Tour the distillery in Asheville, North Carolina.
Buy a bottle and enjoy the good stuff at home.
By Hope S. Philbrick
The moonshine renaissance currently underway in the U.S. is sparked by many things (new distillers’ need to get something onto the market fast, buyers’ curiosity, moonshine’s illegal roots and intrigue, it’s the latest bandwagon, etc.), but much of the stuff you’ve tasted—yes, even at some big-name “fancy” moonshine place—is honestly not that great.
One sip of Troy & Sons, however, can blow preconceived notions right out the window.
“For years I’d heard from old timers in Western North Carolina that the best moonshine whiskey was kept at home, not sold down the road,” says Troy Ball, distiller. “In 2008 I finally got to taste some of the ‘keeper’ moonshine”—the term used by moonshiners to refer to the stuff that’s too good to sell—“and was shocked by how smooth it was and how complicated the taste was. Nothing like the throat-burning spirits typically pawned off on outsiders.”
Troy launched her distillery with the aim to bring ‘keeper’-quality whiskey, true small batch handcrafted spirits, to the market. She tested several recipes and settled on one on August 18, 2010.
In the process of bringing her dream to life, Troy became the first woman to found a whiskey distillery in the U.S. since Prohibition. There are less than 30 female distillers nationwide.
Troy uses Crooked Creek Corn, an heirloom, open-pollinated, non-genetically modified, original American white corn that’s grown on the McEntire farm near Asheville for over 120 years. This is truly special corn: Common in the 1850s, it had become virtually extinct everywhere except on the McEntire Farm. Each batch of Troy & Sons moonshine is made using a proprietary mix of ingredients, including Crooked Creek Corn.
Another key ingredient, the water, is Appalachian spring water sourced from the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains.
Though Troy & Sons began as Troy’s dream, it’s a family business: Troy’s husband, Charlie Ball, is an engineer who now manages the pot still at the distillery.
The product line includes platinum unaged whiskey; blonde whiskey, which is 10 percent wheat and aged in new American oak barrels; and oak reserve, which is aged in used bourbon barrels. All are smooth, satisfying sips.
Two flavored spirits are also available: nectarine honey and cinnamon honey. Both are sophisticated, authentic sips that impress refined palates.
Troy & Sons distills moonshine you’ll want to ‘keep’ at your bar.
21 Plus Salute! Tours are free for folks age 21 and older and include tasting samples at the end of the tour.
We like this equation: learn + taste = grownup fun!
Troy & Sons
12 Old Charlotte Hwy, Suite T
Asheville, NC 28803
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
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