Burns My Bacon: ‘White’ Whiskey
The dame just stared back at me and cocked her gorgeous mug like a confused chicken. She’d never seen a Joe take as many shots and still remain upright. Yeah, I took the hits alright. I had eight slugs in me and they were all eighty proof. I asked for it, but I didn’t think they would kick so hard. Must be gettin’ old…
The name’s Whiskey. Nip Whiskey. And I’ve been walkin’ the bar beat to get the goods on this new bunch of clear pretenders that wanna share my name. You know the ones I’m talkin’ about. ‘Shine’ is what we used to call ‘em. White Whiskey * is what the punks go by now. About as old as a melted snowball and just as clear, this new hooch is the American boy band of distilled spirits. It’s makin’ a lotta noise now, but it won’t be around for long. Seems that the big boys uptown decided to try and slip one by us by chargin’ extra for some grog that ain’t finished yet. And let me tell ya, it don’t go down easy with me.
Once upon a time there was somethin’ called ‘Moonshine.’ You know the stuff. About as refined as paint thinner and just as tasty. ‘Shine could be made outta just about anything—corn, grain, potatoes—you name it. It was cooked in the backwoods without any restrictions or standards and people only drank it ‘cause that was all you could get. Plus, it was ‘illegal’ which added to its attraction. Prohibition goes away, Uncle Sam steps in and bada boom, bada bing, the old time-tested methods of barrel-aged brews are brought back, get regulated, taxed, and everyone’s happier than a waterfront hooker during shore leave.
Fast forward to not-so-long-ago when some upper management numbskull gets the bright idea to produce legal whiskey that looks like ‘shine, but is made like their established brands. Except that it ain’t aged in charred oak barrels. In fact, it ain’t aged at all. They call it ‘rested’ because it goes from the cook tank to the bottle in less time than it takes a politician to break in a new intern.
But the real kicker is that these corporate corn holes are chargin’ more for something that costs them less to produce. See, regular whiskey has to sit around in barrels for years before it mellows in flavor and gets its color from the charred oak. That means storage space, temperature regulation, labor costs—all those things that you pay for when you buy a bottle of yer favorite loopy juice. So tell me this; why is the clear stuff about ten bucks more a bottle than the aged sauce? When I bought a bottle of this swill I asked the barkeep where my kiss was. “What kiss?” he says. “My kiss.” I said. “I like to be kissed when I’m being screwed!”
And taste? This crud tastes about as good as gettin’ Frenched while chewin’ tobacco. If they tried to make wine this quick, y’know what they’d call it? GRAPE JUICE!
You want my take on this counterfeit yack? Why waste yer dough on somethin’ that’s gonna age a lot longer on the shelves than it did before it got into the bottle? Take it from me, this White Whiskey fad is gonna last about as long as a Chicago Cubs winning steak. If you wanna spend a chunk’a moola on something that looks like fun but will just disappoint you in the end, I know a couple of strippers I could introduce you to.
Take it from the Nipper, and pass on the pretenders. It’s clearly not the real thing.
*Just so ya know, here’s the line-up of the mugs that I interrogated for this piece; Hudson New York Corn Whiskey, XXX Shine White Whiskey, Bully Boy, Slow Hand and Deaths Door