By Richard Thomas
One of the great traditions in Southern style moonshine is the apple pie flavor, a classic recipe for making white lightning more palatable. Most purveyors of legal moonshine have a version. So, it only follows that one of the biggest legal moonshine distilleries would too, and especially so considering it is located outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Ole Smoky Moonshine.
The idea is pretty simple. Take your “corn in a jar” (and Ole Smoky’s base moonshine is 80% corn), add apple juice, cinnamon and other pie spices, and there you have it. Old Smoky’s version winds up at a quite tame 40 proof afterward, comparable to some fortified wines.
The nose on this iced tea-looking liquid smacks of pie spices (cinnamon first and foremost) and apple juice, but mostly the spices. The apple comes forward on the palate to evenly share center stage, and the flavor really is like apple pie, and it’s not at all a boozy apple pie taste either. In fact, the first hint (and a hint is all it is) of booze comes only with the sweetly spiced finish. Even for a 20% ABV product, it’s amazingly non-alcoholic, due in large part to how flavorful it is.
A jar of Ole Smoky Apple Pie goes for a fairly reasonable $25.