Never fear – we’ve got you covered. We drink for a living… we know these things.
The short explanation is that it’s un-aged whiskey (aka what whiskey is before it hits the barrels for years at a time.) Some people think this defeats the purpose of whiskey entirely, since a lot of the flavor is imparted during the aging process. Others beg to differ.
White whiskey is mainly getting its start with younger distilleries because it’s quicker and easier to sell un-aged whiskey, while your real whiskey is still in the process of aging. That way they can make some money – fast. However, the game is changing. Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Maker’s Mark have come out with their own versions of white whiskey, and its pretty clear that they’re not doing it to make a quick buck.
One of the biggest misconceptions tied to white whiskey, or “white dog,” is that it’s the same thing as moonshine. Here’s the bottom line: moonshine’s origins are merely tied to being an illegal liquor. White whiskey is a legal spirit, sold in stores and taxed. Some companies still like to label their white whiskey as moonshine because of its bad ass reputation, so you might see it that way in stores.
Now that you know what white whiskey is, you’re probably curious and want to try it. Based on what we’ve heard from bartenders, its mainly ordered in cocktails, and can sometimes work as a vodka or tequila replacement. Margaritas, martinis, mojitos, you name it. Neat or on the rocks is fair game too, especially if you want to taste the subtle flavors in the spirit.
Brands to keep your eye out for include:
• Death’s Door White Whisky
• Glen Thunder Corn Whiskey
• House Spirits White Dog
• Popcorn Sutton Tennessee White Whiskey
• Buffalo Trace White Dog Mash #1
• Maker’s White from Maker’s Mark
Have you heard of white whiskey before, or even tried it? How did you drink it, and what would you recommend to your friends?