Best Moonshine 2020


Best Moonshine - 2020


The Fifty Best Moonshine & Unaged American Whiskey Tasting of 2020



The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a "blind" tasting of moonshine whiskies with sixteen members of our spirits judging panel. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the moonshines were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, states of origin, and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand.



Stillwrights Traditional Recipe Moonshine
(Flat Rock Spirits, OH)
Distilled from cane & corn. – 104.7° proof

Nose: Lemon, lemon peel, citrus, hints of berries, white flowers, caramel, molasses, vanilla, sweet candy, dough, cereal, corn, popcorn, coffee, cocoa spice, herbal, peppery, lake greens, wet stone, mineral, clean.
Palate: Cane sugar, cotton candy, vanilla, creamy, sweet corn, raw potato, mocha, spicy coffee, lemon peel, lemon zest, citrus, spearmint, grassy, green pepper, pepper, oregano, Mexican oregano, thyme, cardamom, white peppercorn, balanced, crisp, smooth, complex.
Finish: Caramel, dark chocolate, cocoa, grain, coffee, citrus, herbaceous, mint, lemon pepper, chili, thyme, oregano, lingering spice, white peppercorn, mineral, limestone, touch of sweetness, balanced, bright, lively.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal

 Stillwrights Traditional Recipe Moonshine


Last Shot Moonshine
(Skaneateles Distilleries, NY)
Distilled from 100% New York State corn. – 100° proof

Nose: Corn, roasted corn, Corn Pops cereal, cookie dough, wheat, vanilla, sugarcane, honey, cherry, orange peel, lemon, vegetal, grassy, dill, minty, clove, wet wood, sawdust, cedar, smoky.
Palate: Toffee, butter, vanilla, mocha, corn, fig notes, raw beans, citrus, wheat, light hay, straw, grassy, fennel seed, eucalyptus, mint, warm cinnamon, fire-y spice, white pepper, mineral, sour mash, strong char, creamy mouth feel, balanced, tangy, bright, crisp.
Finish: Corn, vanilla, honey, cookie dough, doughy, grain, straw, menthol, spearmint, cinnamon, clove, spicy, white pepper, salty, slow burn, sweet rush of heat, fire-y, wet stone, smooth, bright.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Last Shot Moonshine

Howlin’ Hounds Moonshine
(Missouri Ridge Distillery, MO)
89% Cane, 11% Grain. Ozark Mountain water. – 100° proof

Nose: Toffee, creamy, chocolate, chocolate mint, Andes mint, Jr. Mint, white sugar, preserved orange, pineapple, lychee, raspberry, hints of grapefruit, citrus, fermenting grapes, lemongrass, grassy, wintergreen, herbal oil, almond, rye, barley, malty, dry leaves, perfume-y, rice sake.
Palate: Caramel, cream, chocolate, honey, cherry cola, pineapple, lychee, green apple, grapes, lime skin, orange peel, corn, sweet grains, ginger, agave, vegetal, spearmint, cinnamon, clove, sweet spice, spicy, perfume-y, lemon oil, deep oils, mineral, saline, peat, earthy, dry leaves, sake, rice liquor, Mizu Shochu, round mouthfeel.
Finish: Dark cocoa, dry cocoa, creamy, mocha, raisins, pineapple, lychee, grapes, lime skin, anise, roasted agave, spearmint, grass, olive, salty, mineral, fire, lasting bitterness, clean, soft, smooth, elegant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Howlin’ Hounds Moonshine

Boldt Clear Whiskey
(Alchemy Distillery, CA)
Distilled from locally grown and freshly milled grains. – 96° proof

Nose: Corn, corn husk & silks, roasted corn kernels, cocoa, butterscotch, cane sugar, honey, banana, banana peel, dried cranberry, white flowers, flower pistons, mint, light cinnamon, mineral oil, mineral, briny, maritime, pine wood.
Palate: Toffee, nougat, creamy, vanilla, corn, strawberry, pear, citrus notes, lime skin, hint of lime, wheat, rye, grain, fennel, vegetal, peppermint, spearmint, minty, cinnamon gum, pepper, hot pepper, forest floor, lake water, mineral, limestone, oak wood.
Finish: Vanilla, banana, rye, lime skin, green pepper, grassy, light mint, cinnamon, light spice, spicy, white pepper, mineral, new oak, woody, buttery mouthfeel, powdery smooth, soft, velvety.

Gold Medal
Gold medal

Boldt Clear Whiskey


Steamboat Springs Territorial Moonshine
(Steamboat Whiskey Co., CO)
Distilled from Colorado corn & oats. Rocky Mountain water.
100° proof

Nose: Dried cherries, grape candy, lime, citrus, rose petals, honeysuckle, fermented corn, creamed corn, wet walnuts, vegetal, aloe, fennel, anise, licorice, mint, Thai basil, straw, chalky, clay, musty, earthy.
Palate: Marzipan, creamy, vanilla, corn, Good & Plenty candy, strong anise, fennel, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, floral, marjoram, tarragon, herbs, Thai basil, light spice, chalky, clay, earthy, peat, woody, sherry barrel, clean.
Finish: Saltwater taffy, corn, buttered popcorn, slight almond, rose water, light floral, licorice, tarragon, spicy, white pepper, clay, vermouth, heat, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

Steamboat Springs Territorial Moonshine




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