Secret Diaries of Dr. Victor Drankenstein Ch. 6: Shinebox
As much as old Dr. Drankenstein enjoys the rich bounty of hypersweet malt liquor made possible by a city-based volcano lair, sometimes I’ve just gotta get away from it all. Head out into the hills and backwoods in search of a cluster of gentle hillbillies guarding their illicit moonshine stills against the prying eyes of the G-men. Follow in the footsteps of Al Capone, Uncle Jesse, and Bandit: great men determined to get liquor into the hands of the people at any cost. So follow me if you dare into the wild country of Muddy Gut Holler, to see what we can see.
Well…that’s somewhat disappointing. I looked as hard as I could (not very), and all I could find was this stuff, a 30 proof (15% ABV) peach flavored concoction masquerading as moonshine. Turns out Muddy Gut Holler is not a place you can go at all, but a product manufactured by the aptly named Temperance Distilling Company, in Temperance, Michigan.
As you may have already pieced together, labeling this stuff as “moonshine” is kind of a stretch. While technically higher in alcohol content than a Four Loko, it’s pretty weak by liquor standards. You could sell this stuff in a grocery store without even having a liquor license, whereas by its very definition moonshine is illegal to make or sell. Not to mention that any bootlegger making non-flammable shine would be laughed right out of his backwoods shack. Flaming liquor is possible at right around 110 proof or higher, so this stuff falls about 75% short of the mark.
“But Drankenstein!” I can hear you exclaiming, “Not all of us are looking to get wrecked on two bucks!” An unimpressive stance, but fair enough. Let’s ignore the misleading advertising and get down to reviewing this stuff on taste. I’m a little over halfway through the bottle right now, and I’d be lying if I said I was enjoying it very much.
Summing up the flavor in one sentence, I’d go with “double strength Arbor Mist mixed with a capful of rubbing alcohol”. Or possibly “plastic bottle vodka mixed with Jell-O powder”. It’s not entirely undrinkable, but even in the two to three dollar range, you can do a lot better. With the notable exception of that wretched Pina Colada Tilt from a few weeks back, I feel like I’d rather be drinking almost anything else. This stuff is just grain alcohol mixed with peach flavoring and cut with a whole lot of water. The whole point of something like this should be to get all messy as quickly as possible-if you’re gonna draw the process out by diluting it this much you need to be packing a whole lot more in the deliciousness department.
I’m just not sure who this stuff is for, I guess. It’s slightly too rough for the Arbor Mist crowd (underage girls), and a little too weak and peach flavored for the valuable hobo demographic. The whole thing seems designed to deceive. And, to be fair, it kind of works. I mean, I bought it once. Lesson learned though, this is the last time I buy any sort of “moonshine” that didn’t come out of a crate of mason jars in the trunk of someone’s car.
Well that’s all for this week, Drankenstein fans. Come back next week when we’ll start exploring the exciting world of bumwines! Until then, this is Dr. Drankenstein, rollin’ out.