Monday, March 26, 2012

Pin It

A Little NPR Story about "Moonshine" Made in a Square Pot Still

As I was scrambling to get out of town to visit a passel of California distillers last week, Shelly Baskin rang to talk about that most indomitable of American spirits: moonshine.

Mr. Baskin was working on a story for National Public Radio about a Kentucky distiller trying to haul a bit of Kentucky's liquid history into the 21st century. Spencer Balentine makes his spirits in a custom-built square pot still. That's noteworthy because commercial stills are usually almost always round in cross-section. The still's square shape isn't unique exactly, but it is an old design that was idiosyncratic in its day and downright odd today.

Baskin writes of Balentine:
He cooks his whiskey with practice and care, following the recipe from his great grandfather to create the best batch of moonshine possible. He says, “From day one I’ve tried to recreate at least the taste, and the smell. And by doing it on the historic still I think this is close as you’ll get to experiencing that, you know, that 1958 moonshine.”
I just left Kentucky a few weeks ago. Clearly, I missed the chance to see an intriguing bit of distillation technology.

For the full story, see Moonshine is Alive and Well in Marshall County. Click on the "listen" button at the top of the article and you'll hear my croaky voice tripping over the inelegant line  “…the moment that moonshine becomes legal, it stops to exist.

Stops to exist? Oh, aphasia. You make me sound so smart. Ceases. It ceases to exist.

No comments: