What does moonshine taste like?

Have you ever heard of moonshine? Most people who know moonshine know that it was an illegal drink sold by roadsides, but now, brewers with a license can make moon shine and sell them. So, what does moonshine taste like?

Moonshine can have a variety of tastes depending on where it was made and what was used to make it. Typically, moonshine will taste less harsh than other liquors but very strong.

The best moonshine tastes like a breath of fresh air and a kick in the pants all at once. It has the taste of pure corn, that signature smooth burn, and a hint of white oak. After one sip, you understand why it’s been passed down for generations.

Also, Moonshine is an unaged whiskey, and it tastes exactly like whiskey. It tends to be more masculine than other liquors if you’ve never tasted whiskey before because of the strong bite. But with a solid dose of honey and caramel, it becomes extremely palatable, even for beginners.

What is moonshine?

What does moonshine taste like

Moonshine is clear, unaged whiskey. A corn-based whiskey with a high proof, this spirit can be enjoyed straight out of the bottle in shots or mixed in cocktails. Like any white whiskey, moonshine has been distilled at a higher temperature than bourbon and has not been oak-aged like a traditional whiskey, so it lacks the color and flavor of those whiskeys.

Furthermore, Moonshine has a distinctive taste that’s almost overwhelmingly strong and potent. The flavor is often described as jet fuel and cough syrup, with a powerful kick of alcohol. While this may be off-putting to many, others enjoy it for its distinctiveness.

In addition, it is a clear, unaged alcoholic drink. It’s made like traditional vodka, though sometimes with corn or grain mashes similar to whiskey. The end-product of moonshine has little to no flavor, although you may taste the distinct burn of alcohol. Its versatility comes in how it’s used.

Does moonshine go bad?

Moonshine, like whiskey, does not go bad. It doesn’t even go “off.” But, unlike vodka, gin, tequila, and other clear liquors that don’t contain added preservatives, moonshine is made to keep indefinitely.

As long as it’s sealed tight, it should not go bad. The alcohol content of some moonshine brands can be as high as 80%, making it one of the strongest liquors on earth.  The high alcohol content helps prevent spoilage. The downside to such a high alcohol content is that it can get stronger over time.

However, the taste may change over time. Moonshine can be kept unopened for decades, but eventually, it will lose its flavor or become darker. Once opened, it should only be stored for a few years.

In addition, it doesn’t even need to be refrigerated. It will start to caramelize, and the whiskey flavor will dissipate when stored in temperatures that are too warm for extended periods.

How strong is moonshine?

Moonshine is an unaged whiskey, meaning that, unlike aged whiskies, it has not spent years aging in a barrel. This is why it’s such a clear spirit and why it packs quite a punch. Unlike normal whiskey, Moonshine is 190 proof, or 95% alcohol.

It’s made from 100-proof whiskey, keeping the ABV at 95%. Your average liquor store has a 30% ABV limit, so yeah, it’s pretty strong.

Unlike whiskey and other distilled spirits, Moonshine is cut directly from the still at high strength. So while it is a bit stronger than most commercially available spirits, we tend to recommend cutting it down with water.

Moonshine vs whiskey?

Moonshine and whiskey are two alcohol products that have existed for many years. Though they are similar in distilled spirits, they do have their differences. Individually licensed distillers make moonshine, while commercial distillers make whiskey.

The traditional definition of moonshine is that it’s an illegally distilled drink, and on the other hand, whiskey is a legally distilled drink. The main difference between moonshine and whiskey is that moonshine is distilled without aging. Therefore, it is clear and has a stronger alcohol smell than whiskey.

Also, moonshine was an illegal and unregulated liquor made domestically without paying taxes or following any sanitary laws. It isn’t just insanely strong, and it’s also known to be dangerously poisonous. Whiskey is aged in barrels, which gives it its brownish color, while moonshine tends to clear. In short, whiskey and moonshine alike can be tasty sipping liquors.

In addition, think of moonshine as a fancy cousin to corn whiskey. While moonshine is often unaged, corn whiskey is always distilled from a mash that’s at least 80% corn and aged in new charred oak barrels.

