• Troy & Sons has something unusual going for it. Troy. As in Troy Ball, a female distiller in a world heavily dominated by men. When I lunched with her at the Mount Vernon Inn in Virginia recently, she insisted her moonshine would be the best I ever tried. Here's what happened.
I examined the bottle. Elegant, classic lines, understated yet bold at the same time. I sniffed the moonshine, ready to pull back quickly as one often must do with such young spirits. Hmmm. No need to. It's pleasant, with a whiff of corn.
I tasted. Right off the bat, something was missing. The acrid taste of your everyday 'shine, which this certainly is not.
Ball's moonshine is made 100% from corn, but not just any corn. Crooked Creek Corn, a white grain Ball says once was grown in North Carolina and Tennessee, but now only in NC, fortunately near her home. She buys hers from the McEntire farm where it has been cultivated for more than 120 years.
Ball experimented with various recipes acquired from the North Carolina State Archives and from residents of Madison to McDowell counties who had a history of home cooking. Her final product, arrived at on August 18, 2010, not only has rounded edges, a slightly floral nose and rich, smooth taste, it also does not linger overly long in the soft tissues of the mouth as so many moonshines of lesser character. It is, as Ball promised, the best 'shine I've ever tried.
Retail price: $29.99 for the 750ml bottle.
Note: If you have difficulty finding Troy & Sons, you can e-mail Joy Suchlicki at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to Dowd's Spirits Notebook.