcohol content.
The finishing process utilizes the Chill Charcoal Mellowing of Dickel, making this White Corn Whisky an ideal moonshine mixer. It is not harsh on the nose with corn and rich marshmallow, coconut, and vanilla notes.
5. Jeptha Creed
This brand offers a variety of flavored white whiskeys with 60-proof alcohol content, such as Cinnamon Moonshine, Blackberry Moonshine, Apple Pie Moonshine, and Louisville Lemonade. However, its Original Moonshine variety is an 80-proof liquor featuring a four-grain mash.
It has a clear appearance and a nutty smell with fresh hay and white pepper notes. You can taste the corn on the palate and some almond hints that eventually build up to a long and lingering finish.
4. High West Whiskey
This unaged oat whiskey containing a mash bill of 85% oats and 15% barley malt is a product of Utah’s first distillery established in 1879. The presentation of the High West Silver Oat Whiskey is similar to the distillery’s traditional tall and slender bottles.
This 40% ABV oat whiskey exudes a unique, elegant, and smooth character from the grains used. It is a clear and light spirit with smooth cocoa and coconut flavors.
3. Hudson New York
Although the Hudson New York Corn Whiskey has been discontinued, it still made its way to one of our top unaged whiskeys. It is a double-distilled unaged spirit made of 100% corn and bottled at 46% ABV without chill-filtering.
The price for a 375mL bottle was at a premium rate, but its smooth texture is worth every sip. Hudson New York Corn will remind you of a delicious buttered popcorn with a little heat towards the finish.
2. Troy & Sons
The Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey brings in a product made of Crooked Creek Corn, pure Appalachian spring water, and backwoods stills. The heirloom white corn is an open-pollinated raw material that produces authentic and legal American liquor such as the Troy & Sons Platinum.
It has 40% ABV and a medium body with a great balance of flavors. The nose has a light floral smell with corn notes, while the palate is like tequila with vanilla and buttercream frosting tastes.
1. Buffalo Trace
Buffalo Trace White Dog Whiskey comes from one of the most recognizable whiskey makers in the United States that constantly creates smooth distilled spirits. This unaged whiskey pays homage to the distilling style introduced by American explorers two hundred years ago.
With a high alcohol content of 62.5% ABV, this product will give you a slight burn but sweet aroma. The Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1 is rich with popcorn, toasted grains, and tropical fruit flavors.
What’s White Whiskey?
White whiskey is a raw and unaged whiskey emerging right from the distillation process .
Unlike the regular whiskey that goes through fermentation, distillation, and maturation processes, white whiskey tends to skip the last part, resulting in a clear-colored spirit like vodka. But is clear whiskey real?
Barrel-aging is the most crucial part of whiskey-making because it is where the liquor develops its entire flavor profile. It also helps microdistilleries earn income while they barrel-aged other liquor products.
Some people also refer to white whiskey as the “legal” moonshine because moonshine refers to illegally brewed alcoholic beverages. It started gaining popularity during the Prohibition Era.
Is White Dog The Same As White Whiskey?
No, white dog is not the same as white whiskey. White dog is the completely unaged part of the whiskey-making process . And to be called just whiskey (not bourbon or Scotch), it must have at least touched or aged in barrels, even for at least ten seconds.
The term white dog was started centuries ago by America’s first explorers, who introduced the traditional distilling process to the United States. In essence, all whiskey started as a white dog after the first steps in the production process.
Is White Whiskey legal?
Yes, white whiskey is legal. The illegal production of distilled spirits refers to moonshining.
What does White Whiskey taste like?
White whiskey generally has a sweet taste with floral and fruity notes. Some brands are good for drinking straight, but some need a few ice cubes or other cocktail mixers.
The growth of white whiskey sales has seen a positive trend in recent years. Big names in the whiskey industry like Buffalo Trace and Jim Beam also responded with their unaged whiskey bottles. However, most makers are inclined to use corn as their raw ingredient for white whiskeys such as Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey and Hudson New York Corn Whiskey.
These products offer a pleasant and decent straight drinking experience. But some brands offer high-alcohol-proof spirits that you might want to have over a few ice cubes.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.