Neither has to be made in the mountains, but moonshine lives on because Appalachian hideouts were typically the best places to produce them.

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How long is moonshine good for?

Moonshine will stay good indefinitely as long as the bottle is well closed. Moonshine has a high alcohol content and doesn’t contain any preservatives or additives, so you don’t have to worry about it going bad soon after opening it. Once opened, it’s best to store your moonshine in the fridge and consume it within three months to maintain its flavor.

In addition, while most spirits can quickly deteriorate if left unopened for a long period, moonshine is best when aged. Many experts claim that moonshine typically reaches its best taste sometime between 6 and 12 months.

Is moonshine good?

Moonshine is certainly better than drinking bad vodka, and most of the good stuff also tastes great, provided it has been distilled with high-quality ingredients and left to mature for several years.

However, some people still think moonshine is unsafe because it’s a high-proof, unaged spirit. Just like anything else in life, though, if you know what you’re drinking, you can drink with confidence. Well-made moonshine is good to drink. However, badly made moonshine can be harmful and even fatal.

Can you drink straight moonshine?

Well, you can, but you probably won’t enjoy the experience. Straight moonshine is very high in alcohol content (about 150 proof alcohol, or 75% pure grain alcohol). It’s the same concentration as whiskey or other grain alcohol.

Some kinds of grain alcohol are often banned from sale in many states, so it makes sense that moonshine that has just been distilled would also be illegal to sell.

Interestingly, after distillation, many moonshiners will make some kind of alcoholic beverage with their product, increasing the taste and drinkability of their concoction.

From homemade wine to whiskey to even fruit juice-infused spirits, there are plenty of ways to increase the flavor of your moonshine without watering it down too much.

Can you taste the alcohol in moonshine?

Moonshine is an alcoholic drink. So, yes, you can taste the alcohol in it. Moonshine is a clear liquor that should technically taste like alcohol and nothing else unless the maker has added flavorings.

Also, if it’s, really, good moonshine, all you taste is the corn, alcohol (just enough), and maybe some hint of cornbread, depending on the recipe. If you can’t taste the alcohol in it, something’s wrong with their recipe.

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Is moonshine stronger than vodka?

It is widely thought that moonshine is stronger than vodka. Still, it can vary widely, with some batches being very pure and others having a lot of contaminants (it’s usually homemade, after all). Vodka, on the other hand, is distilled and filtered to get rid of any impurities. However, both are similar in alcohol content as they are distilled spirits.

Furthermore, the average alcohol content of vodka is around 40% or 80 proof. Some flavored vodkas are lower in alcohol, but most are between 35-50%. Moonshine, on the other hand, has to be at least 35% alcohol but can be much higher.

This is because it is not aged for long and put through filtration processes that remove impurities. As a result, moonshine that only goes through a glass pot still (no additional filtering) can be as high as 95% alcohol, otherwise known as 190 proof.

What happens when you drink moonshine?

When you drink whiskey that’s distilled from corn, rye, or barley and aged in oak barrels, the spirit mellows, taking on flavors and a color that varies with time, moonshine is different. The unaged alcohol is more like grain vodka than whiskey. I

ts high alcohol content (usually around 100 proof) is raw and harsh. Still, its corn sugar foundation gives it a sweeter character reminiscent of bourbon, and that’s if bourbon was made with honey instead of sugar maple.

In addition, in the right dosage and a defined cocktail, you will experience something magical. It’s as if you’ve just landed on a warm summer night in the southern Appalachians, surrounded by new friends under a starry night sky.

But, on the other hand, drink too much of it, and you’ll lose all feeling in your legs, the lower half of your face, and the ability to speak clearly (never mind the third-degree burns it causes on its way down).

What does moonshine smell like?

There are many varieties of moonshine, each with its unique flavor. First, there are the easily identifiable scents of corn, oak, or other grain. Then there are the smells of fresh fruit or dried fruits from using those sugars in fermentation.

Some people might tell you that it smells of coal smoke or bar fights. But to us, it smells like grapefruit, grit, and determination. We distilled the past into a fresh fragrance so you can bring a little old-time spirit into your modern life.

