DISCLAIMER: The Sample for this review was provided by the manufacturer. All ideas and opinions in this post are entirely my own. I do not accept any money for these reviews.
This is going to be a little bit different than our normal posts. First off, Rick decided that due to previous experience with moonshine he was going to abstain. Second, this isn’t like any other moonshine I have had. Those have always been 150+ proof depth charges. That after 5-6 shots you just forget…everything. Lastly, I don’t feel that I have enough experience yet with shine to really rate it. The samples were provided to me by Stephen from Limestone Branch Distillery. He sent me 3 bottles, Cherry, Jalapeno, and Clear.
First a little background, the following shines are made from a 50/50 mash mixture of corn and sugar. When cold they pour out like syrup, giving them a really nice mouth feel. The Clear shine is 100 proof while the others are 50 proof. The coolest part to me is that the flavored shines aren’t artificial. They use natural ingredients for flavor. In my phone conversation with Stephen, he told me they use a ratio to achieve the flavor they want. The Cherry Shine is flavored with real Mendocino cherries that are left in the shine until they turn white. The jalapeno is done the same way. It was definitely an interesting tasting.
This was my least favorite. It smelled yeasty. I was really put off by the smell. I still can’t seem to move past it. The first sip was just as bad. I actually was on the verge of not doing this review, when a friend told me that I should drink it ice cold. “Put it the freezer and pour it over ice when you drink it.” He’s a bit more redneck than I am, so I figured I’d try it. It worked, sort of. The cold didn’t help the smell at all, but it did improve the flavor vastly. After the second glass it seemed to be a little less revolting and was on the verge of enjoyable. I think like any drink it is an acquired taste. To be honest though I think I’ll stick to aged Whiskey, or flavored shine. The clear stuff just isn’t for me. The ice and putting it in the freezer helped a lot.
It is slightly green, and smells like fresh chopped jalapeno’s. I was put off by the smell, it is one thing to eat jalapeno’s, but to drink them? The first time I heard about spicy cocktails was on a cruise in 2011. I tried it and enjoyed the novelty of it, but that was all. This tastes very similar to that only spicier. It starts off sweet and smooth, lulling you into a false sense of security, then…BAM as soon as you swallow it feels like you just ate a pepper. The back of your throat burns all the way to your stomach, and it isn’t from the alcohol. There are only two things that quench it. The first is another sip, and the second is the Cherry Shine. With this one I did not need the ice, but it is still better cold.
I really liked this one. It smells just like fresh black cherries. The first sip is excellent, the syrup texture makes it feel like a dessert. It wasn’t overly sweet like maraschino cherries, it was more of a tart cherry. If it had of been any sweeter I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. There is no burn whatsoever to this and it goes down smooth as silk. This is the only one that I could enjoy room at temperature, cold, or over ice. It seems to be very versatile. I am going to apologize before I say this. I keep wondering what it would taste like with coke. I know, to some of you folks that really love moonshine that is the same to you as someone pouring Coke into scotch is to me.
I am glad I was given the opportunity to try these out. My first experiences with moonshine were at a much younger age, when the point of drinking was to get drunk. I didn’t care what it was or how it tasted as long as the end result was the same. Now, I like to get a slight buzz and maintain that state. I probably won’t ever reach for a clear shine again. It could grow on a person, but it just doesn’t have what I am looking for. The flavored shine however I think would be fun to keep in the cabinet for a little something different.
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Until Next Time,