Moonshine, corn whiskey, and white whiskey — what’s the difference? “Clear whiskey” has been taking the liquor world by storm over the past 5 years, and there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to the differences between these spirits, so we’re here to set the record straight. What are the differences between them — are there any differences? These are some of the questions we receive, and we’re going to provide some clarity.
Corn whiskey and white whiskey are basically the same thing. They are raw, unaged whiskeys made from a primarily corn mash — at least 80% — and distilled to a maximum of 160 proof. Whether it will be labeled and advertised as a corn whiskey or a white whiskey is up to the manufacturer.
At its root, white whiskey is essentially the same as moonshine because it is un-aged and clear. The aging process that takes place in a wooden barrel is what gives whiskey its color and flavoring. So technically speaking, any product that is labeled moonshine could also be called white whiskey, but moonshine draws its name due to its illegal origin. The term moonshine refers to spirits that haven’t been taxed — which is illegal. Now that the production of moonshine is legal, and taxes are being paid, many distillers choose to keep the name moonshine due to the rich history of their recipes.
Moonshiners of old didn’t have a set standard for what qualified as moonshine. Moonshiners around the country used many different things including rye, corn and sugar to make their ‘shine. Here in the South, most moonshine is made from corn, and due to the similarities in the distilling process, most southern moonshine is the same as corn whiskey.
Whether you call it moonshine or white whiskey, one fact is undeniable: It is here to stay. Providing a clear-liquor alternative to vodka, raw corn liquor has developed an enormous following in the United States. Whether you mix it or drink it neat, moonshine and white whiskey are extremely desireable. So come on by, and have a free tasting of our line of Dumplin Creek Moonshine’s, as well as our Mitchum’s American Corn Whiskey.