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December 31, 2012

Blue Corn Whiskey

Veterans of the distillation world will tell you that a growing trend among commercial mega-distillers is the flavoring of cheaply manufactured neutral grain spirits. Some products are comprised entirely of flavored neutral grain while other products blend neutral grain products with products distilled using traditional methods. Again, coloring agents, sweeteners, and other additives are included to fake the taste of traditionally distilled and aged products. 

Fortunately for the masses, craft distilling is the new craft brewing. The number of micro distilleries in the US more than doubled between 2006 and 2012. With these new entrants into the spirit manufacturing market have come a whole host of new and unique products. Some of the new products have been made using the "new age" methods now described above. However, others have chosen to differentiate themselves by spicing up old fashioned distillation processes with exciting new ingredients. One such example is the Balcones Distillery's "Baby Blue," blue corn whiskey. The ingredients list: 100% atole blue corn.

Before I offer my take, i'll note that Baby Blue has won more than half a dozen awards, including a gold medal at the 2010 American Distilling Institute Whisky Competition. Though, here's my opinion: Baby Blue is fresh, unique, and bold, and every bit of this can be smelled and tasted in the final product. In other words, it's a bit too bold for me. In the words of one critic: "Why this wasn’t left in the barrel for another three or four years is a mystery to me." 

I've honestly tasted much smoother (and better) whiskey made by good ol boys under the light of the moon. I was surprised to learn that it has ranked well in competition and among most critics....but maybe this is why i'm not an expert. Despite the fact that I don't care much for Baby Blue, i'd encourage that you have a taste of some and decide for yourself. I also applaud Balcones for going way out on a limb and making a whiskey comprised solely of truly unique atole blue corn.

Although most folks will just take what they're given, home distillers have the opportunity to buck the system and bypass "government approved" suppliers, making their own high end, traditionally distilled spirits. The beauty of home distilling is that the sky is the limit when it comes to making unique, one of a kind, super small batch whiskeys. If you're interested in making your own blue corn whiskey, we'll give you a head start. Here's a company that sells blue corn seed for a reasonable rate (as far as rare heirloom seed corn goes): Heirloom Acres Seeds. It's about 10 times as expensive as yellow feed corn, but odds are you'll be the only kid on the block with homemade blue corn whiskey, which may just be worth the extra 70 bucks you'll pay for the amount of grain you'll need to make a gallon!

Copper moonshine stills

  • My family used to make shine in the foot hills of the Blueridge,Va.Powerful shit.I am 66 cant hack it,Stick to beer.

    Posted by dave morris on October 27, 2013
  • I would like a couple of tips on making some kick ass whiskey, also would like to find some recipes for peach and cherry shine. I live in south central Pa an want to use some of the Amish fruits and grains that are local. Would prefer to favor naturally without the addition after distilling.

    Posted by Tracy Davenport on October 23, 2013
  • I like this still

    Posted by vern smith on February 26, 2013
  • Hey guys love ur site and was needing a watermolon, banana, strawberry, and a peach recipe please.

    Posted by Brian Stewart on February 17, 2013
  • Please send me the recipe for Watermellon Shine and Peach Shine. Also could u all send me one for just a plain corn whisky. U guys rock.

    Posted by Gregory Rose on January 22, 2013
  • Hi,

    My name is Ryan and I’m so glad I found your website! It’s got everything a guy needs to know! I was wondering what gage is the copper you use for your ten gallon still, what are the dementions, and do you have to use water soluable flux on the still?
    You guys are the shit!

    Thanks
    Ryan

    Posted by Ryan on January 10, 2013
  • Hi,

    My name is Ryan and I’m so glad I found your website! It’s got everything a guy needs to know! I was wondering what gage is the copper you use for your ten gallon still, what are the dementions, and do you have to use water soluable flux on the still?
    You guys are the shit!

    Thanks
    Ryan

    Posted by Ryan on January 09, 2013
  • Would you kindly forward directions to make a really good plain corn moonshine. Thank you

    Posted by Beginner on January 09, 2013
  • Gentlemen, please send me the free recipes for whiskey. Bourbon, sour mash and irish whiskeys are my preferred libations.
    Kind regards,
    The Colonel

    Posted by Colonel on January 04, 2013

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