In addition, if you could capture the smell of moonlight and bottle it up, this is what it would smell like. Fragrant notes of ozone, black pepper, and white tea give way to a heart of sea salt and sage, while base notes of cedarwood and vanilla add warmth to this clean, masculine scent.

Can a shot of moonshine get you drunk?

One shot of moonshine is almost enough to get two full-grown men drunk. But it won’t get you nearly as drunk as, for example, a six-pack of beer.

While a shot of moonshine may give you a “kick” and can be made in the privacy of your own home, you probably won’t get drunk on a shot. Moonshine is still corn whiskey and can have as much as 190 proof (95% alcohol), but most of the time, it’s between 110-130 proof (55-65% alcohol). So for some folks, one shot will do the trick, and others just need one more to get “right.”

In addition, the highest grade and most potent moonshine is around 190 proof, which means it contains 95% alcohol by volume. Since the average person passes out after consuming about three shots of liquor, each shot would be equivalent to consuming nearly 2 1/2 shots.

So, while you might not feel anything after one shot of moonshine, by the time you’re done with your second, or even first and a half, shot, you could easily be drunk.

How much is a gallon of moonshine worth?

That can depend on who you ask and where you plan to drink it. Some batches have only three ingredients: grain, water, and yeast. Sometimes cornmeal will be used in the making.

A gallon of moonshine will run you about $12 in Texas, and most places you can buy moonshine on the black market charge about that much. However, a lot of people buy inexpensive whiskey and call it moonshine.

How to tell if moonshine is good?

Ever wondered how to know if your moonshine is good? Here’s how to tell:

  • Grab a glass, pour a shot.
  • Smell and observe the aroma, sip and note the taste.
  • Allow the liquor to sit for about 30 seconds before swallowing.

In addition, bad moonshine has a foul odor and often tastes bitter when consumed. Finally, you can freeze your drink before taking a sip. If it freezes into a gel-like material, the alcohol is likely too low. If you see outside “crystalization,” this is known as ‘freezing out,’ and means the moonshine is poorly distilled.

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Frequently asked questions

What foods go well with moonshine?

Moonshine is a distilled beverage with high alcohol content. It is typically unaged and made illicitly, so it does not benefit aging, which mellows the flavor. Because of this, we would recommend eating some salty or fried dishes to pair with your moonshine, and this could be commercial or homemade!

Also, barbecue, pork, in particular, is adored by shiners, but from hot dogs to burgers to cornbread and beyond, moonshine pairs well with just about any good old-fashioned picnic food. It’s also surprisingly good with sushi.

Is moonshine illegal in the us?

No, moonshine is not illegal, but the distillation of alcohol without a license and bond is. The federal government currently permits distillation at home for personal or beverage use.

Furthermore, in May 2016, former US President Barack Obama signed a bill allowing states to legalize the production of up to 750 million gallons of moonshine per year. While technically not legal before, many people were still producing moonshine illegally.

Does moonshine go bad in the fridge?

Moonshine will never go bad and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Due to the higher alcohol content and fermentation, moonshine has a shelf life of many years beyond the ‘best by’ or ‘use by date printed on the label.

Furthermore, we don’t recommend refrigerating moonshine as it makes it cloudy. However, if you keep your mason jar sealed in the fridge, you can expect it to the last one to two months. If you prefer to drink your moonshine at room temperature, you can expect a similar shelf life of one to two months if it is flipped upside down every few days and kept tightly sealed.

Is moonshine rum?

No, it’s not. It’s spelled differently, and it’s made very differently. But, it’s made just like it was made in the backwoods of Appalachia, simply and with the highest quality ingredients. The result is a white whiskey with a clear, clean flavor that isn’t meant to be hidden behind unnecessary spices or added sugars but rather enjoyed for its pure authenticity.


If you’re still wondering, “what does moonshine taste like,” Moonshine tastes like a smooth, slightly sweet, and extremely potent whiskey. It is considerably sweeter than rye and wheat-based whiskeys and other liquors as a corn-based spirit. So, if you like whiskey and you haven’t had a taste of moonshine, you are missing out.

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