By Richard Thomas
Western Kentucky has a fun bit of wordplay: Bourbon County is dry, while their own Christian County is wet. Soaking wet, as it happens. Located on the east side of the Land Between The Lakes, where the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers flow parallel towards the Ohio, this region was once a riverine hotbed of illicit moonshining.
Silver Trail Distillery’s LBL Moonshine is named for it (Land Between The Lakes = LBL), but the region wasn’t always between the lakes. Before the dams were built, it was between the rivers, and those lakes put much of the region’s historic moonshining turf underwater.
Casey Jones Distillery in Hopkinsville traces is lineage back to one of these submerged communities, Golden Pond, and specifically the area’s legendary still-builder. Jones’s handiwork had two very practical signatures. One was a cylindrical condenser, and the other was a box-like, “wagon bed” style pot. The result was easier to make, produced more whiskey, and fit easily into the back of a pick-up. Just such a still is used at Casey Jones to make a range of pure, flavored and barrel cut versions of a half-corn, half-sugar moonshine.
The first thing to know about Casey’s Cut Peach is that it’s very, very far from “high octane.” In making it a flavored spirit, the base has been cut down to a mere 15% ABV, in tune with very strong wine, where most flavored whiskeys are in the 30 to 35% ABV range.
I concluded the reduced ABV was a sound call upon my first sip. I became acquainted with Casey’s Cut Peach while waiting on my barbecue charcoal to get good and hot, and found it just as easy drinking as said cup of wine. No water, no ice, no tiny sips. I could just drink it and enjoy it.
The low ABV has not thinned the liquid down either. The mouthfeel has heft, and a buttery texture. I might even had said it was syrupy, except it had no stickiness to it. The flavor combines the summertime sweetness of a soft, ripe peach with the clear sweetness of corn and sugar ‘shine. It’s just plain good stuff: simple, tasty, very approachable, and goes down clean.
A full, 750 ml bottle retails for $29.99, and a 375 ml bottle for $16.99. Expect to pay slightly more at the gift shop, should you be visiting the distillery.