Popcorn Sutton White Whiskey
In case you haven’t noticed, in the last few years our society has started taking notice and an avid fascination with Moonshining. In fact the TV show Moonshiners can somewhat be blamed for this. Along with the fact that everyone is starting to research and learn more this almost lost part of our heritage. A true American artform, there are so many parallels between moonshinin’ and the birth of America that it’s hard to name them all. I’m not here to talk about all of that and the history of moonshining. I’m here to talk about one of the legends of moonshining, Popcorn Sutton, and his White Whiskey.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Jamey Grosser the co-founder of Popcorn Sutton Distilling LLC. After talking extensively with Jamey I learned more than I can remember about this product. We talked for over two hours about Popcorn, whiskey, cigars and everything under the sun. The most important thing that I got out of all of these conversations is that Jamey is very passionate. Not just about this whiskey, but passionate about carrying out Popcorn’s legacy and wishes.
Everything from the packaging, down to the flavor of this whiskey. All signs point to Popcorn’s legacy. Originally Popcorn put his whiskey in a mason jar because that’s all he could afford. But he’s famously quoted as saying “My whiskey is too good to be in a damn jar.” Once the distilling company was formed the initial release used mason jars as a way to honor the heritage of his whiskey. After the initial release the packaging was switched to a striking black bottle. Grosser told me that he was harassed and charged with “bastardizing Popcorn’s whiskey by putting it in this bottle.” According to Grosser, this is the exact packaging that Popcorn wanted his whiskey to be stored in. Popcorn wanted something that would stand out on any bar back across America. That’s exactly what he got.
This black bottle definitely makes an impression. A solid black matte color all the way around you can’t get a peek at what this whiskey has to offer until you pour a glass. On the front of the bottle there is white lettering that lays claim to what’s in the bottle, Popcorn Sutton’s White Whiskey. The packaging of this bottle has some great surprises on every side. The back of the bottle has a picture of Popcorn’s face and acts as a tip of the cap to the man that invented the whiskey you’re about to drink. However, my favorite part of the packaging is on the side.
“The Shotgun Condenser I invented is just one of the many reasons why I make the best damn drinkin’ whiskey out there. I wouldn’t waste my time making no sippin’ whiskey”
It’s hard to see in the picture, but embossed on this label is a still with what I’m assuming is Popcorn’s shotgun condenser. If you turn in just the right light you’ll see it. Also along the top part of the bottle on the edges of every corner there is an engrave part of the bottle that bears Popcorn’s signature. This is one of most interesting bottle packagings that I’ve seen in a long time. It certainly stands out on a bar back and it would stand out on any liquor store shelf that you come across. Well let’s get into some of the taste of this white whiskey since according to Popcorn it’s best damn drinkin’ whiskey out there.
One thing that I noticed right away with this whiskey is the sweet aroma that it gives off. If you’re used to nosing aged whiskey you typically don’t get the sweetness right away. The aging adds in all sorts of flavors and aromas that the barrel gives to it. However this Popcorn Sutton’s White Whiskey, is incredibly sweet smelling. It’s not overly harsh and alcohol smelling like other white whiskies that I’ve sampled. This feels like it’s going to be very smooth, that’s what I’m hoping at least.
After nosing this white whiskey I took a nice big swig and swirled it around to try and soak in all the flavors. I’m amazed at how smooth and sweet this whiskey is. There is almost zero spice, but it’s not so sweet that it’s like a rum. I can definitely tell it’s a whiskey, but it doesn’t have the traditional whiskey flavors to it. The corn gives off this incredible sweetness when it’s distilled. Settling at 93 proof I initially thought this whiskey would be a little more brash, but it is some damn good white whiskey.
The finish of this Popcorn Sutton’s White Whiskey is what really caught my attention. It didn’t seem to stay around and linger. It was clean and crisp finish that disappeared almost as soon as I swallowed it down. No burn or feeling that you just drank un-aged whiskey. Now my experience from other moonshines is a nice dose of fire going down through your chest, but this doesn’t have that at all. It is an incredibly smooth experience. So smooth in fact I gave it to the fiance to let her try it and she was impressed. She usually doesn’t enjoy any of my aged whiskies and especially doesn’t enjoy the white whiskies that I’ve sampled either.
Mixing It Up
So what happens when you decide to mix it up a little and just drink this Popcorn Sutton’s White Whiskey neat or on the rocks? Well, when I was hanging out with Jamey he ordered us a couple of cocktails that he wanted me to try. The first was Popcorn & Lemonade, a very simple combination and refreshing to boot. You couldn’t ask for a better drink on a hot June day in Nashville. I was impressed at how well these two complimented each other. The whiskey wasn’t over powering but it provided enough kick to get me through the rest of the work day. The second cocktail he ordered was a Popcorn Margarita. Now, I’m a die hard frozen margarita fan, so I wasn’t sure how this was going to work. Whiskey in a margarita? Well actually it worked out pretty damn well. I pounded that margarita into submission. Some people may think it’s too sweet, but it was absolutely delicious to me. So I was really surprised at how well this white whiskey combined with other products to provide some new interesting takes on classic drinks.
Well I never met Popcorn, but after talking to Jamey and hearing some of his stories, I have a better feeling about who the man is. I do know one thing, his white whiskey is incredibly tasty. Currently this stuff is only distributed in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and Arkansas, but I have a feeling it will start to crawl across the country and be found elsewhere very soon. So if you live in any of the above states go out and look this striking black bottle and just give it try. Try it neat, or make up your own concoction, I have a feeling you won’t be disappointed either way.