A former Texan, Troy Ball moved with her family to Asheville, North Carolina, to distill moonshine, namely the smooth stuff that the old-timer mountain men dub the “sweet spot,” the best-tasting, smoothest part from the distillation process. She distills three expressions at her Asheville Distilling Co., and all offer unique aromas, undertones, and mixing possibilities.
You can smell the hushed sweet scent of heirloom white corn in the Platinum Whiskey. This smooth white ’shine, distilled from corn rescued from the brink of extinction, makes a mean Margarita-style cocktail [see Sons-Shine Margarita recipe below]. You can also make one with Troy & Sons’ Oak Reserve Whiskey. Deep whiffs of this expression will remind you of toffee and a small taste will bring you deep into the aging barrel with flavors of oak and caramel. Her Blonde Whiskey, although slightly darker than the Oak Reserve, reveals the meaning behind its name in its gentle caramel taste and velvety mouthfeel. This blonde is a softer “kinder spirit,” made from heirloom turkey red wheat and white corn. Even its aroma demurs, whispering to your palate that any drink made with The Blonde will guarantee a smooth ride.
Troy dubs herself the "First woman to found a distillery in modern times.” The spirits’ name comes from the closeness she shares with her three sons. [Check out her story.] As they got older, Troy felt the time was right to start a new venture. Enter “keeper moonshine,” the sweet-spot distillate that the moonshiners all kept for themselves. Now, Troy knew what her calling was: sharing this ’shine with the rest of the world.
We’re excited to visit her at her distillery some day. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to taste some batches of her 4-year and 8-year reserve whiskey. Normally, it’s aged for two years in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels, but you never know what time will bring. If the taste of all three of Troy & Sons expressions is any indication, we’re predicting winners.
2 ounces Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
6 drops agave nectar or 1 ounce simple syrup
1 orange slice
photos © Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz