By Kurt Maitland
Black Button (named after the proprietor’s suit button business) is the brainchild of Jason Barrett. At the age of 24, he started up his own craft distillery in Rochester NY. When they began production, they made the first legal batch of a distilled spirit in Rochester area since January 17th, 1920. Since that first juice came off the still, Jason and his team have released a gin, a vodka, the moonshine covered here, and have a bourbon promised for December 2015.
Black Button’s moonshine is actually a corn whiskey, meaning it is unaged and has a mashbill of 80% corn or higher. Many purists scoff at any product sitting on the shelf of a legitimate enterprise calling itself “moonshine,” but past and present, much of what has traditionally been called “moonshine” has a mashbill that looks a lot like what Black Button has put out. More to the point, Black Button’s corn whiskey is bottled at an electric 100 proof (50% abv), giving it an even stronger claim to the title “white lightning.”
Color: Crystal clear
Nose: Sweet corn
Taste: According to the Black Button website “It’s as smooth and easy drinkin’ as any backwoods White Dog White Lightening” and that is certainly the truth insofar as I’m concerned. It’s smooth, especially for a 100 proof spirit, and I can see it making for a nice cocktail or a cool drink with ice, lemon and some bitters. The mouthfeel is a little dry due to the proof, and gets drier after it leaves your tongue.
Finish: A sweet, long lasting burn that lingers for a good while.
I think Black Button is making a fine moonshine product. It certainly holds its own against other moonshines I’ve tasted and I’d love to get a taste of their bourbon release to see who it changes with a little more time under its belt.
Black Button’s Moonshine runs for around $34.99.